Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Work and Wilton

This morning I travelled to Warrington, and then Manchester for a couple of Technical Adviser meetings.  I was finished a little sooner than expected, so met Elliot at Wilton 1 to tick a couple of routes.  Elliot is my man in the know when it comes to routes that have been cleaned in the Bolton area.  The latest is the super classic Isle of White E4 6a***.  This is also on the UKC Lancs finest ticklist which I am close to completing, so I was psyched when I could pop in.  As the route is not steep, with more balancey, fingery moves that plays to my strengths. I opted to jump straight on it.  The climbing is outstanding!  Never hard, with many hands off rests, but the gear is a bit spaced and not all as reliable as you would hope when its in some of the flakes.  It is that reason that the route is E4, so if you can switch that off, you get some pleasant slab/wall climbing on most good holds.  It definitely lived up to what I had hope for.
Enjoying the awesome climbing on Isle of White

Elliot had cleaned and toproped Join the Army and Get Yourself Killed E5 6a**, which has recently had it's peg replaced.  He dispatched the route in good style on the lead today, and left me with the opportunity to flash it.  As all the gear is placed or clipped in easy positions, I led it on Elliot's gear.  This would be quite an onsight if the holds did not have chalk on them, as some would be well hidden.

A top couple of hours.

Monday, 28 May 2012

My God Rides a Skateboard

Starting up the steep arete of My God Rides a Skateboard
I went to have a look at Honley Wood Quarry today, hoping to climb the main central crack line.  Unfortunately, it was still wet and seeping.  It does look quite a good line, so I will be back to do it.  I had to settle for the left arete of the steep wall instead.  After some determined brushing, this gave me a pleasant warm up with a solo flash of Triple Bad Acid E2 5c*, and then an a better solo flash of My God Rides a Skateboard E4 5c**.

Enjoying the big holds

Positive edges through the crux

I then tried to flash Millions of Dead Christians E4 6c**, but fell of the crux.  I ten tried to shunt it, but still could not do the one crux move.  This was gutting as the climbing above was ok, and I cruised that first go.  Maybe when it cools down the poor sloppy crimps might be easier to move off.

A slight bit of camera tilt I'm afraid, but surprisingly, not as much as you would think!

Saturday, 26 May 2012


Moving across the roof of Angel Deelite
I had my first visit to Woodwell today, but only had a couple of hours.  As a result I went to Cave Buttress and tried send as many good problems as I could in the time I had.  After doing a couple of easy problems to warm up, I got stuck into Angel Deelite V6/7a and the Left Hand V7/7a+.  Both were cool problems.  I then did Superstar DJ Tin Pot Todd V7/7a+, another good problem with one hard move to start and another to finish.  Running out of time, I wrapped up my session doing Fat Boy V4/6c. 
Setting up to start the crux

Painful finger lock on Superstart DJ

This still of climbing is not my thing, being steep and powerful.  Therefore, I will be back, as it will be a great place to work my weaknesses.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Trollers Gill

Rose showing off some more Extreme pram action
I went back to Trollers today for the first time this year, with grand plans of things to try.  After warming up on the usual loose horror show, I found myself trying to onsight The White Zone 7b/+.  After cruising to the crux through the roof, I dropped the route there.  After a couple goes to work it out, the one move wonder was done and easy ground led to the chain.  It is a shame that it all comes down to one hard move, as the rest of the route flowed quite well.

Above & below: Trying hard to on sight The White Zone

Feeling like I have done quite a bit of bouldering, I thought I would have a look at Moddy Dhoo 8a+.  It seemed crimp and sustained, which would have suited me, but sadly not.  The moves were all pretty powerful on small sidepulls and presses, definitely not my bag.  I dogged my way up this, then turned my attention to Smouldering Globules of Lust 7b+.  Looking up at the route there appeared to be a couple of scarred sections, one particularly large.  Not sure if these were new, I set off keen to onsight this.  I quite quickly got shut down and could not find away between the second and third bolt (where the 2 scars are?).  After I pulled past that bit, I cruised to the top, with no trouble through the roof.  A bit gutted, but would like to know if it is me, or has something changed on the route.

I salvaged something though with swift ascent of Spent Youth 7b/+, and then bashed up a 7a or 2 to finish off.

Monday, 21 May 2012

CWA Training

Over the weekend I was running a CWA Training course.  The first day was at The Leeds Wall, where we covered all aspects of personal climbing, as well as introducing the break down of some movement skills.  Sunday took us to Harrogate Climbing Centre to cover the group aspects of the award.  We also covered the Abseil module as well.

It was a large course, which meant that there were lots of ideas to share.  Everyone seemed to get a lot out of the week, and were keen to start putting their new skills into practice.

If you are interested in attending a CWA course, please get in touch.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Cat Test

Despite the weather forecast, Matt and I got out climbing again today.  I was keen to stop off at Mythom Steep Quarry to try and flash The Cat Test E6 6b**.  This is a route I had no knowledge until Dave Warburton cleaned and climbed it a few weeks ago.  I have been trying to get up to do it, but weather or lack of belayer has prevented it.  Matt was kind enough to hold my ropes today on our way to the Bridestones.

Entering the crux of The Cat Test
Through the hard climbing and at the gear
After a quick brush, I was keen to get stuck in, so went for it.  The lower arete has some excellent moves, before you clip a peg then enter into the crux.  This involves some steep moves into the zigzag crack and to exit it to the break.  After arranging some cams, nice moves take you to a ledge and scrappy finish.  Pretty to psyched to flash this, it was of to the Bridies.

This was another venue Matt had never been to, so we ticked around 30 of the classic easy problems from the Brother Sister area to the Big Bay.  My highlight was a retro flash of the high rounded arete of Knight's Honour V5.
Matt enjoying some Bridies classics

Good moves on a classic V4

Matt getting involved with a good arete in the Big Bay

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Eppy Classics with Friends

Matt has come down from Fort William to work in the Lakes, so pop over to see us whilst he has a couple of days off.  Despite the weather, we went to Heptonstall to get some fresh air with Em and Rose, taking the climbing kit just in case.  To our delight, the crag was almost bone dry.  Matt had never been down this way before, so we bagged a couple of classics, before tea and medals in Hebden.

Matt starting up the classic Fairy Steps

Getting stuck into Main Line

High on Man Line

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Family Day at Wimberry

It was family day today, so we made a trip out to Wimberry to enjoy the sunshine, extreme pramming and some bouldering. It was a little warm on the sunny faces, but I still managed to get about 20 problems done ranging from font 3-7b. I have never been to Wimberry before, so was quite happy to start at the lowest boulder and try and tick all the problems (with the exception of the nails ones) before moving on.

The problems on the Sugar Loaf were all quite nice, with Chips Sit Start font 7a and Local Hero font 6b+ being 2 of the best. Next up was the Sloping Top Boulder. It was a little too warm to finish Slap Happy font 6c/+, but Fat Slapper Sit start font 7a made up for it. We finished our day on the Tank Boulder. There were some nice problems on here to. Elephant's Slab font 6c and the Sit Start Font 7b being very good, Think Tank font 6b+ was no disappointment either.

Enjoying the onsight of Local Hero

Pulling hard on the heel to send Chips Sitstart

Struggling with the warmth on Slap Happy

Above & Below: cruising the classic Think Tank

Trying to find a way from sitting into the standing start of Elephant's Slab

Rose unimpressed with Daddy's efforts!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Zyo Kruk Klik and Scared Lip FA

I met up with Dave Warburton at Hawkcliffe with the view of trying Visions of Tan E7 6c.  This was put up last year, and has still only seen 2 ascents.  Both these were by climbers that are far from shabby and strong on the boulders.  I had had thoughts of attempting the flash, but after seeing how hard the move looked as Dave tried on a rope, it seemed sensible to go and see if it was for me.  Nice, reletively easy climbing led to a stopper crux move.  I could not see a way I could do it today, so quickly ditched the idea.  It's a shame as the top section is fine.  If I get bigger guns with the bouldering I'm doing, maybe.

Dave was happy to move on, and we turned our attention to Zyo Kruk Klik E5 6b**.  Dave went first and found some wet and dirty holds, but did well to make a good effort to get through the crux.  After falling, he cleaned and brushed what he could reach, and almost made the crux rockover.  As the climbing was very easy to the crux, and now clean, I took advantage of Dave's gear.  I was soon at the crux and tried to mimic Dave's attempt, but this was not the way for me and off I came.  A quick look for myself, and I saw the way.  I jumped back on just before the end of the easy climbing ( it made no sense to climb 3m of very easy ground again) and made it through the crux.  A sequence of very thin and balancy foot swaps followed, before a committing move up the slabby arete to finish.  Not a classic route, but some very good climbing once you got past the grotty easy ground at the bottom.

Unpsyched for anything else at Hawk, and time against me.  I opted to head home and stop at the Hidden Boulder again for a final link up that I thought would be good.  It links the best bits of most of the problems to give a lengthy V7 called Scared Lip.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

SPA Training

Over the weekend I have been running a SPA Training with John Proctor in the Peak.  We covered the personal climbing aspects of the award on Saturday at Stanage.  All the candidates took good advantage of the good weather to send some nice routes, as well as take in some of the new element we covered.

Today we visited Burbage North to look at the group section the the training.  This is a great place to rig top and bottom ropes, and also look at releasable abseils.  Once we had covered the necessary at the crag, we headed to the Foundry to look at the final parts of the training.

A good weekend,

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cold Stanage

Today I was out at a cold Stanage with Ali who is working on his leading to prepare for his SPA assessment.  Ali started us off leading Anatomy VDiff, and putting in a good lead to climb Black Hawk Hell Crack, severe.  He then led Leaning Crack Indirect VDiff, before Hollybush Crack VDiff and the cold but him off leading.  I then led Hollymuff Crack, before stepping it up to finish with Central Trinity VS 4c*** and Zigzag Flake Crack VS 4b**.  A good day despite the cold, wind and occasional rain shower.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Spamface FA

After a visit to a wet Mythom Steep Quarry to look at The Cat Test, which looks a solid E6 to flash, I went for Plan B.  This was a revisit to the Hidden Boulder at Heptonstall to do Paul's problem Scar Chips V7. After a good brush the damp was gone and it was time to get stuck in.  I had tried this at the end of my last visit, but could not unlock the key to the big reach.  Armed with Paul's beta it was still a massive move, but after a few goes, success!
Breaking out of the roof on the FA Spamface
Aesome cross through

Getting established on the sloppers

Cheeky use on the heel to improve the sloppers

Working hard to finish up Pramface

We had talked about another problem traversing the sloping roof lip to finish up Pramface, so I got stuck into this.  This turned out to have some awesome moves to link from the sit start of Scarface, across the lip and up Pramface to give Spamface V6.  It made sense to add the same extention of Scarface to this problem as well to give Spamface Extention V6/font 7a.  The only thing left as to extend Scar Chips.  I did the by starting up Pramface to the lip of the roof, traversing that right to gain the chips and finishing up Scar Chips.  This gave Scar Chips Extention V7/8 font 7a+/b.  I started to do them all again to get some pics, but the rain came after the first one.

Nevermind as a good few hours were had.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Elis Birgham Edelrid Training

I spent the past 2 days down in Wales working with retail staff from Elis Brigham training on certain Edelrid products that they sell.  There were also folks from DMM, 5:10 and The North Face.  The aim of the 2 days is get the staff using and comparing kit to see how they are made and relate to specific customers.
Enjoying a couple of nice 6a's at Catle Inn Quarry

Yesterday was spent climbing at Holyhead Mountain and today at Castle Inn Quarry.  The different venues meant that everyone got to try the products on different styles of climbing, helping them gain a good idea of there uses and working.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Zippy's Traverse

Yesterday we had a family and friends trip to Stanage for a spot of bouldering.  After some extreme pram action, we found ourselves in the plantation, and despite it being a little warm, the friction was pretty good.

Zippy's Traverse

Warming up saw the Bullworker font 6b and the Bull Flakes sit start V5 get flashed, and all the problems on the Crozzle block get sent as well.  I had my eyes on Zippy's Traverse V8, which I had been on before at the end of a day last year. This time I had warmed up for it specifically, and was hopeful.  Things looked promising when I fell off having done the crux getting over excited first try.  This however became frustrating when I could not get that far again.  Eventually, I was in the crux with all the holds feeling amazing and suddenly latching the jug.  A romp up the flake to glory and happy days.  I wrapped my session up with quick run across the excellent Green Traverse V6.

Getting set to start the crux

Penny has not been on rock much since having Isabel 4 1/2 months ago, but still made short work of a few problems up to V2.

Penny cruising Slot stand up
Penny styling on the Business Boulder

Em and Rose enjoying a nice day out
A great day to be chilling around the boulders,

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Hadrian's Wall Highlights

I have been earning a living this weekend working for Maximum Adventure walking along Hadrian's Wall.  The middle section of the wall has some impressive sections of wall in tacked and remains of Mile Castles and Forts too.  The group of 11 led by myself and Dave did very well across the 25 mile section raising in excess of £5000 for the Sue Ryder charity, and we even managed to stay dry.