Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Bouldering Bonanza

Above:  Trying hard on Armistice
With the weather due to turn poor this afternoon, I was out early to try soe of the boulder problems at Baildon Bank.  Not the world best crag I know but the problems looked quite good on  Everything was nice and dry, so a bit of soloing around to warm up and a swift flash of Lay Away sit start V3 and the V3 next to Heavy Duty saw me ready to try something.  That something ended up being the cool, but very steep arete of Armistice V9/font 7c. After a fair bit of effort I was getting close, but struggled to get my feet set for the final move to the jug.  Maybe next time.  Instead I managed to send Who Are We Without Moon V7/font 7a+.  I cool technical sequence on layaways led to a hard dyno to finish.  Getting tired and expecting the rain to come soon I decided to go and check out Shipley Glen.

Only one more move, but it's a hard one!
Above: Side pull trickery on Who Are We Without Moon
I had never been to Shipley Glen before, so as it was still not raining I took my mats to have a look.  After wondering around for ages, I finally stood beneath Manson's and Phil's Wall.  I could not resist having a go, but came off Manson's Wall V5 on my first 2 goes.  A good brush was given, and the send happen next go.  Phil's Wall V7/font 7a+ required a whole lot more effort.  The holds are quite bad on this problem, and it was more by sheer will I managed it today.  The battle between sore fingers and taking the fall from the top for a 3rd time, was won by the fingers, Thank God!!

Getting stuck into the crux of Phil's Wall

It is fair to say I will be back to the Glen

Monday, 29 October 2012

In Between the Rain

I had a couple of hours this morning to sneak out and get something done.  There was a new link up at Woodhouse I had my eye on, so the 3 min drive down there seemed to make the most sense.  It took a while to warm up, but once I got going things seemed to go well.  I quickly dispatched the last of the V7 6c problems on Cave Buttress I had not done before.  This stiff eliminate was a good way to get in gear for the link up I was going to try.  Despite the odd light shower, the problem stayed dry enough where it mattered.  The link climbs the existing V7 6c low traverse to within one hold of finishing, then joins the V5 6b mid level traverse from only one move in.  Linking the two together creates a very pumpy V8 6c/font 7b, which I have called In Between the Rain.
working hard through the crux of the first problem

Happy with my quick hit and home for lunch.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

CWA Assessment

A challenging day of assessment for the 4 candidates today.  A very mixed performance by all, meant that there were sadly no passes today.  It goes to show that the CWA is not a gimme award and a lot of time and effort is needed to successfully navigate the assessment.

On a positive note, there has been a good mix of climbing over the weekend in the Northern Corries.  Many of the steeper rocky buttress routes looked in excellent early season condition.  Things are warming up a little, then the temp is dropping again and hopefully bringing a little more snow.

Break out the tool!!!!

Friday, 26 October 2012

A Busy Week

I had a couple of hours to kill on Friday morning, so made a cheeky solo ascent of Spanner Eyes E4 6c* at Running Hill Pits.  This was the only thing that was dry that I had not climbed before.  The ground seems to have finally soaked up a lot of water causing seepage here and no doubt other crags that suffer.

Over the weekend I was in the Peak running an SPA Training course.  The crags were extremely busy with Uni groups as mini buses and coaches dropped them off.  The weather was excellent all weekend and help make a good course.

Monday was the start on a week in the Lakes based in Patterdale.  I was working with a group of young people who are taking part in the National Citizen Scheme, of which this adventure week makes up half.  As with all development weeks, the activities are a way of highlighting and teaching skills that can then be taken and applied to their everyday lives.  After the first day of intros and simple dynamic type games, we were straight out on expedition.  A challenging walk for some, took us to Red Tarn to camp.  After a quick brew we walked up on to the Summit of Catstycam 890m.  Once back at camp a good night of food and games took us through to a chilly night and simple walk out in the morning.  Yesterday the week ended with a great day climbing and Gyll scrambling before the group departed.  A successful week that has left the group positive and ready for the next part of the scheme.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Worlow Quarry (Where???)

After last nights rain I was not really sure where might be dry.  I took a chance and headed over to Running Hill Pits hoping to wrap up a couple of hard solo routes left to do.  Unfortunately, the wind had not dried things enough yet.  I nipped down into the 8th pit to do a few things there I had not done to give things time to dry in the wind.
Powering through the crux of A Fist Full of Daggers

There where a few of the bouldery highballs dry, Firefly V3 (HVS 6a) and A Fist Full of Daggers E1 6b** the best of the bunch.  Back up in the main pits, things were drying well, but not quite quick enough.  Rather than sitting around for a couple of hours, I opted to have a look at somewhere different, Worlow Quarry.

The picture in the new guide makes it look like there is a chance a visit could offer a surprise, this is exactly what I got.  Not only did the routes look worth doing, but it was as dry as a bone.  I spent about an hour and fifteen minute there and managed to solo 17 of the 20 routes, all pretty good.  The haul included: 1 x VD 4a, 3 x S 4b, 2 x HS 4b, 3 x VS 4c/5a, 2 x HVS 5a/b, 4 x E1 5b, 1 x E2 6a and 2 x E3 5c.  My recovering finger was getting tired and I didn't want to re injure it so I called it a day.  I'll be back for the remaining 3, but will definitely need a rope for 1.

This is a good crag to visit for those who like well protected E1's with good climbing.  It can also be combined with another crag in the area.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Gesticulation on Scar Wall

After the rain last night and drizzle this morning, Dan and I found dry rock at Baildon Bank.  Despite the appearance and it's overall tip like nature, some of the climbing here is pretty good,

We warmed up in the drizzle on Hades VS 4c***, but the psyche was low for easy routes in less than stella conditions.  Both Dan and I wanted to do Scar Wall E5 6b* which looked dry.  Dan had already toproped this, so he opted to ab and see if it was dry and clean.  I was keen for the flash, so abseiled and cleaned Gesticulation E4 6b around the corner.  As I had finished quickly, I popped a mat down and thankfully soloed the route to tick off my 100th E4.

Dan was now finished and had opted to give the route a quick toprope again,  Unfortunately, sore elbows meant he was not on full gas today.  I quickly nipped up Scar E2 5c*** to properly warm up and then thought I would get stuck into Scar Wall.  The route is pretty bold, with the crux at half height above a boulder.  Thankfully the crux it not that hard, just a little reachy and I was through and to the top quickly.

We moved to the far quarry where Dan finished off our day on Triang HVS 5a*, a route that had not seen too much attention of late.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

CWA Assessment

Today I was running a CWA Assessment which was based at the Leeds Wall.  It was a pretty strong group of candidates, which meant all but one passed the CWA.  It was a similar pattern for the Abseil module as well, with only one missing out.

Congratulation to everyone for a good day.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Numbers hits Bridies!

Pete (the Numbers) came across from York with the aim of going to Heptonstall for a specific route.  Unfortunately, the overnight rain ruined that option.  This took us up to the Bridestones.  Pete had never climbed here, I am still trying to get some mileage under my belt for my finger, so it was a great option.

We cruised around a whole host of problems from V2 to V7, starting at the Brother boulder and finishing on the Cheeseblock.  We deliberately did a lot of problems that are not Pete's style, and he was lovin' it.  The highlight for me was Pete flashing Smart and Smarter.  Both V4 and tricky, these see off many a good climber.

The wind had taken it's toll, so we popped down to Woodhouse Scar on the way back to the train station.  Pete swiftly dispatched, Bisto HVS 5b**, Fairy Steps HVS 5b* and Twin Cracks VS 4b* which proved to be the perfect warm down.

A good day and off for coffee.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Finger Therapy Continues

Em, Rose and I headed up onto Ogden Moor for a pootle as it was such a stunning afternoon.  I took my shoes etc. along as we were only going as far as Ogden Clough.  This great little crag offers some excellent routes up to E3, all at a reasonable height to solo.

Lovin' the Moors
Whilst Em and Rose chilled out in the mini tent, I had a quick half hour flying up routes.  3 HVS's, 3 E1's and 3 E2's later, we were headed to Great Grandma's for tea and cake.  The finger/forearm continues to improve, so finger's crossed it will be back to normal soon.

Monday, 8 October 2012

A Recovering Arm and Jerry's Arete

Since straining my finger/forearm in font, I have been on rest and recovery duty for the past 10 days.  I went out today thinking I would just clean a new problem, but had to change plans when it was soaked.
Jerry's Arete 
The Bridestones was only 10 mins away, so I nipped up there to cruise some easy problems and see how thinks felt.  After climbing the majority of the problems on the Brother and Sister boulder and feeling good, I decided to try Jerry's Arete V9.  This does really require too much pulling on the fingers of the left hand, so hopefully if would be ok.  After a few failed efforts, everything clicked I was fighting with a slightly damp topout.  I thought I would do it again for the video, but could not seem to get everything to work again.

Cheeseblock Left Arete

Down to Small Smart wall and a quick dispatch of the problems there.  Then the Cheese Block.  The Left Arete V7 6c first go, but the holds on the other problems felt a little tweaky, so I left them allow.  More problem sent by the Bridestone to make a good tally of 32, and home.  So happy to be out and not too far from recovering fully.

SPA Assessment

Last Wednesday and Thursday I was enjoying the lovely weather in the Peak whilst working on a SPA Assessment.  A good day was spent at Froggatt for the personal climbing side of the award, and the group aspect was covered at Burbage North on Day 2.  Everyone put in a good performance, but sadly a couple of folks will need to come back for a day.

My finger is slowly getting better, and I have hopes to be out cranking next week.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Font with the Family

topping out on L'Elephant

I have been away in Font with the family and friends with their young children.  We even managed to fit in a bit of climbing.  After chilling out for a day after the drive, I got stuck into things reasonably quickly.  The weather was very mixed and I was not keen to project things as I was not sure how many days would be spent climbing.  I spent a bit of time at Franchard Cuisiniere, L'Elephant, Bas Cuvier and La Rohce aux Sabots.

Rose supervising at Bas Cuvier

sending Excalibur

Rose and Mummy trying to see what all the fuss is about

Duz on a cool font 6b, Franchard Cuisiniere

The highlights for me were:

Excalibur font 7a** second go
Beetlejuice font 7a+***
Bizarre Bizarre font 7a** on sight
Bizarre Bizarre assis 7a+** second go
Biocage Mental assis 7a+**
L'Helicoptere 7a **
Biocage Mental assis

With baby schedules, I was managing quick hits in the morning, then short easy sessions in the afternoon.  The trip ended painfully for me when I strained a finger tendon on the final problem of the final day.  Gutted, but it seems to be recovering well.  Hopefully, a week should see me back in action,