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...

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