Monday, 30 August 2010

Desperate Dan

Above & below: engaged in the crux

I met up with John at Ilkley today for a bit of trad action. as always there were a few things I had my eye on. To warm up John led Walewska, and I then led Tufted Crack which had some great climbing on it for a short route. We both wanted to get on Wellington Crack, but someone was on it. So John humoured me, and we went to have a look at Desperate Dan. After throwing a rope down, it took a few shots to work out the crux sequence. I was getting too focused on the arete and barn dooring off, but once I found the right way it was a whole lot easier. After a couple of goes doing it clean and a quick brush, it was on. I had a good rest whilst John worked Welli Crack, and got focused. I only had 1 mat, but some kind boulders gave me a couple more. Even with these it would still be a bad fall, with the added potential to hit your head it you roll back as you landed. The ascent went really well, only 1 tense moment when I almost over shot the hold on the last tricky move. Amazing to have done my second E7.

Above: Happy to reach the jug at the end of the crux
Below: Finishing the big 5c moves to the top

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Scarfell Pike

I was working for Maximum Adventure yesterday with kat on the Scarfell Pike leg of a 3 Peaks Challenege. The group was running later than expected, so we only started walking at 22:30. Despite the heavy rain and increasing wind, all made it to the top. After a quick bite to eat, we picked our way back down, wind and rain in our face's (great) to see them down the road by 4:30. The long drive back to Yorkshire and bed me thinks.

Friday, 27 August 2010


I was working for Leeds Wall on a trad course today at Stanage with Steven and Lucia. Steven wanted to refresh his trad leading and learn about more rigging, whilst Lucia wanted to improve her climbing and be more competent as a second. We started with Steven leading Grotto Slab, which gave me an opportunity to check out his gear placements and rigging. He cruised up this, so he then led Black Hawk Traverse Left and Black Hawk Hell Crack. We then covered rigging bottom ropes so we could then look at climbing some trickier things. This worked really well and they both finished the day with things to work on.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Deja Vu

After walking into Blue Scar to find it a bit wetter than it seemed from a distance, we went around to Kilnsey. Feeling a little tired from yesterday, but with high hopes we warmed up. Dan had his sights on Central Wall. He climbed really well to the crux, but got his feet wrong and took the fall. He wanted to take a little rest before going again, so I got on Deja Vu. This 3 star E5 6b is on of the top 3 trad routes at Kilnsey, but is often wet at the top. Today was no different and I had to finish 3 moves from the break. This said, the climbing is amazing, with good rest when you reach them. Dan then got back on Central wall and styled to the top. I found this way easier this time having warmed up properly, awesome route.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Slender Loris

Above: Carnage Traverse
Above: Slender Loris

I met up with Dan, John, Pete and Barry at Malham today for some top trad action. After failing on the on sight of Slender Loris over a year ago, I was keen to get back on it. It's still nice to try and do these super classic routes ground up. We warmed up on one of the 3 star HVS's, before John Led us use Carnage, a fantastic E2 5b***. Dan then Led Crossbones E2 5c** with one unfortunate foot slip. I skipped this to save myself for the Loris. It is fair to say that I am in much better shape this year and the route went without much fuss. Only the rounded breaks and pump crux at the top made me fight. It is fair to say that this is arguably one of the best E4 6a's in the country.

Below: Entering and finishing the last crux of Slender Loris E4 6a***

Sunday, 22 August 2010

East Ridge of Y Garn

Today we went into Idwall and onto the East ridge of Y Garn. This ridge has a grade 1 approach ridge which is excellent for looking at route choice and examining consequences. The main scramble is in the upper section. This offers some varied grade 2 scrambling which was perfect for looking at how we can use a rope to safe gaurd scrambles. We picked our way up the ridge talking about route choice and where, when and how the rope can be best used. After topping out we did a little bit of nav practise on the way down and reveiw the weekend as we walked back to the car.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Milestone Buttress

Today was my first day with Bernie, who wanted to look at Multi pitch climbing and scrambling skills over the weekend. We opted to go to the Milestone Buttress to cover all the climbing stuff first. Bernie led a mix of pitches on Rowan Route and Direct Route and we also looked at managing our descents and re trearing from a route as well. Taking our time on the routes and discussing things as we went, the day dissapeared quickly.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Fingertip Control

Above: Me on Golden Tower

I went to Anglesarke with Elliott today which was my first visit. It was raining on and off. So after a warm up on some dirty routes (the rain has run a lot of mud and dirt down the crack etc.), I decided to do Fingertip Control which was quite well sheltered by a small roof at the top and it's slightly steep nature. This 3 star E4 5c features bold fingery climbing with the crux right at the top. I would have to say that this is my thing, and that I thought it was overgraded, probably no harder that Cheat at Wilton 1. The climbing was excellent, finger jug pulling on perfect rock, one I would recommend. To finish off the day I thought I would do Golden Tower. I unfortunately miss read the crux, then tried to pull through anyway. One move from glory and my left hand parted with the rock, or more accurately the mud I was holding and I was off. Excellent climbing but a shame this 3 star route is so dirty. It is fair to say if I had read it right the dirt would not have stopped me, Every day is a school day i guess!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Today I took Tom and Mark to Armscliff to try a bit of climbing. The Weather was meant to clear up over that way, so hopefully things would be dry. The crag was in good shape when we got there, but after a couple of routes it rained a bit so we stopped for lunch. It stopped raining, so we climbed 1 more route before heading to Otley for tea and medals.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Blue Scar

I met up with Ali and a few others today at Blue Scar. This was my first time at the crag, so I was psyched to try one of the classic trad routes. After warming up on a few 6b's on the far ring wing I was ready to have a crack at something a bit spicier. I picked Blue Grit, a bold, pumpy and technical E4 6a on the left wing. After a bouldery start, a reasonable rest is reached, a poor protection arranged. Bold and technical slab/wall climbing takes you to the second break and a good rest, before a straight forward finish, Awesome.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Blackstone Edge

Today I was on my own, so went to check out another forgotten Lancashire crag, Blackstone Edge. I wanted to try Tryche and Slin and Thippy, both E4 6a in the Lancashire guide, but Tryche is E5 6a in the Western Grit guide. The crag was Green and dirty, so I had to clean the routes quite a bit. Slin and Thippy was first up. This was very sloppy and I found it pretty tricky, with the top out gripping. There where hard sections to sloppy breaks followed by more tricky climbing, making it quite sustained. I found Tryche much easier. The style of the route suited me, with the only 6a move being the last. Slabby climbing on crimps, finger slopers, pebbles and pockets made this and excellent little route.

It is a shame these routes don't get climbed more often as there are some good ones here.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Above: Dan in the shade on No Man's Land

I met Dan at Armscliff today to try and climb off some of the lactic acid from yesterday. The conditions were great till !4:30 ish, when the heavens opened and soaked the crag. Before then, we climbed Birdline Traverse and Z climb Eliminate, both 3 star classics. We then did a couple of filler routes, No man's land and WASC, E2 and E3 respectively. After the rain we bouldered a little until another heavy down pour ended play. We made the best of the day and my arms feel a bit better.

Me: Z Climb Eliminate

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Central Wall

After thinking I was not going to get to climb today, my awesome dad fix my car quickly and I was at Kilnsey by 3pm. After a poor attempt at warming up, I went for Central Wall. This 3 star E4 6a has been on my list since moving back to Yorkshire. I did the bottom cruxy boulder problem start and found myself a little pumped (never good 4m off the deck with 26m to go). It's fair to say that the route is not as hard as I found it, but more it's tricky when climbing it pumped from the start. The climbing is fantastic, technical, with good rests and great gear. A big thanks to Dan for his patient belaying.

Monday, 9 August 2010


I had a quick stop in at Malham today as I headed North to the folks. After putting the draws in Chiselling the Dragon, and then taking them out again when I realised it would take more than an hour of so to tick. I opted to do Seventh Aardvark, which I thought might be a good route to onsight. I got 2 moves from the chain when the flash pump beat me and off I came. Second go thing were a whole lot easier. A nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Friday, 6 August 2010


Above: Black Hawk Traverse

Today I met Dave at Stanage for the second day of his Learn to Lead course. We picked up were we left off yesterday, with Dave leading Grotto Slab, then Mantlepiece Buttress. He then stepped it up and led Black Hawk Traverse and Hollybush Crack. We then looked at getting stuck gear back and rigged a couple of abs. Dave also wanted to know how to rig a bottom rope with only one rope, so we looked at this before going in to Hathersage to look at kit. A great to days and lucky with th weather.

Above: Dave on Hollybush Crack

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Burbage North

Today I was running the first day of a learn to lead course for Dave. We got pretty lucky with the weather and had dry rock all day. After spending a little while placing runners and building belays, Dave was ready to tie on to the sharp end. He did extremly well, leading 5 routes and following a couple of trickier ones. More tomorrow.

Chee Dale

I met up with Tony and Tom on Tuesday and Wednesday and went to Chee Dale for the first time. Tuesday was spent at the cornice where we warmed up on Martial Music, an excellent 7a. I then spent the rest of the session trying Cry of Depair, a steep and technical 7c that is not my thing, so what I need to work on. Good progress was made, but another day would be needed to put the two links together. Tom did the same as me and Tony tried the moves on Four Door Dostoyevsky, which looked nails.

Yesterday we were all a little tired so went to the Embankment. After warming up, Tony finished off Stone the Loach 7c which he had tried before. Tom desided to work this and made good progress. I opted for easier routes and tried to onsight Beef It 7b, only to blow it at the last bolt when I messed up a hand change. It was much easier second go. I finished my session by onsighting Hungry Eyes 7a+. An excellent route that is pretty pumpy, I had to lay one on at the top!

I will definately be back.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Summit Quarry

Today I went with Emma to have a look around Summit Quarry. We climbed a couple of routes, the best being Laying-by E3 5c**. An easy route for the grade, but bold. For a small quarry, there is some ok climbing with pleasant surroundings.