Monday, 29 August 2011

3 Peaks Challenge

This weekend I have been on another 3 Peaks on behalf of Max Adventure. A group of 10 ladies from down south ready and raring to go, despite the not so good weather forecast.

All did very well completing the Ben in the guide time and enjoying dry weather all the way which was a bonus. Scafell saw us lose one to bad blisters gained on the Ben, and the driving rain, thunder and Lightening did not make getting out the van easy. Thankfully this only lasted for half an hour, then we were treated to the most amazing sky I have seen in a while and dry weather all the way. Snowdon gave us a dry ascent as well, while the tired legs made this a little slower than usual.

All in was a good weekend with many tired and sore legs, but happy faces.

Monday, 22 August 2011


Above: In the crux of Tip Off

I met up with Ed and Elliot at Caley today to find a bit of shade to hide in. After yesterday, I was not feeling my best. so was keen for a chilled day.

We walked up to the main crag and warmed up on a few easy problems. In the shade the conditions were perfect. This got psyched to try High Noon E4/5 6a***. I started up it, but soon realised my body was not up for it today. Noonday Ridge E1 5b*** was still a good consolation. Elliot then led it and Ed followed. We then moved onto Tip Off E2 5b* which I led, then Elliot and Ed followed again. I also led Rip Off E3 6a* which climbs the arete. Ed follow this as well to continue his day of getting in some mileage.

Below: Getting further away from the gear and closer to the crux on Rip Off

Elliot was keen to try Fingerknacker Crack E3 6a* which is a steep and surprisingly powerful crack. Elliot made good progress up the boulder problem start, where the hardest moves kick in. This is unfortunately as far as he got. I had a go and found that my fingers are slightly smaller, this was to my advantage. After the hard moves to get into the upper crack, it was not too bad to finish. Feeling a lot warmer now, we threw a rope down Fred Zimmerman E4/6 6a/b. This used to have a bolt just before the crux which made it E4, now the hard section is protected by a skyhook which bumps it up to E6. Thinking this might be a horror, and not having a skyhook a quick toprope seemed fair. The crux was not too bad, a reachy hard 6a sequence I thought. We extended a loop down to the level of the bolt and led it like that as an E4, but I will defo go back and do it the right way.

We the soloed a few HVS's to finish a good day.

Chee Tor Classics

Today I met Pete Harris, Pete Brown, Dave and Ben at the usual spot to come up with a plan. Chee Tor was decided, so we bundled into one car and made are way across. It was much drier today than last week, so I was pretty keen to get on something tricky. There was also a lot of other folks at the crag today which was great to see.

Mr Harris started us off coolly leading Meditation E1 5b***, whilst Ben led Approaching E2 5b*.

Above: Ben on Approaching
Below: Me on Midnight Summer Dream

It had started to warm up so I decided to get straight on Midnight Summer Dream E5 6a** before it was too warm. It also looked slabby, so I thought that I would be warmed up enough. I was very wrong about the slabby part. The climbing was excellent, but extremely dirty. I had to clean pretty much every hold of dirt, dust, leaves and cobwebs as I went, which meant I was over gripping and getting more pumped than I should have. After the tricky bold start the gear was excellent all the way, as was the continually sustained and technical climbing. I did take a good fall off the crux when I missed the small pocket I was going to and my hand slipped of the poor dirty nob I was holding, gutted. It went fine the next go as it was not that hard, just dirty.

Mr Brown then cruised Sergeyenna E1 5b** and Dave Hergiani E2 5b*. I lost track of Ben and Dave after this but think that they climbed Spintered Perspex E3 6a** and Match of the Day E2 5c*.

Above: Dave on Hergiani

My focus had switched to the Numbers as he was trying to onsight pitch 1 of Apocalypse E4 6a,5c*** which gets E3 in its own right. Unfortunately, the body was not as willing as the mind today, which is normally how it is for me. So Pete retreated from the crux . We needed the gear back, so I set off. Longer legs and reach deffinately makes the crux a little easier. The climbing was not that physical, so I cracked on up the second pitch as well. This was outstanding and committing climbing with the gear hard won. This was pretty clean as a team had climbed it
before us.

Above & Below: Me on Apocalypse

Completely knackered we made the walk back to the car with a few good routes in the bag.

Friday, 19 August 2011

CWA Training

Over the last 2 days Dan and I have been running a CWA Training course for Harrogate Climbing Centre. Thursday was spent at Harrogate where we covered all aspects of personal climbing, coaching and also introduced the abseil module.

Today we visited Energise in York to see a council ran facility that offers a different challenge when working. Here we covered all the group management and problem avoidance aspects of the award, before revisiting the abseil module again.

Overall, the 2 days has run very smoothly and there will be a few more CWA holders in the near future.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ticking Classics at Stanage

Above: Tony on the Tippler

I met up with Dan, Pete and Tony and headed to Stanage today. After digging out a few to many tree stubs over the last 2 days, I was not holding out for a big day. As always, my desire to get the best routes I can done took over.

Dan started us off nipping up Good Friday HVS 5b*, which was one of the few routes at the grade he had not done. It had some nice climbing and good gear and started things off nicely. Pete and Tony climbed Rubber Band VS 4b** which looked pretty good for the grade. I then led Wuthering E2 5b***. This is an outstanding route and takes in some awesome ground, without ever being too tricky.

Dan and I headed down to the Unconquerable area whilst Pete and Tony dispatched Cave Arete HVS 5a*** and BAW's Crawl HVS 5a***. Dan had unfinished business with the Left, but it was taken. I got a bit over excited and onsighted Calvary E4 6a***. This is an amazing route with hard won gear and sustained technical climbing throughout. Dan the cruised the Left Unconquerable E1 5b*** and Monday Blue E2 5b*.

We made are way back to find the Numbers and Tony and have a look at Black Hawk Bastian E3 5c**. Dan worked pretty hard, but could not work out the best way to round the roof and eventually binned his attempt. I took advantage of Dan's gear and did the route. It was really awkward, but short lived once you worked it out. Tony worked hard and climbed the Tippler E1 5b***.

For some strange reason I then did the Unprintable E1 5c**, which was an awesome battle. Pete led the Dangler E2 5c**, and Dan put in a superb effort in at the end of the day to flash it as well. Fully battered, we retreated content with a few E points in the bank.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Adrenaline Rush and a Bit of Work at Caley

I was working at Caley this evening, finishing up a intro to rock course. With the weather good and the temperature not too high, I thought I would get a route in. I through a rope down Psycho E5/6 6b***, but just could not touch the crux. After a few tries I changed my focus. I had hoped to onsight Adrenaline Rush E5 6b***, but my quick plat on Psycho had put me off. I climbed it clean on my first 2 tries whilst belaying myself on a gri gri, so the solo was on. A quick break and the route was dispatched.

Half an hour later my clients arrived. We focused on coaching movement and footwork on a range of boulder problems, whilst refreshing the rigging on some of the higher one. Rosie and Andy seem to have taken a lot on board, and now have a good platform to build on.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Chee Tor

I met up with Martin and John at the Outside cafe in Hathersage to make a decision on where to climb today. Chee Tor was the venue of choice, this was my first so I was pretty psyched.

Below: John on Meditation

The routes were a little damp in the bottom quarter, but fine once you got past that point. Martin started us off leading Alfresco HVS 5b. Despite having no stars, this had some good climbing once you got past the damp, dirty start. John then led the classic Meditatiion E1 5b*** which has sustained technical climbing with excellent rests and even better gear. It was my turn and fancied the classic Ceramic E4 5c***. The route is continually technical, getting harder with height, but enough gear to be safe. The crux is at the top top end of the 5c bracket, and the dusty holds add to the spice. A must if you visit the crag and this is your grade. Martin and John both led Hergiani E2 5b*, which is another good route. I fancied the classic Midnight Summer Dream, but time was not on my side. Next time.

Above: Me onsighting Ceramic

There are still loads of good routes to do here, so I will be back. A massive plus is the fact it is a Saturday and we were the only folks at the crag.

Pics to come when Martin sends them through.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Irish Sea Stacks

Colm sent me a few pics of the stacks they have been climbing over in Ireland.

A Few Picks

Above: Andy on Chip and Pin
Below: Neil on Coalition Crack

Below: Martin on Kirby Wall

Monday, 8 August 2011

Roost Take 2

Andy, Neil and I went back to the Roost today with the aim of trying the Cartel E7 6c***. Andy was not climbing today and very kindly abseiled and brushed the route for us. Neil warmed up ticking the Indirect Start to Chip and Pin E5 6b***, which I climbed as well. It was time to get stuck into the challenge for the day, and Neil was up first. He made a fine job of onsighting Coalition Crack E5 6b*** to the rest before you move into the offwidth and easy ground. This is where the Cartel goes up the headwall. He spent a good while shaking out and trying to work out where to go, then the rain really started to come down, wetting the finishing holds. Neil made the sensible choice to finish Coalition Crack instead.

I had no doubt that flashing the Cartel was a bit of a dream, so I went to see how it was. I managed to get into the meat of the hard climbing but took numerous falls trying to finish what we think is the crux. A bit of work ground up might see this get ticked at some point.

Neil decided to save it for the flash and led Con dem Nation E6 6b*** instead. Narrowly missing out on the flash with a fall low down, but lowered off and led it cleanly next go. I followed the route to get the kit back and it was really greasy today, probably the worst condition I have climbed it in. A fine effort by Neil, who now only has a few routes to do at the crag. It has been great to see other folks climb these routes as well.

I'll try and sort some pics out of the last cpouple of days soon.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Malham Right Wing

Neil and Andy had bailed from Wales yesterday and made there way up to mine. We went to the Roost yesterday where Andy Flashed Chip and Pin E5 6a***, and Neil flashed this as well as Sleepy Hollow E6 6b*** which all made superb viewing.

Today we went to Malham and we were joined by Martin. He led a good range of classic HVS's, Andy led Wombat E2 5c*** and followed Neil up Wind and Wuthering E3 5c**. I led Crossbones E2 5c*** and followed Neil up Articulated Loris E5 6a* to finish a good day despite the cold.

Friday, 5 August 2011

2 Crags in 1 Day

Above: Dan following the 1st pith of Face Route

After being ill last week and failing to climb on Monday having still not recovered fully, I was keen to get back into it in the Dales today with Dan. We started out at Gordale warming up on one of the easy sport routes (not recommended). Face Route E3 5c,6a*** was next. I led the 1st pitch, which we both thought was the main event. Fantastic, intricate climbing which feels quite out there with the fixed gear now so poor. Dan swiftly led the 2nd pitch which was probably only VS to the 1 crux move. A bit of a let down really.

Above: Dan following the 1st pith of Face Route
Below: Dan setting off up the 2nd pitch

We then moved on to Malham to tick some classics. Dan made short work of Wombat E2 5c***, then turned his attention to Wind and Wuthering E3 5c**. He put in a sterling effort, but fatigue set in through the crux and the lob was taken. I then had a go with the extra benefit of Dan's gear. A bit of extra energy seemed to come back and this made the difference as I picked my way through the crux. A good route to finish the day.