01 March 2010

What a day...

I religiously study the weather forecasts, on a regular basis, in the hope of spotting when it will come good so that I can get out on the rock. Many of the forecasts I use were unanimous in what they said and that was that Monday was going to be a really nice day and they were not far wrong.

Looking out from the road into the Watendlath Valley.

We headed out in the morning in the hope of taking in Reecastle Crag where I had spotted a couple of lines that were ideal for shunting and thus be good for my training regime. However, when arriving at the crag, and jogging ten minutes up the hill to the foot of the routes, I could see that climbing wasn't really viable as the rock was not only wet, but also greasy.

About to pull up into the first crux of MGC (E2-, 5c).

Not to be put off by this minuscule fact, and with the knowledge that the Borrowdale Valley is home to so many climbs it could occupy a lifetime to get them all done, we returned to the van and headed further into the valley to the exceptionally popular Shepherds Crag. I had one objective now and that was to work the classic MGC (E2-, 5c) on the shunt in preparation for leading the route in the near future.

Looking down after the hard climbing of MGC (E2-, 5c).

The route went well. I onsighted it clean on my first go, once I had rigged the rope at the top of the crag, and then I repeated the climb on four more occasions perfecting the moves and seeking out the protection that would save me from hitting the deck in the result of a fall.

On the easier slabs of MGC (E2-, 5c).

I now feel ready for the lead and I now just await another perfect day to get back to the crag and tie into the sharp end to scale the route. We packed up early and left the crag around 2pm for tea/coffee and medals in Keswick and a bit of retail therapy in the usual suspects content with what we had achieved.

Coffee and medals in Pillar Cafe, Keswick.

More pictures can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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