Monday, 29 November 2010

Lancashire Ice and a Returned Camera

Above: Lancs Ice

Last night Campbell received a phone call from a friend to say that he had seen some pics of him on Bowfell. This could only mean he had found my camera, Result!!!!!!! A massive thanks to Mark Scales.

On the way home from my meeting in Kendal, I stopped off to check out a small fall in between Burnley and Todmorden that comes in very quickly. A freind had been up and soloed it yesterday, so all I had to do was find it. Luckily it is easy to spot. 35 mins car to car and 10+m of ice at around grade 2. A pleasent run to stretch the legs after yesterday.

Below are some pics of Campbell on the Big Groove yesterday.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Lakeland Winter

Above: Pitch 1 Into the Groove

I was out today with Campbell in Langdale. We walked in to have a look at the crags on Bowfell, as I had my sights set on something spicy. After a bit of a detour in the clag (to busy chatting and no knowledge of the area and a reluctance to take out the map), we finally found are way to the buttresses. Time had escaped us a little and we could not see any of the buttresses other than the one we were standing under. So we just opted for an easier option on the crag we where at. I started up In to the Groove VI,7 on Traverse Crag, which had a tricky, boldish first pitch with some good climbing. the second pitch was the crux and had a very bold committing start, with no gear and a very bad landing. This is my first day out this season, so traversed into the adjacent route, which in fairness looked better. This gave me the 50m crux pitch of Big Groove V,6, which had some steep climbing with good gear. All in this gave to good tech 6 pitches to make a consistent route. We were soon at the top and back down to solo Buttress Gully II before walking back to the car. Unfortunately I left my camera on the traverse path on the way down, so all my pictures are lost. Although the weather cleared and we had a good day in the end, It has put a fair bit of snow day in Kendal since we got back at 5pm, and there is a surprising amount of ice about in some of the becks.

Above: Pitch 1 Into the Groove
Below: Pitch 2 the Big groove

Friday, 26 November 2010

Ben Nevis Antics

Matt and Kieth are on a rest day today after a couple of days on the Ben. Wednesday saw them try a spicy number, which they got very close to succeeding on, but retreated as the weather took it's toll. Yesterday was much more productive. They climbed Tower Face of the Comb VI,6***, which Matt raved about on the phone this morning. Conditions are suffering a little with the dry weather and blackening a bit.

Andy Turner and Tony Stone were also up on the Comb, putting in a sterling effort to try and repeat Dave Macleod's Don't Die of Ignorance. They will need to make another visit, but you can read more on Andy's Blog

Tony said that they had driven to Glen coe today, but it was looking a bit black from the road so they didn't bother.

Matt and Kieth have headed to the North West today, so hopefully an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Caley Bouldering

I met Tony at Caley today for a spot of bouldering. The cold, dry day gave some excellent conditions and my psyche was high. We warmed up in the playground, before heading to low pebble wall. This was a little green and damp, so we moved on to a boulder I had not been to before. As conditions were so good, I ticked the whole boulder quickly, including a nice V6 and a very generously graded V9. Tony sent a couple of trcky problems as well before we where on the move again. We found another boulder that was new to us both, and again helped be perfect conditions I managed to tick the boulder. The highlights were a V7 second go and an onsight of a awesome V8, which suited me perfectly. After a couple no problems to cool down, it was a stunning day out and we went home with pleasently sore finger tips.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Fallout Corner

Matt and Kieth have been out again today in the gorms. After waking up this morning to pea shop, they opted for the easy option of the corries again, this time Lochain. Conditions are extremely heavy up there, they chose Fallout Corner as it had already been cleaned. They had a great day on this classic VI'7, which is pretty straight forward for the grade. Other teams (Andy Turner and Kenny Grant) climbed Bulgy VII,7 and Deep Throat V,6 which were also under heavy rime. Fine efforts.

NICAS Seminar

Today I attended the NICAS Seminar at MCC. This was a good chance to see how the scheme has progressed in it's first 3 years and see where they hope to take it. As well as a presentation on the scheme, Martin Chester from PYB gave a talk about the coaching process which was very interesting and well delivered.

After lunch we had some workshops that we had chosen to attend beforehand. These were quite informative as well. Overall, it was a very good day, well worth attending.

Monday, 22 November 2010

White Magic

After the wash out with the weather last week that stop Matt and I heading North, he and Keith have looked out with the forecast this week. Their onslaught for the week has started with a visit to the Northern Corries today. Lots of snow, useful ice and much clearing saw them make short work of Magic Crack VII,7. I did this route 4 years or so ago by the original finish. The new guides describe the route following the summer line throughout. Matt said he thought the newer version added a bit more spice and a slightly harder pitch, but truely awesome climbing. I might have to do it again. I can't wait to hear what they do tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Cold Limestone

I met Elliot at Trowbarrow for a few routes today. Although it was dry, it was a bit on the cold side for me. Despite this, we managed a selection of the classic 3 star routes. There are still a good number of routes I want to do here, but maybe I need to wait for better weather.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Woodhouse Scar

After waking up to blue skies this morning, we descided to have a look at Almscliff. Unfortunatley, after driving through clear weather we entered thick cloud just as we approached the crag. Coffee and cake later, the crag was still wet, so we headed back to Woodhouse. A few easy problems to warm up, and I led one of the 2 routes I have left to do there. Pinch is graded E3 6a, but has not seen many ascents. As the guidebook is being re done at the moment, I have been giving feedback on the routes and problems to help out. Matt and I thought that it was very serious, but not as hard, so worth E4 5c. We finished the day with more bouldering, which salvaged something from the week that was meant to be spent winter climbing.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Wet Brimham

Matt and I went to Brimham today feeling optimistic of dry rock. Unfortunately it was all a bit damp or wet. We climbed Minion's Way, an overhanging hand crack that leads to an easy layback corner above. despite the wet in the upper section this was ok. I then led Desperation Crack, start at the same time as the rain did. This was mostly dry until the upper offwidth. This took a lot of effort on wet, green and lichanous rock. Despite all that, it was awesome, but my cloths now ned a good wash.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Stanage Bouldering

Above: Does Pebble Arete

Yesterday Emma and I met up with Penny and Does in Hathersage. After a brew, we decided to head up to the plantation boulders to take in a bit of sun. We warmed up on the Pebble Arete problem, before attemting Deliverence. This is the first time I have had a proper go on this, and got pretty close getting my fingers on the top, but not enough to hold it. We then icked a couple of the V5's on the Pebble, before moving on. As the light started to fade we went of to have a go on Satin. I was hoping to get the flash but messed up my hand position, it went next go and is on the easy side for V6. I got a quick go on the Cresent Slab, but my fingers had had enough.
Below: Does on Pebble Arete

Above: Satin

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Stanage Soloing Day

Above: Tony on Pebble Arete

Above: Not To Be Taken Away

Today I went down to Stanage and meet up with a crew from We went up into the plantation and did a bit of bouldering and soloing around to get warmed. Dan and I had already done all the problems on the Lone boulder when the rest turned up. So we got stuck into a couple of HVS's and E1's. Most desided to follow one of the bouldering circuits in the new guide, whilt Dan and I fancied a few routes. After climbing a couple of negleted routes, we went back to classics we had never done before. We both dispatched Not to be Taken Away, which was amazing. 1 tricky move to pull on, then a romp to the top. Although now given highball V4, it has a route feel. I then did Archangel. At E3 5b, this is the easiest of the classic 3 aretes at Stanage and an absolute joy to climb. After this I am keen to try the other 2. We left here and went toward the Count area and did a batch of things. The highlights for me were Shock Horror Slab E2 6b and DIY E3 6a. We finished the day by meeting up with everyone else and bouldering a few gems before another lap of NTBTA to end a great day.
Below: Cresent Arete
Below: Tony on Cresent Arete Right Hand

27 routes and problems. Not a bad day.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

2 Crags in 1 Day

Above: Elliot on The Rack, Pex Hill

I met up with the Elliot's today to go to Pex Hill. Having never been there before I had a big list of things to do. This made it worse when we got there and it was minging and wet. We found a few things that were dry, so gave them a lash. We all soloed the Rack E1 5a**. This was Young Elliot's first E1. I then Onsight soloed Master Race E5 6b. Old Elliot had a go, but it was a little too tricky.

Below: Elliot spotting an unwelcome ledge that looms above the crux of Master Race, Pex Hill

Below: Renaissance, Egerton

After bailing from Pex, we ended up at Egerton Quarry just outside of Bolton. I wanted to do Renaissance E5 6a***. I tried the onsight, but struggled to commit as the holds were filthy. After getting the peg clipped I managed to pull up and clear the holds to the peg. This at least meant I could do the crux onsight. I lowered off and started again, and it was really straight forward this time, the climbing was excellent. Elliot then finished the day with a nice HVS.

Above: Elliot on Gallows Pole, Egerton

Saturday, 6 November 2010

CWA Assessment

Today I have been running a CWA Assessment at Huddersfield wall for Beth, Elliot and Paul. It was a long day and the guys felt like they had been put through their paces. A good effort by everyone.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Learning the Ropes

I have spent the past 2 days in the peak with Izzi, who wanted to build on her leading experience. Yesterday, we went to Stanage. It dried out as the day went on, but was pretty cold. Izzi started off leading Grotto Slab. This gave me the chance to check out her gear and belay management. It was clear she had the knowledge, but was not using it as effectively as she could be. After a short ropework session, Izzi led us up Black Hawk Traverse Left in good style. We then climbed Hollybush Crack. This gave Izzi a challenge, with climbing she was not that used to. We finished the day with a couple of routes on Mantleshelf buttress before the light faded.

Today we went to a dry, but windy Froggatt. This gave Izzi the opportunity to try some things she wanted to improve on. After leading Nursery Slab and Slab Recess, Izzi took on the arkward crack of Trapeze. We then spent the rest of the day inbetween showers working on some skills that help the new gritstone climber relax (Jamming and Smearing). The rain took over and ended the day, but a good 2 days have been had. Hopefully izzi will but her consolidated skills to good use.