Monday, 25 March 2013

Chew Valley Mixed Climbing, and New Finishes

Today I met Elliot at the Dovestones car park to go and take a look at the winter routes in the quarry that are described in the Over the Moors Guide.  We knew that a team had been there yesterday and climbed Waterfall Direct IV,4***, so there was definitely something to climb.  When we arrived in the quarry, there was not evidence that anyone had been there yesterday.  Fresh windblown snow had covered any tracks on the route, and put a good dusting over some of the lines that has wait features and turf to catch it.
Elliot enjoying his first taste of steeper mixed climbing

 I had hoped to look at some new lines I thought might be good, but all were not in enough.  Instead, we opted to do one of the 2 hardest routes the quarry has to offer, The Green Man VI,7*  This had some great climbing, with some good tricky section all the way to the ledge on the arete.  At this point I could not remember what the guide said, and we had left it at the bottom.  Looking straight up looked steep, but entertaining.  So, that must be it?  That was not it, but it was the way I went.  This gave a us a new Direct Finish which went at around VII,7** and just increased the quality of the climbing.  Positive hooks, big moves between them and small foot holds made this a joy to climb.  The hooks took a little digging out, as did the gear, with ice filling a lot of the cracks and hiding foot holds.  We had hoped to do a couple of routes, but Elliot chipped a tooth and needed to run to the Dentist.  That said we left with a new route in The Green Man Direct VII,7**.  As the sun came out as we left it had started to dry out and strip a little of the aspects that were exposed.  There are still lines available to climb though, and with the wind pushing any lose snow around that's left, it could help some others out.

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