Friday, 26 April 2013

First Day Clipping Bolts and MT Provider Workshop

Yesterday I had my first day sports climbing of the season.  Kilnsey is never an easy venue for me, especially for the first day out.  It did however, workout much better than I expected.  Despite a lack of routes since October, the recent flurry and bouldering seems to have had a positive impact on my ability to pull.  I had no plans to start a project, wanting to stick by my 2 days on a route Max. But as a few things are wet, and I have done the majority of the mid 7's,  I ended up trying Subculture 8a***.

Each year I have avoided the draw of trying to climb 8a, not wanting to lose lots of days on one route.  Getting on this was initially something to struggle on for a day and see how far away I was.  After cleaning it up, all the moves went quicker than expected.  I was even more surprised when I linked the route in two overlapping sections.  For a first session this is very unexpected.  I am really hoping that I can return next week and get the sent.

Today I was at the White Hall Centre for a Mountain Training Provider Workshop.  It was an interesting day with much discussion around the different awards.  The best part of the day for me was the afternoon workshop about working with people with disabilities.  This is very relevant for me at the moment, with the work I'm doing at one centre I TA for.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Classics with the Numbers

Yesterday Pete and I went West to check out Egerton Quarry.  I was hoping to tick off the last classic E5 arete and one other harder route.  Unfortunately, the winter has not been kind to the quarry.  The lack of traffic has also meant it is all pretty manky.  Pete led the classic Cherry Bomb VS 4c***, before we bailed and went to Wilton 1.

Pete on Cherry Bomb
We had lost a bit of time, so rather than waste any more warming up and trying something hard.  I opted to get on and send some classics.  The quarry was the driest I've ever seen it, so White Slabs Blunt E3 6a*** was first to go.  Tricky moves passed the second peg, then led to steady climbing to the mantel near the top. Quite bold in places, but never too hard.  A route well worth the claim of the best at Wilton.  Next up I led Super Crack E3 5c***.  A little dirty, but still an outstanding route.  The top has not been stabilised yet after the rockfall, so care needs to be taken.

A small day in terms of the number of routes, but all good ones as Wilton continues to deliver.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Work and Second Ascents

It has been a good couple of day.  Yesterday I ran a CWA Assessment, based at Leeds Wall which went well for some, with a couple of folks needing to return to redo a few bits.

Today I have been down to Manchester to see the folks at Challenge 4 Change to sign of procedure etc. which all went swimmingly.  It made sense to visit somewhere to climb on the way home, so I opted for Warland Quarry.  This is a strange choice at hear say, but for us daddy daycare types it has a couple of new additions.  All I can say is thank god for Nik Jennings!  He is as overly keen as me to make the most of his time off from childcare and work, to climb in the local holes.  I had noticed he had been an added two new slab routes over the weekend, so thought I would check these out and save his new one in Summit Quarry for the flash when I have a belayer.

On arriving at the quarry I was very happy and surprised to see Nik there.  The landing on the routes where worse than I thought they would be, even with mats.  So I decided to have a quick toprope to check out the easier of the 2.  Twenty20 E6 6b is never that hard, but has a terrible landing that would send you flying into some bounders further back.  Even though I could belay myself on a gri gri and climb the route, not falling off on any try.  I took advantage of Nik and pinched a belay.  One of the old aid bolts was possible to clip after the hardest climbing was done.  It was beyond shit, but made me feel better.  I hindsight it was easier to climb without clipping the bolt, but nevermind.

Next up I got stuck into Face of Grace E7 6c.  This is an excellent steep slab climb, with hard moves to an un nerving height.  Nik's beta made working out a sequence quicker, but being a little taller meant I could do it a slightly different way.  Nik had thought about upping the tech grade before I did it, but thinks 6c is a fair grade for most.  I would say that it will be fierce for the short though.  After a belaying myself a few time, I soloed the route above a couple of pads, which does improve the landing slightly, but not the run off.  As the bolts are so poor, Nik is going to remove them asap.

There are a couple of other new things to do there, but I would imagine it would only interest the most dedicated locals.

Short vid from Nik

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Daddy Daycare FA

Today I final put to bed the project I had at the Roost.  I first cleaned the line in October last year and climbed it on a shunt, but needed 1 hold at the end of the crux to dry out.  Despite returning many times, the hold was constantly wet.  Even so I climbed the line over and over to get it as clean as possible for when the hold dried.  During this time I also checked out the gear.  The climbing was bold to a good hold in the break, but that hold was also where the only cam would hold.  I didn't want to step into the neighbouring route and finish as for that. So it meant either placing gear off small holds and the next move being harder, or cracking on.  Bearing this in mind, and struggling to find a belayer to take a chance and walk up there, I opted to solo the route above pads.

The walk back up there today was rewarded with dry holds for the first time in 6 months.  Having been waiting for 6 months to do the route, I was pretty happy about that.  After 30 mins of re cleaning, and a further hour climbing the route again to get the moves wired, it was game on.

Climbing the lower prow
The lower prow went quickly, a quick shakeout and chalk up took my mind off the climbing ahead.  I made the first of the hard moves, then the next.  Now committed, I kept pulling not thinking about failing, but simply about each move.  The move to the break felt very committing, but good.  A moment to compose, then the last big move to a sloper, really locking hard to reach.  Sticking it, and relief I would surely finish now.  A couple more moves to the top, and  rocking over to finish what seems like the longest wait for a route ever.  So happy!!!!!  Daddy Daycare seems an appropriate name at the moment, so I'll go with that.  I had recorded the ascent, but as I was using my technical genius to pull off some stills, I managed to delete it. At least Emma was highly amused at my muppetry.

Fully engrossed in the long crux section

Daddy Daycare E7 6b* 12m (Adam Hughes 18/4/13)

Climb the undercut prow left of the crack (of the Virus).  From the break, climb the slightly overhanging wall on small holds and slopey pockets until a committing move leads to a better hold in the break to the right.  Avoiding the temptation to traverse into the Virus, make a big move direct to slopers, then the top. Excitting!!!
Yellow: Daddy Daycare  Blue: The Virus

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hard Line

Today Tony came across from Hull to get some mileage in.  So I met him at Heptonstall for some classics, and hopefully something I had not done before.  Tony started us of leading Curving Crack VS 4c**, then Sanility HVS 5b***.  He had hoped to lead Thin Red Line E2 5b***, but was not feeling it.  I abseiled and brushed Hard Line E5 6b**.  It was lucky I did, as it was pretty dirty and needed a bit of work in places.  I then flashed the route, which was an awesome feeling at this point in the season when I don't feel fit yet.  Tony then led Pulpit Route HVS 5a**, which was entertaining in the wind.

We then moved over to the right hand outcrop where Tony dispatched A Dog With Two Tails HVS 5a** and then the Mitre Severe to finish off.

Apologies for the lack of pics, but forgot cameras and phone today.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Weekend Work and Play

This weekend I have been in the Peak visiting friends, then working on Sunday.  On Saturday I took advantage of children's nap times to get a few problems in.  In the morning I went to Burbage North.  It was far too warm to try what I wanted, so made a quick send of Breakfast 7a***, a cool arete.  Then went back to head to the park.  In the afternoon, I went to Higgar Tor and got on The Flying Arete 7a+.  After hitting the top a million times, I went to try something different.  I went and soloed the File VS 4c***, and did Witness the Gritness 7a** after a couple of shots, returning back to the Flying Arete for more frustration.  After hitting the top another million times, I finally stuck it on the Millionth and first time.  Just in time before it started raining.

Yesterday I was running the second day of an SPA Assessment.  We visited Lawrencefield and Millstone, pleasantly surprised by the weather.  Only a few showers through the day meant it was a reasonably nice day.  I successful for day for most, so many happy faces on their way home.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Steep and Technical climbing on Orange Crush
I met up with Ben today to get some mileage in on routes.  We chose Heptonstall, as it's close by, with loads of good steep lines to give a good workout.

Big moves in space
After warming up on some easy routes, we got stuck in both leading Brown Sugar E2 5c**, then Demerara E4 6a**.  After a bit of food we got stuck into Orange Crush E6 6b**.  This is an outstanding steep arete, that is sustained and powerful, but safe.  I got one move from the jug, but my shoe was coming off on the heel hook, so it popped off and ejected me.  Ben then had a go, but struggled to commit for the first few goes, and he to came down to chill out.  It ended up giving a good workout with lots of fall, but no top today.  I made it through the crux on my last go, but despite being on a reasonable hold, had run out of steam to clip the runner.  Too Pumped to clip, but with enough in the tank to probably top out, I opted to let go.  Not too disappointed, as I have done all these routes before.

Pulling hard on small holds and high heel

Ben trying to find a alternative sequence

To wrap up we did some laps up Demerara and down Brown Sugar.  Ben did the Impressive link on Demerara of up, down and back up again.  A great day out training instead of the wall.

Monday, 8 April 2013

West Nab

Flashing Cling

Yesterday I met Paul up at West Nab to have a mooch around on some easy problems and see what the score was.  I had had an hour up here last year, but it had been damp on most things, so today was the first chance to get stuck in.

I was there a little earlier than Paul, so rattled through a load of easy stuff on the Settee Boulders.  It was nice to send everything first go, the best of which was Bedrest V5 6b. I the can back to the Trig Point Boulders and flashed The Comprehensive Pygmy V6 6b and the other problems on that boulder.  Paul had arrived by this point, so we moved over to the No Access Boulder to do The No Access Mantel V4 and have a  look at Access Denied V10 for future reference.  We both flashed the mantel, then started looking at Access Denied.  'Lets just look at the start'. 'This bit looks alright, let see if we can link that'.  'Lets move this snow'. 'What's the end like'.  Before we knew it we had worked all the moves on the problem and/or linked sections.  The conditions were not the best, so we moved on keen to return.

A bit of a walk took us to the Two Arches Boulders.  Here we whipped through a few problems, Archery V6 6b being the best.  We dropped down to the Painted Numbers Boulder and sent all the problems there as well.  Hours of Practice V6 6b giving a good change of style.  The final boulders we visited were the Slab and Arete Boulders.  Here we flashed Cling V5 6b, then added a left had start to Problem 69 in the Over The Moors guide, called Left Hook V5.  We then worked another problem and got very close, but both ran out of steam to finish it off.  It will be an excellent V8 when we finish it.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Snowballing Sendage!!

I went down to the Peak today with Ben to try and take advantage of some the Snow ledges that have been kindly put under so routes.  The aim was a quick hit to Stanage, then over to Burbage North.  So classics have seen a lot of attention lately, so would be all chalked up.

Below: A nice sequence of pics for Big Air

We arrived at a very quiet Stanage to find the only climbers there, were folks we knew.  It made sense to join them and warm up, whist having a social.  Ben had done very very little here, so everything was new today.  Quick flashes of Crescent Arete V2/V4 on both sides and then Crescent Slab V6 led us nicely to our reason for being at Stanage.  Big Air E6 6b** was the target.  A crazy problem that would normally have a bad landing, and requires a committing jump and mantel, is at present a cool problem.  I was psyched to go first, and even happier with the onsight.  Ben swiftly flashed it after me.  Breadline V5 was next, and the same treatment followed with an onsight and flash.  Ben then flashed Not To Be Taken Away V4*** before we headed off to Burbage North.

Three Blind Mice, just before I asked for a spot
The aim here was Ai No Corrida E5 6b* and Three Blind Mice E7 6c**.  Andi Turner and mate where already trying Three Blind Mice when we got there, so we joined in.  The sun was making the slopers very unhelpful, so after get to the crux several times we took a break and switched routes.  I was pleasantly surprised to onsight Ai No Corrida, making this a great day regardless of drawing a blank on TBM.  Ben then got it second go.  The sun had been behind the clouds for a little while, so we had a quick bite and tried TBM again.  The difference was unbelievable.  First shot I dropped the crux, putting my foot in the wrong spot to rock up.  Ben then sent it first go.  I then swiftly followed next shot too.  A great end to a day.

Ben flashing Mermaid

Ben wrapped up his day with a flash of Mermaid V6 on the way back to the car.  Sore skin, but great fun!!!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

New Boulder Problems at the Roost

Toblerone Arete
I had a meeting at Blackburn Youth Zone at midday, so stopped off at the Roost on my way back to see if my new project was finally dry.  Unfortunately, despite the track up being drier than any point I was cleaning and working it before I went away.  The snow at the top was making it extremely wet.  Having not taken a shovel up, I decided it was best waiting till I could do it properly.  Instead, I brushed a cool looking roof and arete just off the path I had seen as it was bone dry.  It turned out to give 2 nice little problems around font 6b/+.  At least it made the walk up worth it.

Toblerone Arete

Toblerone Roof