Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hoghton Quarry

Above: Boadicea

Dan and I took a trip to Hoghton to check out the 3 star classics that have cleaned recently. Despite all the hard work that has been done, the routes are still dirty, but will improve massively with traffic. All I would say, is don't get on routes that are at your limit there at the moment.

We started off climbing Every Face Tells a Story HVS 5b**, which was dirty and bold in places. We both thought this route was poor until it joined Boadicea. I then led Boadicea E2 5c***, which again was dirty in the bottom half. This made the climbing feel a bit trickier than it was, but the route was still outstanding through its entire 37m. Dan then had a go, but got a bit spooked by the dirty and insecure nature of the route and lowered off at the second crux.

Mandarin E2 5b,5b*** was up next. I led this in one big pitch which is the best way I'm told. This was the cleanest route of the day, and simply awesome! A must do route that packs loads of interest in to it's 37m. Dan also led this in good style.

Below: Dan on Mandarin

We finished the day off climbing Rhododendron Buttress E2 5c***. Again a bit dirty, but outstanding climbing which just keeps on going. Both of us thought that the climbing was only 5b, but a lot of it.

All the routes that have been cleaned need more traffic, so you will have to persevere with the dirt for now. It is worth a visit for these classic E2's that have quite an adventurous feel about them. Definitely one of the wilder feeling venues I have been to.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Intro to Rock

Above: Andy getting stuck in.

Yesterday I was at Almscliff running the second day of an Intro to Rock Climbing course for Rosie and Andy. This course also includes the teaching of rigging bottom and top ropes as the couple want to be able to look after themselves whilst they make the transition for indoors to out.

We had covered a lot of rigging on our first session at Ilkley in the rain, so time was saved at the start of the day and more time was spent climbing and focusing on movement basics. Rosie and Andy climbed most of the classic easy routes on the Lower Man, with a bit of bouldering thrown in to coach some footwork. After a spot of lunch, the theme of Rosie and Andy rigging continued as we switched our attention to some chimnies (you don't get many of these inside). We wrapped up the day with a focused rigging session to cement the teachings of the 2 days. We still have an evening session to do, but the 2 days have been a success.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Week in the Lakes

I have spent a week based in the Striding Edge Hostel working with a group from Bolton Lads and Girls Club. This is the adventure week within the Young Citizen's Programme the club is running. We started the week with a bit of team building on Monday, before getting stuck into main activities.

On Tuesday we climbed in the morning, then went to Angle Tarn Beck for a gyll scramble. There had been a bit of rain in the morning, so the water level made it an excellent trip.

Wednesday was all about their expedition up Helvellyn. After pack and prep in the morning, we made are way up to Red Tarn where we set up camp. We then pushed on toward Swiral Edge, but it was unfortunately a bit much for one of the young people. Instead we retreated and walked up Catseye Cam. As we returned to camp it started to rain, but had cleared up by morning. We took a steady walk back down to the hostel for breakfast and to clean up. Once everyone was fed and watered, all kt away, we turned our sights on Glenridding beck for another scramble. It was a great way to finish off the day.

Friday morning was spent cleaning the hostel and the group leaders reviewing the week before they got picked up. not a bad week in all.

I got my climbing fix in this week, with an afternoon visit to the Roost to finish off the Senete E6 6b***. This only leaves the 2 E7's to do. Better pull my finger out.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wilton 1 & 3

Above: Tony leading Central Crack

After the weeks climbing so far, I was planning on an easy day following folks and taking pictures at Wilton. Things started well in 3, following Dan up Shiver's Arete E1 5b*** and Central Crack HVS 5a***. Pete and Tony climbed these in the reverse to us. My psyche got the best of me, and before I knew it I was fighting hard trying to onsight Constable's Overhand E5 6b***. It was a bit too much for me today and I blew the last hard move. It went well next try as always.

Above & Below: Dan on Shiver's Arete

We moved venues to 1 for some longer routes now that the sun had moved around. Pete and Tony went off and climbed Cameo E1 5a***, but Dan fancied Black Mamba E4 6b**. He put in a fine effort, but came off at the crux. After deciding it was not really for him today, I led it on his gear. I had already done the route, but it was very dirty on the top holds before the groove. Pete and Tony returned to try a couple of the route next to us. Pete made a awesome flash of Master
Spy E4 6a***, which I followed. Tony coolly led Wipeout E2 5b***. Dan also then flashed Master Spy, which he had to fight for.

Above: Dan on Master Spy

For the final routes of the day we moved down to the Prow. Pete and Tony climbed Wombat Chimney E2 5b*, whilst Dan led Max E3 5c***. I then led Max on Dan's gear, not a bad way to finish my 5 day climbing stretch.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Too Tired for Kilnsey

Mhairi and I went to Kilnsey today hoping that the tiredness would wear off once we started climbing. Unfortunately, it didn't. Mhairi spent a bit of time working on Ground Effect 7b**, and got all the moves down, but not enough left in the tank to tick it today. I decided to see if Comedy 7c*** felt any better than the go I had a few weeks ago. When I put the draws in last time, the crux move felt beyond me so I binned it straight away. This was frustrating, as it was only one move. Today was better. Despite being tired from the weeks climbing, I managed the route in 2. It will hopefully go next visit, so the hour or so I have put in will not go to waste. After a couple of hours we called it a day, rest is needed.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Roost

We went back the the Roost today so Mhairi could finish off what was started yesterday. She made short work of the route first go today, E5 in the bag. I tried the Senete E6 6b***, which is the last of the E6's I have to do here. It was a battle first go up and dogged my way. After a good rest I got back on it, getting 4 moves from the top but failed when I could not sort my feet out. Gutted and with trashed hands and forearms, I will have to come back another day. Mhairi then flashed the Indirect Start to Chip and Pin to tick her second E5. A pretty good all round.

Monday, 11 July 2011

A Bit of Traddin'

After all the travelling in the minibus last week, I was not overly keen to drive to the Peak this morning. Mhairi was up for improving her trad climbing, and there is more than enough locally to keep you busy. Is was not too warm when we started off a Heptonstall, managing a rapid ascent of Main Line VS 4c*, before Mhairi cruised a Thin Red Line E2 5b***. It had warmed too much to get the best out of the day there, so we moved over to the Roost. I was not feeling on form today so climbed Chip and Pin and the Indirect Start as well both E5 6a***. Mhairi had not led E5 before, and Chip and Pin is a great starter. After an awesome onsight attempt, Mhairi was a little spent and didn't manage to tick the route today.

We will be back tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Troller's Gill

After Scafell last night I was not going to bother climbing myself today, but just belay Mhairi. However, I got psyched to try and onsight Angel Delight 7a+**. I got to the last hard move and realised that I had forgot the draws I needed, had a few miss reads and fell off. It was pretty straight forward next go. Mhairi swifty dispatched Haslam on her first go today, then flashed Angel Delight. She wrapped up a good day by onsighting Barguest 7a***. To the Peak for some trad tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Scafell Pike

After Watson's left at lunch time, I had the afternoon off before meeting up with a Max Adventure group at Scafell who were on a 3 Peaks. They did a great job getting up and down in 3 hours and 10 mins.

Friday, 8 July 2011

George Watson's Summer Rock Trip

This week I have been working on the Watson's Summer Rock Trip in Yorkshire. Monday was a short day at Warton Small Quarry to start things off. The kids did very well climbing a range of routes up to VS. The weather was fantastic, but the forecast for the rest of the week was not so good. Despite the forecast we managed to climb everyday.

Tuesday we went to Almscliff and started off on Lower Man, where we ticked off a good range of routes. In the afternoon we moved up top and worked on some of the awkward cracks to try and broaden their experience. Over all, everyone did pretty well and learned a lot through the day.

Wednesday took us to Ilkley, but the weather was not quite as good as forecast. Despite this, we climbed a few good routes and rigged a Tyrolean traverse across the quarry to salvage the day.

After a day off on Thursday that the group spent in Windermere and Kendal, we went to Caley for Friday's climbing installment. We started the day with some bouldering in the playground as well as climbing the Morris slab routes. As the showers came, we moved up to the main crag and rigged a few classic chimney's that were staying dry. This was another chance for the kids to try some techniques that they would not get in the climbing wall.

This wrapped up the week for another year. France next year, Awesome!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Angel Heart

Mhairi and I had a day off from our work with Watson's, so went to Troller's as I had unfinished business. Mhairi made short work flashing The Jim Grin 6c+/7a***, then had a few shots on Haslam 7b***. Unfortunately, the week's work was taking it's toll on the energy levels.

I spent my second day on Angel Heart 7c+**, but was still struggling to link the last hard move. I worked out a better way to do the move right at the end of the day and thought I would not have enough left. To my surprise, on my last go of the dayI was through the crux and cruising to the chain before I knew it. A great day.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

CWA Assessment and New Routes by Steve Maclure at ROKT

Today I ran a CWA Assessment for Harrogate Climbing Centre. Carol and Giles both did really well and passed both the CWA and the Abseil Module as well.

I then stopped off at ROKT on the way home and climbed a few of the new routes set by Steve Maclure yesterday. It is fair to say that they are all very steally for the grades, but the climbing is outstanding. I only climbed the 7a, 7b, 7c and 7c+ (with a few rests thrown in), but they all had super sustained climbing that covered a massive distance across the steep wall. Get down and get on them folks.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Troller's Gill

Above: Elliot on The Jim Grin

I made a return to Troller's today with Elliot, with the intentions of working on Angel Heart 7c+**. After my quick go at the end of my last visit, I was hoping that I could make good progress. After warming up, Elliot made a superb flash of Jim Grin 6c+/7a***, for his hardest to date. I then got stuck into Angel Heart, and surprised myself climbing half way through the crux straight away. After a bit of trail and error, I had a sequence I thought would work and the redpoint was on.

Above & below: Working hard on Angel Heart

Elliot shifted his focus to Haslam 7b*** and started to work out sequences through the crux's. I had a couple of good redpoint attempts, but fell both times 1 move from finishing the hard climbing, maybe next time! Powered out I shifted my attention to Hoodoo Guru 7b** (another stiff one) hoping to onsight it. The route shares the same boulder problem start as Angel Heart, but the crux climbs an extremely thin groove straight after. I had to fight a bit in the groove, but once through it the rest was not too bad.

Elliot then managed to send Haslam on his last go of the day to tick his first 7b. Good work young man.