Monday, 28 September 2009


I went to Armscliff with the wife today. It was very windy, with damp air which made the friction pretty poor. We climbed Fluted Columns first, which was a battle in the wind. Em was not enjoying the wind so we found a little shelter on Black Wall Eliminate. This had some excellent pumpy climbing, but was a little low in the technical grade. I finished of with a short bouldery route called Kitson Did It First. This went second go, but was very hard in the conditions today.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Grit Expectations

Over the last 3 days I have been down to the peak district with Neil and Ross. We headed down on Tuesday, stopping at Back Bowden Doors (not quite grit, but good all the same) to break up the journey and max the climbing time. We started off with some cheecky solos of a few short routes on the far right of the crag. This gave Ross the chance to find his feet a little, making short work of Hazelrigg Wall and Pinup. After that Neil faced his slab phobia by on sighting On the Verge (just). I then did the only version of the Tube I had not done, wjich was the direct. Ross warmed up his leading skills on the Arches, before flashing his first E4 (Lost Cause) afetr me and Neil, which was a sterling effort. I finished my day off by climbing Uncouth Youth and Neil did Right to Reply. A top day to start the mini trip.

Wednesday saw us waking up in the deluxe accomodation of the Froggatt national trust carpark. After a bacon butty in Calver we walked in to the crag and stranely seemed to be staring at Strapadictomy. It was Ross's lead and we needed to warm up so he led Strapiombante. After traversing a little and a feeble stretching, Neil decided to strap it on. He put in a fine display before coming off before the pocket. I went next and had a similar fate, as did Ross. Neil got it after a couple of shots, and Ross second go. The boy is a machine. I had what I can only say is a valient attempt, failing 2 moves from the top, but it will go next time. We then turned are attention to some of the classic slabs. Three pebble slab, Long John's Slab and Great slab, all excellent routes. The extra energy kept on coming as we did Brown's Eliminate, the direct and the Neil did Oedipus tell your Mother.

On Thursday Tony came over to join us at Burbage South. After walking along the crag saying how hard everything looked we where by Life Assurance and the Knock. Whilst everyone was trying to get psyched I manned up a got on Life Assurance. After going up and down trying to commit to do the last 2 moves i finally bottled it. After stripping the route , Tony and Neil were trying the Knock. They said they had not committed to the move across, so I thought I would have a go. Before I knew it I was pulling over the top, a quality route. Neil and Tony made short work of it after me. Ross then led ? Crack in fine style. Tony wanted to have a look at Pebble Mill so we all went to check it out. He made an awesome on sight solo which was great veiwing. This spurred me on to have a go, but with a rope. I found a reasonable cam after the crux which made me happy to bash on. the top section was straight forward, but a little bold. A great day to finish.

An amazing few days and we can't wait to get back.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


I was at upper cave today with Andrew and Mhairi to have a second crack at Silk Teddies. Having had a week or so in the wall, I was hoping it would go quickly today. Putting the draws in felt desperate, and my hopes had taken a hit. After a good rest I got on the redpoint and before I knew I was through the bit I was finding hard to clip. The thought that it was in the bag can in to my head, I relaxed too much on the next hard move and was off. School boy error. As the others took their turns on their routes I had a good break and went again. This time I was fully focased and was soon clipping the chain, result. A good day which saw Andrew make good procress on hamish and Mhairi looks like she will get silk teddies next time.

Monday, 14 September 2009

A New Wave

The folks down at Edelrid have been pretty busy. They have developed a new range of shoes that consist of 4 diiferent models.
The Raven, hurricane (pictured), Tornado and Reptile.
I only have the Hurricanes at the moment, but can say that they are a well thought out shoe. These are presice and positive on small holds and the heel band make for an excellent, usable fit. With the price of shoes seemingly going up all over the ranges, these should make a good addition to folks bags.
There is also a new range of cragging cloths, crash pads ropes, harnesses and more that are well worth checking out.
Click on the Edelrid logo or DB Outdoor Systems to see more.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

EICA Sports Climbing Day

Today Neil and I had 5 clients on a sports climbing day at Kirrie Hill. This is a great venue to introduce people, with grades from 3 to 7b. We started the day with some bottom roping on routes 3 to 6a, before everyone had the chance to lead. Everyone seemed to have a good day, and learnt loads.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Wall Work

Today I was at the MYDG wall in St paul's to do some site specific assessments for some volunteers to use the wall with groups. As the majority are well on there way to the CWA Ass. this was a good chance to talk about other things as well. MYGD provide a great service to the youth in the area, this wall being a small part of it.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Silk Teddies

I was back at Upper Cave again today with Mhairi. This is a good venue at the moment with the current weather. We decided to have a look at Silk Teddie, another 7c that has no debate on the grade. This route follows the right most bolt line straight up the crag to join Hamish Ted's on the arete. Good sustained fingery climbing leads to some hard pinch moves to a rest before joining Hamish. This is a nice change from the Marlina and Hamish which mostly big holes. The session went well and I think that there is a good chance it might go on the next visit. Either way it's all good training.