Monday, 31 May 2010


Above: James Fairy Steps Direct

I was at Heptonstall today with James and Ieuan. After a mammoth session in the wall yesterday, today was a good active rest day. We climbed all the VS's and HVS's in the main quarry, and I also led Boo Boo's Roof which was not as tricky as it's E2 6b grade suggested. James ticked all the low grade classics he wanted to on his first visit to the quarry and Ieuan was getting to grips with climbing trad again.
Below: James, Fairy Steps Direct

Below: Me on Pulpit Route

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Comes the Dervish

Although today was meant to be a touristy day, Emma agreed to a quick visit to Vivian before Electric Mountain. We walked in, climbed and stripped the route and were back in beris by 10:30. The climbing was outstanding and consistant, but a little on the easy side for the grade. As it turned out the rain never came, but a nice day was had all the same.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Crib Goch

Today with another good forecast we caught the bus up tp Pen y Pass to avoid the £10 parking charge. Was there we started the walk and scramble to the start of the ridge. It must be 10 years since either of us has been up here, so to have such a stunning day was a bonus. After the ridge we walked down the tourist route to watch a couple of climbers on Great Slab on Cloggy. We cut off the tourist route and picked up another path by Hebron station which took us around to the campsite we are staying at. A great day.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Clogwyn Y Grochan

Above Emma on the first and second pitches of Nea.

I am down in North Wales for a few days with Emma to take advantage of the nice weather. Today we climbed Nea on the Grochan. This classic VS did not do it for Em, whether it was the extensive polsih or the style of climbing I am not sure. I then Had a crack at Quasar which has a bit of a reputation, but despite not being at peak fitness thought it would be ok. After what felt like a good E3 5c to get to the good rest above the roof, I was now looking at the crux. After going up and down a few times to work it out, I finally commited. A hard sequence led me to the last hard move to a finger jug and glory when my foot popped off the hold in the crack, Gutted! After a rest it went second go, but an outstanding route.

The heat got a bit too much for us, so we retreated to town forsome refreshments. In the evening we met us with Matt at the Cromlech boulders and did a few curcuits and problems.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Team Scotland

Over the last 3 days Greg, James and Mhairi have been down from Edinburgh. I met up with them on Sunday at Kilnsey for a spot of bolt clipping. Greg was psyched for Dominatrix, so we got on that. Greg was making quick progress up to the crux at the top. I was finding the crazy steepness not my thing and after bolt to bolting it, decided to change to slab culture. A couple of goes showed this was a better choice, but the cold was killing me off. Mhairi showed her training had paid off, with a quick redpoint of slab culture.
Below Me onsighting Rick's Rock E4 6b/highball V5

Above Greg and below Mhairi soloing Angel's Wall HVS 5a

Yesterday we gave Caley a bash. After walking up to the crag, we climbed a range of routes and problems, The highlight for the others was a solo of Angel's Wall. For me it was an onsight solo of Rick's Rock. In the afternoon we went down to the roadside boulders. Trying to aviod the sun we found shade by moving around and ticking a few classics. Everyone ticked Rabbit Paw Wall which was the favorite of most, but for me it was my quick tick of New Jerusalem.

Above Greg soloing Rabbit Paw Wall HVS 5b
Above James and below Greg on Otley Wall V2 6a

Today we went to Armscliff to tick a few more classics and have a bit of an easy day. We did Overhanging Grove, Great Western, Demon Wall and a couple of others. A few quality V4 traverses were done as well as many other problems. It was a nice way to rap off 3 great days.
Above and below: Mhairi on Great Western HVS 5a, Armscliff

Thursday, 13 May 2010


I was hoping to meet up and climb with a fella from York today, but unfortunately he was tied up with work. So I went over to Ilkley to have a look at a route called Deathwatch. I had seen some footage of Lucinda Hughes climbing this on the Hard XS DVD a while ago and thought it might suit me. Having not done much in the way of headpointing, having no partner and the fact the route is only a solo really, it seemed to make sense.

The DVD footage through me off. I could not touch the crux move the way I had seen it in the film. So after a few attempts I worked out a better way for me. After getting it clean 3 times in a row (and belaying myself with a gri gri), I gave it a bash. It all went well, but it is the most gripped I think I have been. First E7, and I don't think it has ever been onsighted, so I'm happy with the style I did it in.

The picture below is as I'm about to enter the crux. The timer was slightly out to get me mid crux, and there was no way I was doing it again.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Evening Bouldering

After the rain and disappointingly wet day today, it was saved by an evening session at Woodhouse. I am quickly getting through the climbs here, with only 4 left to do. There is however, a few boulder problems to do, but they're goind down quiet fast. Tonight's session went well, with a few more problems up to V6 getting ticked.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Tony and I went to Malham today, after the forecast suggested it would be raining. After a bit of a warm up on Rose Coronary, we decided to do some mileage. I realised that not going to a wall or training in the last 6 mouths takes it's toll on the fitness. After falling off the last move of Something Stupid 7 times, I was a little frustrated. On the bright side it;s got to be good training. Tony made a good flash of Wasted Youth, before having a bit of a workout trying the moves on the Groove.

No time climbing is wasted!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Staff Training at Challenge 4 Change

I was at the Challenge 4 Change centre in Manchester today. The emphasis was on inducting staff and running through some procedures.

We ran through all the high challenge activities, which caused a few laughs and gave folks the chance to set them up and have a go. It was a great day and I think everyone went away with a lot.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Skye Scrambles

Carrie and Malcom Traversing around to the Inn Pinn

Carrie approaching the belay on the Inn Pinn

I have just got back from the weekend on Skye with Malcom and Carrie. Yesterday (Sat), we walked up the ridge that brings you out on the West side of the Inn Pinn (Inaccessible Pinnacle - Sgurr Dearg). It was raining lightly on the way up and we quickly entered the cloud. We were hoping that the cloud would clear, but it seemed set. We got kitted up and scrambled down to the start of the Pinn. I set off and soon found that there was more rime ice than I wanted on the route. I cracked on, but had to take my gloves off half way up the first to stop my hands sliding off the wet and icy rock. Lucily the rest of the route to the top was not as bad. After getting down and grabbing a bite to eat as we decided what we would do next, the sun came out and the ridge cleared. We decided to head over Sgurr na Banachdich then back down the ridge into the corie below at down to the youth hostel.
I woke up this morning to a clear veiw of Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Bruach na Frìthe. Unfortunately, they had all had a dusting of snow. With the weather ment to improve, we decided to take on our option for today of a traverse of Sgurr nan Gillean and Am Basteir. All things went well, even with the little bit of snow and rime around. After Am Basteir we can back down the col before it rained. Result.
Carrie and Malcom Scrambling up the East side of Sgurr nan Gillian
Carrie coming through an Icy window on Sgurr nan Gillian

Malcom and Carrie on top of Am Basteir