03 April 2011

Sandy Times

It was back to that Sunday tradition of climbing sandstone on a Sunday today. The venue was the familiar Armathwaite. I have visited the crag eleven times before, I think, and have only ever attempted to lead the routes that were first climbed in the 70's and 80's once before. Today that changed; I went down to the banks of the River Eden intent on ticking off some of the routes.

Setting out on Cally Crack (E3, 5b/c).

We started out on the three star classic, Flasherman (VS, 4c), where I was able to get used to the intricacies of leading on soft sandstone; a lot of thought has to be given to the quality of rock the protection is placed in and this is what had put me off leading at Armathwaite in the past. However, with a renewed confidence, and having dispatched Flasherman, we set out to climb Cally Crack (E3, 5b/c).

Getting a rest after placing the gear to protect the crux.

Going for it.

It was a nice route, which was reasonably well protected, but was incredibly tiring; it was past vertical for a short period of time before it relented and you could run it out to the top. Following this we headed upstream to the final buttress to sample Jelly Terror (E1, 5b) and the extremely delicate Barnacle Bill (E1, 5b), before heading for home.

Making delicate moves around the overhang of Barnacle Bill (E1, 5b).

It's back to work tomorrow.

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

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