Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Almscliff Frighteners

With a dry forecast this morning for Almscliff, I was keen to take advantage.  Unfortunately I had no partner today.  Rather than letting that put me off, I decided to go and look at a couple of frighteners I had put off for a while.  First up was Retribution Rib Direct E5 5c**.  The landing psyched me out from attempting the on sight, but after cruising first go on a rope I was regretting it.  I had a little rest, then soloed the route.  Although not difficult, it is a pretty scary place to be as you do the crux move to the jug of jugs.  Happy with this good start, it was off to check out the next objective.
Entering the crux on Retribution Rib

The Orchrist E5 6b* has an easy start and hard finish (crux) at a height that really makes you think.  It is probably on the edge of highball at 11m and not my style being a powerful, burly roof.  After thinking about it for a little while, I opted to give it a bash on a rope first.  I was quite happy about this as it was pretty grainy after the rain at the point you really didn't want it to be.  After brushing a few holds and finding the cheeky, but painful knee bar Egyptian , I had it down.  I shunted it a few times to get the whole route wired, then took a good rest.  After drumming up some more man power, I went for it.  This time I struggled to get the knee bar to sit right.  Looking at my lonely pad, with the burlometer starting to run down I went for the max pain option off diving my knee against the sharpest part of the hole.  Gritting my teeth to shut out the discomfort, I pulled through to the good finishing pocket.  Pretty happy I chilled out for a bit with the burlometer now on empty.

The classic Pebble Wall

I did a couple of classic problems to finish off, the best of which were Pebble Wall V5 6b*** (as always) and a cool V7 6c* that Andy Swann pointed out to me on Black Wall.  It is the true direct start to Aries Ook.

A pretty good morning all round for me, but I am definitely not as fit or strong as I was just after the winter.  It will take a little while before I learn how to balance the joys of parenthood with climbing well.

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