27 January 2011

A Pleasant Surprise...

I've just got back from a day trip over to Yorkshire to check out one of the recently bolted limestone crags in the Dales with the University. This one sits prominently on the sky line, above the quaint little village of Settle, and has a flag flying from the top. It goes by the name of Castlebregh Crag and is an interesting little venue.

Setting out on The Anchorman.com (F5).

We started out on a couple of the easier lines, which had some loose blocks in places, but were on the whole pleasant little climbs. After having a spot of lunch and a little rest I set off up what I thought was Ye Olde Naked Man (F6b), whilst others pondered over whether it could have been Off the Rails (F6a+).

Setting out on Practically Everything (F7a).

I ended up hanging from the second bolt as my strength started to give out, and eventually, after dogging my way to the top, I threaded the lower off and lowered back down to the ground. I swapped places with my belayer and they set off up the route, with quickdraws in place, to be thwarted, like I was, by the moves past the second bolt, up through to the third bolt. After a couple of falls they called it a day, and with the quickdraws still in place, I had one more go, in the hope that I could get it clean, but also in an effort to get all of the quickdraws back.

Working out the sequence for Practically Everything (F7a).

After powering through the two big moves low down on the wall I huffed and puffed my way up the final corner to the lower off, where I once again threaded it and lowered back down to the ground. Luckily on this occasion I got it clean, but at the back of my mind I felt that it was harder than F6a+, which would have made it Off the Rails, but it was also a bit stiff for F6b, which would have made it Ye Olde Naked Man.

Moving up past the third bolt on Practically Everything (F7a).

On returning home I pulled the topo up for the crag and realised that I had actually lead Practically Everything (F7a) instead of either Ye Olde Naked Man or Off the Rails, which made this climb my hardest sport climb to data, and it was also my first successful redpoint. Happy times and tomorrow I'm off into the mountains.

More pictures can be found here.

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

23 January 2011

Damp Dumby

I've just got back from a couple of days in Scotland visiting family, and such like, and on the drive north we swung by Dumbarton Rock for a spot of bouldering on the basalt blocks below the castle. However, they were a bit on the damp side for any productive bouldering. After getting shut down on three of the problems we scrapped the session and heading off to do battle on the congested M8.

2HB (Font 6a).

The Railing (Font 6b+).

Slap Happy (Font 7a).

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

20 January 2011

It's been a while...

Looking over Borrowdale.

It would appear that I have not been doing anything of late; my last post was way back on 23rd December and to tell you the truth I haven't been that busy in terms of outdoor activities. I have been in the wall and on the fingerboard in an attempt to keep strong, but I haven't been getting out on the rock, on the river's, or into the mountains because of one thing and another.

A lone climber solos towards the sun.

However, I managed to get down to the most popular roadside crag of the Lake District, Shepherd's Crag for a couple of climbs today. It was nice to be out on the rock again, instead of the plastic, and it would appear that all this indoor training has paid off.

The Belvadere, with Derwent Water behind.

After soloing the classic V. Diff, Little Chamonix, I tied into the sharp end and headed up Monolith Crack's first pitch, before following my partner up the second pitch. I then lead Fisher's Folly (VS) in one long, meandering pitch, and also had a quick second on MGC (E2-, 5c). All of this was with minimal fuss.

A busy Fisher's Folly Buttress: Climbers on Fisher's Folly (VS) and MGC (E2-, 5c).

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