Thursday, 27 June 2013


I only had this morning free and was hoping to head to Heptonstall to try and flash Vertical Speed.  Unfortunately, no one was free to climb, so I had to make do with a Woodhouse hit.  The temperature was nice when I arrived at 7:30, and conditions much better than on Sunday when I had an hour there with Ben.

I opted to do Ian's Roof again to get a video, and just enjoy it in cooler conditions.  It is a great problem, but no easier than Ian's Roof in my opinion.

As the Traverse joins Ian's Roof

Feeling pretty good, I walked over to the sheriff block to see how the Sheriff-less 7c felt.  Hard would be the answer, but much better than any other time I have tried it.  I found a better sequence for me today to get into and use the pocket in the face, but the start is always my weak area.  My core is a little stronger for the recent steep problems I've done.  Which meant I could do the start for the first time ever.  Psyched by this, it was game on, as I had finished the problem from the lip in the past, but could never start.  After falling from the last couple of moves a few times, and shredding my ankle, I final sent it.  A good eliminate, but not one my ankles will be rushing back to repeat.

Almost there
No pain, No glory! Or some rubbish like that!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

3 Star Classics at Wilton

I met Elliot at Wilton 1 today with grand plans, but the bird restrictions are still in place meant we had to tweak are planned routes for the day.  As I was there a little before Elliot, I returned the favor for his route cleaning efforts over the years, and brushed Loopy E4 6a***.  It was very dirty, and I unfortunately needed to try some of the moves to workout what to clean.  That said, it was good that I did, otherwise the wrong holds would have sandbagged Elliot.  After a quick warm up traversing around and soloing some easy routes. Elliot got stuck in.  He had a bit of a fight, and despite getting pumped battled through for the on sight.  I quickly dispatched the route on his gear, which was really enjoyable.  One 6a move after you clip the pegs, leads to steady climbing and the top.

I chilled out whilst Elliot flashed the Max E3 5c***, again working hard.  Having got his first pump of the day out of the way, it was much easier to manage this time round.  Taking advantage of now knowing the start of Loopy, I opted for the longest route on the buttress Clean Sweep E5 6a***.  At 28m this is quite pumpy.  It takes in the hardest climbing on Loopy, then traverses the finger break across the overhanging wall to join Wombat, and finish up that.  Half way across the traverse, I started to feel tired, but it seemed to plateau and I could keep on trucking.  Thankfully the traverse was not technical, which meant I could move quickly into Wombat.  The climbing to the top was excellent, and made for an awesome route.

Elliot returned the cleaning favor, brushing Sleepwalk E4 6a***.  This was another great route, with no hard climbing.  6a+/b climbing, but bold with very fiddly gear in the top half.  Falling off would not be a good idea going for the break.  Elliot then wrapped the day up flashing the route as well.

Tony and Ian turned up after us a went on a  sending mission, climbing Cameo E1 5a***, Spider Crack HVS 5a* and Ann E1 5b* before we left.  They were heading over the road to Wilton 3 for move routes, so it will be good to hear what they did.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Ian's Traverse

Rose and I had an early hit at Woodhouse today to take advantage of a cooler start this morning.  I was keen to do Ian's Roof 7c again and get a video, as well as try Ian's Traverse 7b+/c.  Despite a recent hold breaking off the roof, it did not effect the climbing for me.  I quickly dispatched the roof and got some good video, then turned my attention to the traverse.  This traverses the lip to join Ian's Roof before all it's hard climbing, then finishes as for that problem.  There is quite a bit of new climbing in the short section, and I got through it quickly to join Ian's Roof.  Feeling quite good I kept on truckin', just to see how I would go.  I was super psyched to send the problem, but I suppose all the hard work had already been done with my time on Ian's Roof.

 We made a quick exit and made it to toddler group just in time for toast and a cup of tea, happy days!  I'm sure we will be there again soon.  As Houdini Direct 7c+ looks nails and Rose just like digging around in the mud!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

New Route In Dingy Lancs Quarry, and Some Pits Cranking!

Yesterday I went to Cross Stones Quarry to have a look at an arete that needed straightening out.  I would have to say this is a poor quarry, and if I had known what it as like before getting there, I wouldn't have bothered.  That said, The couple of routes I did were not terrible.  I on sighted Broken Lance E1 5b**, the abseiled at checked the upper arete of this that had been missed out originally.  It looked pretty straight forwards, so I soloed that to give Broken Lance Direct E3 5b*.  As I was here I on sighted Bean Stalk E1 5b**, which had some good climbing on it.

Today after a change in plans, I met Elliot at Running Hill Pits.  I had a list of 3 routes to tick off.  So was pretty happy that it was cool in the shade.  We soloed around to warm up, the most noticeable on sight was Pipe Inspector E3 5c, which we both climbed.  We both then gave our chosen routes a brush.  Mine Adrenaline Run E6 6a* may not have been climbed since the late 90's, and was very dirty.  Elliot's Sagittarius Flake E4/5 6b*** was not too bad.
Mid Crux

Almost there


I pre placed a couple of wires high up.  These would have been ok to place on lead, But it seemed easier than cleaning for too long.  I was psyched to then flash the route, with one scare as my heel popped off the arete as I caught the hold of the arete with my hand.  Elliot had tried SF on a toprope a while ago and got shut down.  He made short work of it today though.

Elliot pulling hard

Elliot then had a go on Adrenaline Run, but could not do the start of the hard climbing.  After taking a few falls he sacked it off, and kindly brush Surgical Spirit E6 6b* for me to try and on sight.  This climbs the wall between Yorick's Crack and Adrenaline Run.  I managed to on sight it, JUST!  it was quite fierce to the point it joined Yorick's at 2/3 height.  The last route on my list was Yorick's Crack E6 6c**, but I could not do the crux moves low down.  I managed not to fall off, so the on sight is still a possibility at least.

We the moved into the first quarry, where Elliot tried to on sight Calamity Crack E4 6a***.  He put in a fine effort, but fell off the last move of the crux.  Whilst he recovered I did a quick lead up it, having not climbed it in a while.  It was so nice to climb it again.  Tired arms making it feel a little harder than it is.  Elliot then dispatched the route next go.

Happy and tired, we bailed just as the day was starting to heat up.  A good session again in the pits!

A short vid..

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day Sendage

Rose and I managed to get out to Woodhouse today for a spot of bouldering.  I was keen to get on Ian's Roof font 7c**, as I had put in a session previously.  It had rained unexpectedly this morning, so the hour I spent was hard work, but some good links were made.  I had manged it in sections the last time I tried it, but the crux move had never felt good and I could not climb through it.  Paul had popped over on his way back to the car and gave a few helpful hints about heel hooks, which made a big difference.  We had other things to do, so bailed.
Mid crux, the holds are not as good as the look!

I managed to return this afternoon to take advantage of better conditions.  A few tweaks of heel placements and a different pair of shoes and I quickly did it in 2 overlapping halves.  Fired up by this I gave it a few real good efforts, but dropped it twice, missing the pocket to join Houdini.  After a good rest, I gave it all I had and only just hit the pocket.  Unwilling to give in, I pulled a bit harder than I thought I could and finished the problem.  Super Psyched!! But with a forearm and Bicep strain for my trouble.  Hopefully it will clear up in a couple of days, it doesn't feel to serious.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A Spot of Trad at Kilnsey

Despite the weather today, Elliot, Ben, Huw and I headed to Kilnsey to take shelter.  I was quite keen to do a spot of trad, while the others fancied sport, so a perfect venue for to suit everyones needs.  After climbing The Bulgelette 6b+, which had an unpleasant, wet and dirty finish.  I got a little bit of a flash pump through over gripping, and thought I had blown my day, so took a long break and stretched to manage my error as best I could.  I went to have a look at Claws E5 6a***.  But after spending over half an hour on the steepest part of the pitch with my brush in my mouth, trying hard to clean as I went, I finally had to sit on the gear.  I finished the pitch with many rests and a lot of cleaning, but at least it was now climbable without a full on fight through the ming.  Elliot had been a star belaying, so it was my turn to return the favor.  He was keen to finish off Sticky Wicket 7b, but dropped it at the very top.  I had stripped Claws, but decided to re lead the route despite not feeling at my best.  It went smoothly this time, a lot easier when it's clean and you know where you are going.
A damp Bulgelette
Picking a way up Claws
Through the crux of Claws
Elliot again fell short on Sticky Wicket and decided to bin it till another day. Instead we went and looked at Smooth Torquer 7a+ at the far end of the crag.  On our way we checked in with Ben and Huw.  Huw was walking hard on Slab Culture 7b+ and Ben was getting very close on his redpoint attempts on Subculture 8a.  I took advantage of Ben's draws to give it a bash, not expecting much after being the end of the day.  It was a pleasant surprise to lead into Slab Culture with one fall from the last move of the crux, and still feeling fresh enough to have finished.

Elliot then went for the on sight of Smooth Torquer 7a+, but seemed to be having one of those days and fell at the bottom.  I then went for it, and realised half way up that I had not taken any draws.  After holding on and catching a few draws that got thrown up, I ran out of steam and just missed the final jug, Gutted!!!!  It went next go though.

We raced of in a rush to get Ben back for work, with everyone feeling they've had a good workout.

There may be a couple of pics, when Ben sends them over.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Trowbarrow Bouldering

Despite being a bit knackered from Fridays antics and Summit Quarry, I took the chance to go to Trowbarrow on Saturday, whilst Granma and Granpop looked after Rose.  It would be a lie if I said the shelterstone is my style, so it was not surprising I really struggled on Pit Problem 7b+.  It took far more goes than it should have, but I am just poor at this style and angle.  I could blame it on being tied, but that would be a cop out too.  In the end it was a slappy and out of control ascent, but an ascent none the less.  I gave up on the low start, one for another day.
Pit Problem not looking that steep!

It is though!!!!

I took shelter and retreated from the steepness to Red Wall.  Here I sent around 25 problems, the highlights were Shallow Grave font 7a+, Dead Man Walking (short version) font 7b and the full traverse that equates to a sport grade of 7b/+.  My skin is now wafer thin and I really really need a few days rest.  Lets hope I've recovered before the weather turns.

Crimping hard on Shallow Grave

Friday, 7 June 2013

Son of Sam F.A.

A change of plans this morning meant I had a few hours free.  Nik had messaged me this morning to say he had added a couple more things up at Summit, so I thought I would make the walk up and check them out.  Fast and light was the aim today after the mega huck with pads last time.  30m of rope and a small pad meant I was kitted out for quick headpoints, rather than flashes.  This worked quite well, as the routes move around a bit.

First up was the last of the original links I had not done, Line in the Sand E6 6c*.  This has some really tricky, sequencey climbing that take you from the start of Jaggernath, up and right to join Pylon Direct at the flake.  You then finish up that.  This was pretty hard to unlock, as my foot placement were key.  I would have lost a lot of time and energy going ground up on this one.  Next was one of Nik's newest links, The Last Link E7 6c*.  This simply extends Line in the Sand by reversing into the ramp of Pylon Direct and finishing up Responsible Parenting.  It is probably only of interest to locals, but a good sustained route none the less, that takes in some of the best climbing the face has to offer.

As Nik's message this morning suggested he was all finished up there, I turned my attention to a direct finish to Sam I Am.  It seemed like the logical line, as it climbs directly between Jaggernath and Pylon Direct, only pinching 1 hold from the latter at the top.  I had thought this would be totally desperate, and was just intending to have a play.  But was pretty psyched to link it all.  The crux for me was the second hard press move to the small crimp on Pylon Direct, but the pop/dyno to the break was just scary.  I did take a few falls  setting up for the crux press, but thankfully whilst I was in a straight up/down position. Falling whilst pressing could put you landing on your back.  Despite sore skin and sore knees, I gave it an all out do or die effort, and was rewarded with the send, Psyched!!!

The only 2 routes up there left require the mono start of RP, so will either never get done by me, or take a dedicated effort.  Hopefully a few of us will be getting back up there soon when it cools a little to get some videos.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Summit Quarry Bonanza

Summit Qyarry has had a bit of attention lately from keen local Nik Jennings.  He adding Responsible Parenting E7 6c* in March, with an outstanding on sight FA.  He has been busy since then adding a variety of tricky links into other routes.  I have been trying to get up there for a while  But I'm glad it has taken so long, as there are more things to do now.

The cloud had kept the sun off the crag for a good portion of the day I'm guessing, but was full bore when I got there late this afternoon.  Despite that, things felt ok.  I started off on sight soloing Jaggernath E4 6b*, which follows a crack ish line up a steepish bit of wall.  Gear would be super fiddly until the break near the top, so it makes for a sensible solo.  All the holds are quite big, with biggish moves off them, which makes for a nice route.  I then moved onto the easier of Nik's new links, Sam I Am E5 6c*.  This has a pretty nippy  bouldery start, which links into Jaggernath just below the break.  I blew the flash in the crux when I messed up my foot sequence.  Realising mid move and thought I could just pull harder, but that just meant greasing off and hit the pad pretty hard.  With my feet right it went next go, but was no push over.  The crux of this route is at bouldering height, so does not feel too out there.

After a quick chill I went for another established ish route, Pylon Direct (aka. Jim's Route) E6 6c*.  I again took a slip off a slightly greasy slopper low down.  So quickly brushed the route and dispatched it second go, gutted to blew the flash, but happy to do it without top roping it.  I then had a look at Responsible Parenting and got totally shut down.  My fingers are no where near strong enough for the series of hard steep mono pull required for this.  Full respect to Nik for this one.  The finish had no chalk on it, so I abseiled and had a look.  A quick chalking, brushing and practice of the moves, which are still pretty steely, and I was ready for another link up, Pylon Parenting E6 6c*.  Despite Nik suggesting this was a pointless filler, I thought it was awesome.  It takes in the majority of good climbing from one route and adds an excellent finish which is totally different in style.

I forgot my camera today, but will need to return to do the final filler in that I was too knackered to do today.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Edelrid Summer Kit Drop

It is always nice when you get new shiny kit.  I am more than happy to get my Edelrid kit drop as the summer is getting into full flow.  There are updated replacement for my Merlin 8.0mm half ropes, Creed harness and Typhoon velcro shoes.  As well as some new clothing that is a little less green than I normally go for.  There are however some of the newer products in this drop worth mentioning.

First up is the Atmosphere harness.  This is a light weight harness that uses Edelrids 3D Vent Technology.  It does not have a traditional padded waist belt or even a laminated one.  Instead it uses a thin webbing over an extremely light vented form.  Put this together with the 3 dimensional construction, and you have a super light and comfortable performance harness.  This is the slimmer version, and 2 others exist which are not as stripped back, the Cyrus and Orion which is fully adjustable.

Next up is the Typhoon Lace which is also new for 2013.  These are actually my second pair as I did the samples testing last year.  I thought the laces would not really make much difference, but was wrong.  They add that little bit extra to the adjustability when you what to get them super tight all the way down to your toes.  Something a slipper or velcro shoe just can't quite do.  Like the Typhoon Velro, this has been a great all round shoe for me.  Whether on steep routes, edgy wall or techy gritstone slabs.

A big addition to my rack this year is the Aramid Cord Sling 6mm.  With the discussions around regarding dyneema and nylon slings.  Along with the testing and video from DMM, these will be a great addition for both work and play.  They work great as normal slings, but ever better when knotting them up or when extending belay plates abseilling etc.  Light weight too.

The final new addition for me is the new for 2013 Nineteen G quickdraw set.  With each carabiner weighing 19.5g, the first to break the 20g barrier, enough said.  The entire quickdraw weighs a mere 45g, Awesome.

You can find more info on these product on the Edelrid website, just click on the Edelrid logo on the right.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Traddin', Work & Sport

The last few days have been pretty jam packed.  Despite being tired on Saturday after my bouldering antics the day before.  I went to the Roost with Ben to get some mileage in, and finish brushing Why Port Pearl E6/7 6c on the natural edge.  As it was Ben's first trip up there.  I was happy to climb first and make sure each route was clean for him to flash.  We did Chip and Pin E5 6b*** first, which Ben narrowly missed out on flashing.  The Chip and Pin Indirect E5 6b***, which he did flash in the Quarry.  Then moved to the natural edge to look at Why Port Pearl.  I gave it a good brush, then tried it on a toprope.  It is far from my preferred style, so a good thing to try.  But I got shut down by the 2/3 move crux.  Really frustrating, as the rest is fine.  Maybe when things cool down it may feel slightly better, so I will be back.  I re climbed Daddy Daycare and brushed that so Ben could have a bash and see if my grading seemed fair.  It would appear I'm in the right ball park, as he was shut down.  We wrapped up with an ascent of the Virus E5 6a**.  Ben so close to flashing it, but ran out of gas at the very top.  He will be back for the third ascent.

Sunday took me down to the Peak for work on a Problem Solving Day run by James Thacker Mountaineering for the Not So Trad climbing club.  To make the most of the trip down, I got up at 5:30 and got a cheeky route in a Millstone.  As always I had a plan, but ditched it when I saw the wall left of Great Arete full of chalk.  I didn't have a guide with me, but it did not look too bad.  I rigged a rope and toproped it (seemed like the sensible option, not knowing and all!), finding one hard move about 6 ft up.  It was awkward and uncomfortable on my wrist more than anything.  So I tried it a few ways till it felt comfortable, then lowered back down and climbed through it and then on sighted to the top.  Everything seemed all good, so I chilled out for a bit, then soloed it.  It was only when I got back to the car at 8am and checked the guide I found out the route was the Bad and the Beautiful E7 6b**.  Pretty happy with that, I went off to meet the clients.

We had a great day at Stoney putting the skills they had covered the previous day into practice on a route.  As we climbed Pearly Gates/Gabriel VS 4c,4c***, we threw in a few problems to solve.  We then made a multi pitch abseil and looked at issues that can occur.  After Lunch we did a bit of abseil rescue and simple problem solving, before finishing off with a refresher of escaping the system.  A full and great day.

Today, despite feeling pretty bollocked, Ben and I went to Troller's Gill.  After warming up, Ben on sighted The Jim Grin 7a*** in fine style.  I don't have many routes left to do here, so opted to try one of the easier ones, hoping to pull something out the bag.  Smouldering Globules of Lust lost a key hold in March 2012 on the lower crux wall, and was already high in the grade at 7b+.  This loss has bumped it up to a good 7c, with a longer sustained bouldery start.  Hoping for the best I got it, and was happy to quickly work out how to do the lower section.  I then led through to the top and put the draws in and came down for a rest.  Ben made an awesome on sight/flash of Haslam 7b***, managing the pump extremely well.  Manning up I went for a quick redpoint, and smashed it!  Super happy with a quick tick, as I probably would have been too tired for another quality shot.  Ben wrapped up his on sight bonanza with Barquest Direct 7a**.  We both did a cheeky lap each of that before running away happy with the day.

Totally knackered now!  I need a well earned couple of days rest.