Monday, 15 December 2014

CWA Training

Over the weekend I ran a CWA Training course for a bunch of staff from Climb Rochdale and students from Bolton Boy School.  It was a great mix of experience and made for a good training course.  Having worked with the Bolton School bunch a bit over the last year or so, it's really nice to see them coming through into the awards as well.

We split the course across 2 venues, Climb Rochdale and Rokt.  This gave 2 very different venues, which really added to the course.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Catchimg Up

I've been a little slack lately, so here's a quick catch up.

At the End of November I did a couple of day paddling work with Bolton School.  I had not been in a boat for almost 9 years, but it strangely felt like it had been yesterday.  We did a good couple of moving water seasons on the Lune and the Dee, which everyone showed great progression on.

Bouncy fun on the Dee
Climbing has been a bit stop start with the weather and work.  I've been ticking over with the usual route setting and a couple of indoor sessions (weather must be bad).  Ben and I grabbed a good session at the Roost on the 1st December, where we climbed a number of the E4's to warm up before I climbed and cleaned a rather dirty Fascination Street E7 6c***.  I had one go on a rope, and climbed the route in two, as I struggled to recover at a poor shakeout.  I was a bit disappointed with this, but it turns out I felt tired and weak due to a chest infection.  BOO!

Recovering from illness and running a CWA Assessment with a bit more setting thrown in takes us up to date.  The snow up North is causing a bit of FOMO!  But it is hard to find the time these days for a quick hit and partners that match.

I will be up in the Fort at the start of Jan for my first batch of winter work.  As usual I will be splitting the season between Scotland and Yorkshire.  There is still 1 week available in March 16th-20th if anyone is looking for a weeks climbing.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hawk Stones Sendage

I made my first visit to the Hawk Stones this afternoon.  I didn't have long, but wanted to make the most of it.  The plan was to tick off a good selection of the routes on this visit, then come back agin for the boulder problems.

I started with Stile Wall HVS 4c, then High and Mighty E2 5c*.  Both nice route routes, but a little dirty.  The guide suggested that it's worth brushing the harder lines, and after experiencing the others, I was not going to argue.  A gave the bold line of Come Walk With Me E5 6a** a quick brush, then went for the flash.  Some of the footholds could have done with a brush and I pulled a pebble off which made the crux section feel exciting.  That said, it was a good route.  As this was the hardest route I planned to do, I videoed it.  Time was on the short side to video all I wanted to do though.

Entering the crux section

In the bag
I continued my clean flash ethic.  Next was It's Not My Stile E4 6a, which I thought was excellent and definitely my style.  Chips and Gravy E3 5c was next, followed by an on sight of Eagle's Nest HVS 5b***.  I had not read the description for this as it just looked like as a hand crack from below.  Instead, it was indeed an 'old school struggle' as suggested up an off width.  A bit manliness and fear soon put my at the top, relieved.

I moved on to the next buttress and did Ram's Head Slab E3 5c, followed by Arrhythmia E4 6a.  Again these were real quality and worthy of stars.  Pulse Racer E6 6c** is the hardest route here at the moment, and I hadn't planned to do it today as it has a runner.  As I had a bit of time left, I thought I'd have a quick look.  Belaying myself as I climbed, cruised all but one move.  I fluffed a foot swap at 2/3 height, but soon had that sorted and climbed it clean whilst belaying myself, so it was game on.  This went smoothly, so I thought I'd ticked all the E graded routes and went home satisfied.  Unfortunately, I missed one, so will have to try and grab it next visit.

An amazing afternoon though.

come walk with me from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Last Few Days

It's been a busy few days.  Tuesday was a full day setting at rokt, which was pretty knackering. The next day I was hoping to go to Earl and try the classic Pegg test piece  Mind Bomb, but despite  roads and walls being drunk,  the crag was gopping!  The wind was strangely blowing over the top, which at least meant somewhere would be dry.

In the end , Elliot and I ended up at Scout Hut Crag. I had been here once before and ticked pretty much all the routes in the old guide with stars so didn't think I would ever go back.  However, the new guide shows a good range of steady boulder problems to go at.  Some of these I had done on my last visit not knowing what they were, but it was nice to repeat them and do some new ones.

I retro Flashed Dave's Traverse 7a+ and a bunch of other stuff, was feeling the day before towards the end of the day. This meant I ran out of steam on the last tricky thing.  I think the crag has at least one more visit in it, as I'd like to do the traverse challenge.

Today I met up with Terrance and Mark at Heptonstall.   I was feel pretty tired so did a couple of easy routes with those guys and came home for lunch.

A few days of good rest and recovery are needed.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Yesterday we came down to Sheffield to see friends in the afternoon. To my surprise the weather was improving and the road etc drying fast.  I decided to go and have a quick boulder at Burbage North and look at Submergence 7c.  It has been on my list for a while, so I was hoping it was dry.  The problem was dry, but the pool under the arete problem was inconvenient.  I strategically place the mats and got on it.  I cruised through to the crux move first go, then hit a wall. It took a fair few attempts to find the best way to the slot. Even then it was very hit and miss.  As my skin was sore from the previous day, I just kept trying from the start hoping I would hit on an attempt.  This finally happened as the sun disappeared and conditions improved a touch.  All that was left was the shallow water solo up the arete.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sheriff Crack F.A.

Despite things looking a little damp outside this morning, I nipped over to Woodhouse after I had dropped Rose at pre school.  The main reason for going was to see how things felt on a new eliminate I had been trying.  This is the crack of the Sheriff only, which makes for some tough moves.

Conditions were surprisingly good on the Sheriff block, so I warmed up on Cave Buttress doing all the classics up to 7a+, then mooched back over to the Sheriff block.  It had been a while since I had done the Sheriff 7b+ it's original way, so did that to complete the warm up.  This eliminate has been a project for a while, and I've probably been trying it on and off for a year.  I put in some real effort last year and got close, but didn't have a good way of finishing.  Trying to do it all nice and techy made it desperate.  Now I had a good way to finish, I just wanted a better way to get into the crack proper.  Today I finally found this better way, which meant I could do the first crux move easier, and save the energy needed for the next part of the crux.  I dropped the crux a few times, started to feel impatient.  After a good rest and psyche up I gave it absolutely everything I had.  I made it through the crux and just had to hit the top.  My head felt like it was going to explode as I held by breath and pulled that bit harder, and hit the top.  Once I came down and sat on the mat I thought I was going to throw up.  I lay there for around 20 mins before I moved on to do some other problems, but pretty happy with the result of the effort I'd put in.

I finished off my morning by doing the Trackside Arete 6a and Trackside Wall 7a at the far end of the crag.  Then I worked back and did Angel Face 7b+, Roof Eliminate 7b+ and Rainy Days 7b+ on the Clingen Face.  I tried to do Houdini, but had nothing left when I got to the lip.  Instead I wrapped things up with Close to the Edge 7a and continued up to the top for the E3 6b tick.  A great morning that my body seems to be suffering for now.  No pics etc. as I didn't take camera thinking it would not be in the best of condition, Error.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Yorkshire Gritstone Vol. 2

A must buy

I met Adi at Rokt on Monday afternoon and our girls went on a send fest in pursuit of Jelly babies and Cola Bottles.  Rose and Lilly did a good amount of climbing, Rose an even great amount of moaning.  Adi had generously brought along a copy of the new Yorkshire Grit Vol. 2 Guide for my small contributions with Woodhouse and a couple of other areas.  I might be biased, but I think it is even better than the first volume.  This volume covered the areas of Yorkshire that are much less frequented.  Whilst everyone is revelling in the polish at Almscliff, those of us in West Yorkshire have a guide to show the best the area has to offer.  Once past the polish of Ilkley, you enter into the area of rough grit of Barden Moor.  A little further West takes you to the Dark difficult world of Earl Crag etc.  Continue you journey further South and you hit the Widdop and Calderdale area.  With much more documented to go at, even the most dedicated local has something new.  I personally am really pleased with area.  This guide has re ignited my enthusiasm for my local area.  crags I had ticked in the old guide suddenly give me reasons to return.  Matt and Neil have really done a great job, Thanks guys.  The Woodhouse and Kirklees section is another area that will offer a great deal to the West Yorkshire/Calderdale local.  There are areas I didn't even know existed, all within a 30 min drive.  Add to all this the Shipley and Baildon section, and you another climbing to last you a lifetime.

My mutant arm, I wish I had this reach!
This is a guide that would be worth every penny.  You can pick your copy up from Outside, the Leeds wall and other retailers.