Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Great Crack

I am on a break down in Matlock with the wife, so climbing is not a priority this week. That said I have to get my fix and there are some amazing crags here to get stuck into. Unfortunately, the weather has been heavy showers on and off, so I don't want to start up something tricky and have a epic. Instead, I thought I would go and climb Great Crack HVS 5a**** at Duke's Quarry. This is one of the Eastern Grit Top 50 climbs, and I am unlikely to drive down here to do this one route any other time, so now is perfect. Well except for the rain. The quarry is very overgrown and like venturing into the wilds, yet still very impressive. The route follows a outstanding crack for 30m on perfect jams through some good steepenings. We arrived an the route looked almost dry. At that point a thunderstorm started and the route was soaked in record time.

Above: Lovin' the rain and getting psyched

I was undeterred and started sorting the rope out to Em's amazement (she thinks I'm a little stupid and is probably right). The start was pretty hard work, but once past the first couple of moves it is relatively straight forward to the top. Despite the rain and water in the crack, the climbing was excellent. Sustained at the grade and very well protected (if you have a couple of gold camelot's), one I would recommend if you are in the area. Maybe wait for a good dry spell if this is your limit. Not surprisingly Em was not too fussed to second. So I stripped the route just in time for the rain to start and the sun come out.

Enough rain and ming for one day, we headed into Matlock for a brew.

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