23 December 2010

Heading south...

I'm down in Preston at the moment so that I can do the whole family Christmas thing. On the way south I called in at Trowbarrow for another session on the Red Well. My main objective was to send Shallow Grave (Font 7a+); I felt extremely close to getting it on my previous visit, and if I was successful on this occasion it would have been my hardest boulder problem to date.

About to rock over on The Classic Rock Over (Font 4).

I warmed up on a couple of problems I had sent before and also got a few other problems ticked, after finding another topo on Lakes Bloc this morning, before turning my attention, just as the sun started to dip behind the horizon, to Shallow Grave.

Blaming it on the footwear: changing shoes in the hope of getting more purchase on a foothold.

Catching the last hold after changing shoes.

Unfortunately I didn't send Shallow Grave and after a few more half-hearted attempts, which left my middle finger of my right hand screaming for a rest, I gave it up as a bad job and continued south to Preston.

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

20 December 2010

Beaten by the cold... Eventually...

Looking across to Skiddaw from Derwent Water.

Looking over Derwent Water towards Borrowdale.

I was over in Keswick today and had planned on having a short session at the Bowderstone before heading back towards Carlisle. However, the cold has finally thwarted my plans of climbing on actual rock for an entire year. Not only was it unbearably cold on the hands and feet, there was also ice hanging off the Bowderstone's Ladder Face. I did pull off the ground on Statstick (Font 7a), but gave the session up as a bad job when I couldn't actually feel what I was standing on, or holding on to.

The starting holds of Bowderiser (Font 7a) covered in ice.

Icicles hanging from the top of the Bowderstone's Ladder Face.

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

15 December 2010

Some more winter bouldering...

About to start the descent through St. Bees' sandstone cliffs.

I headed west today to that safe winter bouldering venue, St Bees. It is always a safe bet for bouldering in the winter months and the temperatures are usually very agreeable and it didn't disappoint today.

Block Traverse (V4).

I repeated several problems in the Apiary Arete Area, before eventually ticking a line, I had worked for a very long time on my first trip to the sandstone blocks. Since then I have never had the urge to go back and try it.

Apiary Arete (V1 5c).

I also gave Fruits de Mer (V8) another bash. I eventually had to walk away from it, not having got the tick; the conditions weren't perfect, but I also appear to have lost some crimp strength; I couldn't contemplate making the move off the sloping dish to the arete, whilst holding a small crimp with the right hand. This is a move I've been close to sticking on a previous visit, which frustrated me slightly. Even so it was a nice way to spend a day

Fruits de Mer (V8).

More pictures of the day can be found here.

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

12 December 2010

A New Tick at the Bowderstone

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

09 December 2010


The weather in Cumbria has remained decidedly arctic for the past fortnight and today I was off canoeing with the University. We had been told to bring kit for heading off into the mountains to enjoy the snow, but we also had our canoeing kit. We decided to make use of this canoeing kit by heading to the River Eden to paddle the Lazonby to Armathwaite section.

An ice chocked River Eden at Lazonby.

We left a vehicle at Armathwaite and the river was frozen. It wasn't frozen from bank to bank; there was a channel through the middle stanchion of the Armathwaite Bridge so we headed upstream to the get in where we were greeted with an ice chocked river. However, it was flowing so we got on and headed off downstream.

Trying to make downstream progression through the frozen River Eden.

We were doing quite well, making our way downstream, until we came to one rapid. We ran the rapid and then were greeted with a river wide iceberg. We applied the power, road up over the ice and came to a grinding stop. For the next thirty minutes we smashed, slid and sweated our way through the ice blockade, back to the bank to reassess the situation.

In training for the North Pole: heading back to the minibus after admitting defeat with the frozen River Eden.

After assessing the situation we decided we were onto a looser, having only made a kilometer of downstream progression, and we were about to enter a section of river which hardly gets any sun, meaning more ice. In order to escape from our little predicament we turned the canoes into sledges, and acted as a pack of huskies in order to drag the canoes for a kilometer, back up river, to the awaiting minibus.

More pictures of the day can be found here.

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

06 December 2010

A Wintry Bouldering Session

A wintry Trowbarrow Quarry.

I said yesterday that I would be heading north from Preston to catch a 2pm lecture. I did exactly that and on the way I popped into Trowbarrow Quarry for a quick bouldering session. It was extremely cold, with snow on the ground, and at times extremely foggy, but the rock was perfectly dry and once I'd got past the numb, cold hands, and the accompanying hot aches, I had a really productive session.

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

05 December 2010

Keeping with Tradition

I'm down in Preston for a few days and keeping with tradition I managed to call in at Craig Y Longridge for a couple of hours bouldering on the short, overhanging, quarried gritstone wall.

Looking towards Longridge from the top of Craig Y Longridge.

It was unbelievably cold so I quickly sent ten easy (VB-V0) problems as a warm up before repeating a couple of harder (V2) lines and flashing an even harder (V3) problem, which I videoed.

After this I had a good rest before getting back on Gruts, which is a pumpy V3 traverse along a short section of the crag. I came extremely close to sending this on my previous visit and I eventually ticked it off today. I did capture some video of me working the problem, but I forgot to press the record button to capture the final send! Oops.

Then this afternoon we went for a stroll down the side of the River Ribble.

The afternoon sun burning through the fog.

A cloud inversion over the River Ribble, with the tower blocks of Preston behind.

I'm heading back up north tomorrow morning and am thinking of stopping off for a boulder on Trowbarrow's Red Wall before a 2pm lecture at University. Lets hope the weather holds out a bit longer.

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