Friday, 31 August 2012

Pits, Pots and Pans

Pete and I made the trip back to Running Hill Pits to see if Calamity Crack was dry, but unfortunately it wasn't.  Instead, we ticked off a few classics in the second pit.  Pete swiftly dispatched Plumb Line VS 4c*** and then Sodom E1 5c**.  I then did Gomorrah E1 5b** to complete our warm up.  All 3 of these routes are perfect crack lines that would stand out anywhere, but thankfully the lack of traffic means they still have no polish.

Pete then got on Mangled Digit E3 6a*** and cruised to the crux, but could not commit.  I then led it, which seemed to give Pete the drive to send large, which he did.
Getting involved on Exfoliation

We moved on from the Pits and went around the corner to Pots and Pans Quarry.  There are a few starred routes in the guide that look worth a visit, most notably Exfoliation E4 5c**.  This follows an awesome looking groove with thin and technical moves.  I jumped on this and thought it was AMAZING!!!, but quite tricky for 5c.  After further reviewing the guide t turned out I had climbed the direct (obvious/common sense) finish which dumps the grade up to 6b, oops!  I then went for a quick solo of Jeanette E3 5b*.  Dirty damp holds to finish, a bit of a freak out for the first time in a while, and I pulled myself together to finish.

Pete cruising Liquid Amber
Next up was Liquid Acrobat HVS 5b* in the next quarry over.  Pete waltzed up this to finish another good day in the moors.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

West is Best!!!

When everyone is still obsessed with the Peak, it makes for quiet crags in the western areas.  Dan made the drive over to experience this for himself, and we met Elliot there as well.

Elliot cruising Summery
After the short walk in we were a little disappointed to see the first and second pit soaking.  I was pretty confident that it would all dry up in a couple of hours, So we headed down to the 6th pit to solo a few of the easy routes that stayed dry.  We quickly dispatched Contents E1 5a*, Intro Wall HS 4b** and Summery HVS 5b*.  It was then into the 5th pit for Weaver's Wall E3 5b***.  I led the way with a cheeky solo, then Dan and Elliot both led the route.  The cams at half height would just keep you off the ground if you blew the crux at the top (maybe!)  I was then pleasantly surprised when I managed to solo Yarn Spinner  E4 6c** in a couple of attempts.  This was an excellent, fiercely thin wall that just got harder the higher you went.  Probably the best tick of the day for me, which is saying something with what followed.

Me on sighting Weaver's Wall

Elliot about to get committed above the gear on Weaver's Wall

Mid crux
 Back up into Spanner pit and a mostly dry crag.  Dan ticked his second E3 of the day with a great effort on Mangled Digit E3 6a***.  After following this my psyche was still high.  Elliot was keen to try The Connection E4 6b***, so whilst Dan belayed Elliot, I gave Phaestus E4 5c** a quick brush after the soaking it had had.  Happy with what I had seen, I continued my ever improving day with a quick solo flash.

Dan getting stuck into Mangled Digit

Almost there
Elliot was having a hard time with the crux of The Connection, so as he chilled out I onsighted Harvest Moon E4 6b**.  Dan had a go at The Connection as well, but it was a bit to burly after his efforts of the day so far, so opted for the classic Spanner Wall E2 5b***.  On a high, I onsighted The Connection E4 6b*** to tick of all but one route on Spanner Wall.  Elliot cut his loses and followed Dan up Spanner, so I had a quick look at Iguanodon E6 6b**.  Not expecting to do this today as I was pretty tired, I was pleased to find it ok.  After climbing it and belaying myself at the same time on a grigri, it was game on.  A short rest and the route was soon soloed and it was time to call it a day for me.  This is probably my most productive day out, with 29 E points and 18 stars.  I look forward to the next.

Dan wrapped things up with a rapid ascent of Plumb Line VS 4c***.  Hopefully more people will realise that the moors has a lot to offer.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

SPA Training Day 2

I have been in the Peak running the second/group day of an SPA Training today.  We started out at Burbage North and managed to cover the majority of the syllabus before the midges became unbearable.  We relocated to Stoney to use the Ab down Carl's Wark and managed to escape the MIDGE!!!!!

Despite a heavy shower, the awesome Stoney provided dry rock for climbing too!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Battling Back at the Roaches

Today I have been working at the Roaches with some folks on the Battle Back project.  This is for those in the armed forces who have been injured, but are getting back into things and other awards.  This was a day outside to break up the climbing wall award that some are doing.  We managed a good range of routes from Diff to E1 on both the lower and upper tier.

A great day was had by all.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Western and Saddleworth Grit

I picked Pete up from Halifax train station at 9:30 with the view of heading to Chew Valley and the Ravenstones.  Unfortunately, overnight rain put a dampner on things.  We had both been looking through the new Over the Moors guide and thought that Hobson Moor Quarry would give us agood range of routes to go at.  45 mins later, we where stood underneath a dry and pretty good looking range of routes.

Pete started us off cruising the outstanding Parker's Eliminate HVS 5a***.  a perfect 14m crack that has holds and edges everywhere.  Pete then started up Dragon's Route E3 5c*, but could not commit.  I led the route, which did have a committing big move.  This did not stop Pete on his next go up.
Pete getting stuck into Dragon's Route

Pretty psyched now, I onsighted the bold Scale the Dragon E5 6a**.  Committing moves up the lower wall lead to good cams in the break at half height.  The crux upper wall is protected by a single RP 3, but I was glad to have it as a few of the hold were dirty and damp.

Pete working hard on Drizzle
Pete then continued with his E3 theme and led Drizzle E3 6a*.  This had a tricky crux through the overlap, but good gear where it mattered.  My psyche was still high, so I onsighted Sunshine Superglue E4 6a**.  The new guide describes the hardest version of this route, Which has a couple of easier starts.  Despite being  in need of a good clean.  I managed to get through the hard start and to the gear (which is pretty high), before launching into the upper wall.  A good route, but would benefit from a brush.  This could be said for a few of the routes on Black Wall and Scythe areas.

With one new crag visited, we opted to go and look at another.  Running Hill Pits was on the way back, and somewhere we both want to go to.  A short walk in and stood beneath Calamity Crack, my arms suddenly felt too tired to do it justice.  Instead we went into the 2nd quarry and I led the super classic Spanner Wall E2 5b***.  Surprisingly physical and bold climbing all added up to a fantastic root.  We both walked away, vowing to return soon for the some of the awesome looking crack lines.

Monday, 20 August 2012

CWA Training

The weekend saw a busy Climbing Wall Award Training course, with 10 candidates attending.  There was a good range of experience within the the group which added a great deal to the course.  As usual for our courses.  Day 1 was run at The Leeds Wall where are the personal climbing and coaching aspects of the award were covered.  The group aspects, along with the abseil module were all covered at Harrogate Climbing Centre on day 2.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Getting Pumped at Kilnsey

I met up with Elliot today at Kilnsey with the veiw of getting on anything my arms would cope with.  After a good warm up I was feeling pretty good, so opted to try and onsight Balas E5 6b***.  Elliot had put the draws in Witches Brew 7a+/b and kindly brush a lot of dirt, dust and other ming of the holds he could reach.  Despite this, I was still over gripping on dirty holds.  Put that together with the fact that it is surprisingly pumpy and physical for a groove, and the inevitable happened.  The onsight was blew at the top, Gutted!!!  I now wish I had done Frankie before this.

Taking a rest before it gets physical

Elliot made good progress on Witches Brew, but fluffed his sequence on his final redpoint.  Next go should see him tick though.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Stoney Classics

I met up with Dan for some limestone trad today, with the aim being to head to Chee Tor.  Once we discussed options, we opted for Stoney instead.  This worked out well as we are both a bit knackered from working, so easy classics was just the ticket.

We started off on Windy Ledge where Dan cruised Aurora Arete HVS 5a** and Windhover E2 5c** in fine style.  The sun came around, so we moved to Bitterfingers Bay.  Psyched, I onsighted Bitterfingers E4 6a***, which was very pleasing considering how little climbing I have done the year.  This high in the grade route gave some excellent climbing and was well protected too, result.

We moved over to the Electric Quarry so Dan could try Jasper E3 6a**, but the sun had moved in to make it very greasy.  Instead, we moved back to Prayer Wall and Dan led Mani E1 5b* and then St Peter E1 5c* in the Pearl Gates Bay.  A pretty good day all in.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

ML Training

This week I have been down in North Wales working on a ML Training course for Dan Mckinlay.  It turned out to the best week o weather for a while, so all the candidates were happy as well.  All the candidates took a lot away from the week, with clear plans of what to do next.  A dry expedition was a big bonus.

During our mountain day on Tryfan, a walker/scrambler to a large fall (50ft) which Dan had to deal with, and I took the group away.  The lady in question e mail Dan to say she escaped in the end with a broken wrist and badly bruised back.  This did provide the group with a good platform for discussion, as well as see the helicopter in action.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Quick Bouldering Hit

After a rough week with hayfever kicking my ass, I managed to get a quick hour down at Woodhouse to send a few problems.  A short vid of a good traverse problem.