Saturday, 1 November 2008

proper climbing again at last

Yay! I've finally been out on some rock again!


I took the day off work to go to the Peak District with Scott - we had one particular route in mind - Long Tall Sally at Burbage North. This route is a line that just calls out to me to climb it - honestly just a beautiful line. I can visualise the sequence up it and just desperately want to get on and do it. Unfortunately, Long Tall Sally is a groove and crack - this meant that when we got to Burbage on Friday, she had a wet bottom. Dripping. Literally. This was probably a result of all the snow melting and running down the crack from the top.
Now I'm not normally such a coward - the top section (crux) was dry, I just really didn't want to risk a) blowing the onsight or b) breaking my ankle slipping off the first easy moves on an E1.
Anyway, long story short, we left it. I wobbled my way up a heinously green and slimy HVD further along the crag, just so that Scott could belay and second it (he's a great climber but has never done any trad climbing before, so I'm teaching him).

After completing the route ordeal and starting to get really cold we decided to head over to Stanage Plantation to do some bouldering. It was getting late in the afternoon by the time we got there so we didn't actually do much - the only problem we worked on (and both finished) was the right hand arete of Deliverance - a Font 6a+ sit start problem. Happily I managed to complete it in only 4 or 5 tries - a record for me, I must genuinely be improving!


Phil and I went to Nesscliffe today for the first time ever. I've had the guidebook for a little while now but for one reason or another we have never actually been, so today we decided to go and check it out - I wanted to do some more bouldering and this seemed like a plausible alternative to the honeypot crags of the Peak District (always horrendously crowded on a nice weekend day).

Now, the rock at Nesscliffe is a soft sandstone, meaning that the routes on the [very impressive] main walls are pretty much all in the medium to high extremes (there are an awful lot of E7's and E8's for instance). This may be partly due to the relatively holdless and technical nature of the climbing but also because of the inherant insecurity of any gear placement (gear could rip quite easily because of how soft the rock is). So why am I explaining all this? Well, basically I just wanted to boulder - not try any of the death routes, not because I'm a coward, but because I am genuinely not good enough to do this crag justice.

So anyway, the bouldering. Nice place, pleasant walk in through the woods. Some interesting problems with decent landings. Sadly not that many of them though. And my god, some of them are hard! There was a V2 I thought of trying but simply couldn't see any way of getting off the ground!

I did manage a few V1's and V2's, but spent most of my time working on a V4 called 'Berlin's Fallen'. I didn't actually manage to finish it - unfortunately the second part of the problem involved a hand traverse along a break where all the holds were damp and greasy. Even so, I did have fun working the first half - Phil even took a couple of videos on his camera:

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