Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Bits of Bouldering

As Xmas and my first bit of winter work in Jan approaches, I have been filling what spare time I have with a bit of local bouldering.  With only the odd hour or so here and there, Woodhouse has been the saving grace again.

I popped over on Friday to take some pics for a locals supplement guide and catch up with Paul.  He was busy trying Houdini Direct 7c+, and making good progress.  I headed to the far left of the crag to take a few pics and warm up.  I did a usual circuit of problems, the went and did the Sheriff 7b+ and took some pics.  I was nicely warmed up and conditions were excellent, so I thought I'd try my nemesis, Jack's Arete 7c.  I'd made it to the last move a few times in the past, but can never move.  However, for some reason I could move my knee and it slipped from under the roof onto the side of the arête.  This made all the difference and I could move from there.  I dropped the top, more from the shock of doing the move before I think.  I quickly sussed out how to do the move again and it went next go.  Super psyched to do this, as it is everything in bouldering I'm bad at.  A good power problem, even it is only 2/3 moves.

Walking smugly back to Paul, he gave me all the beta on Houdini Direct.  This is another problem I had written off.  I had come back to it a number of times, but one move had seemed total impossible and I'd never even got close.  Paul's new beta seemed much more doable, and I did the move first try.  Totally psyched now for the problem, as I've done all the moves and actually had done it in 2 sections.  Just before the rain came Paul sent the problem in style, which was fitting as he had put a good few sessions in working it.

First Crux done, just the set up and second crux to go

I stopped in on Sunday to have another quick go and managed to do all the moves again, as well as in 2 sections.  I kept dropping the problem on the second crux to the lip.  This is desperate for me, as I'm in my weakest position (horizontal) and it's a full on pop cutting loose.  I'm hoping that the cold I keep trying to fight off is the cause of my lameness, but fear it's probably a bit of both.  On a positive note.  It's 5 mins from home and it will go soon!!

Monday, 15 December 2014

CWA Training

Over the weekend I ran a CWA Training course for a bunch of staff from Climb Rochdale and students from Bolton Boy School.  It was a great mix of experience and made for a good training course.  Having worked with the Bolton School bunch a bit over the last year or so, it's really nice to see them coming through into the awards as well.

We split the course across 2 venues, Climb Rochdale and Rokt.  This gave 2 very different venues, which really added to the course.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Catchimg Up

I've been a little slack lately, so here's a quick catch up.

At the End of November I did a couple of day paddling work with Bolton School.  I had not been in a boat for almost 9 years, but it strangely felt like it had been yesterday.  We did a good couple of moving water seasons on the Lune and the Dee, which everyone showed great progression on.

Bouncy fun on the Dee
Climbing has been a bit stop start with the weather and work.  I've been ticking over with the usual route setting and a couple of indoor sessions (weather must be bad).  Ben and I grabbed a good session at the Roost on the 1st December, where we climbed a number of the E4's to warm up before I climbed and cleaned a rather dirty Fascination Street E7 6c***.  I had one go on a rope, and climbed the route in two, as I struggled to recover at a poor shakeout.  I was a bit disappointed with this, but it turns out I felt tired and weak due to a chest infection.  BOO!

Recovering from illness and running a CWA Assessment with a bit more setting thrown in takes us up to date.  The snow up North is causing a bit of FOMO!  But it is hard to find the time these days for a quick hit and partners that match.

I will be up in the Fort at the start of Jan for my first batch of winter work.  As usual I will be splitting the season between Scotland and Yorkshire.  There is still 1 week available in March 16th-20th if anyone is looking for a weeks climbing.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Hawk Stones Sendage

I made my first visit to the Hawk Stones this afternoon.  I didn't have long, but wanted to make the most of it.  The plan was to tick off a good selection of the routes on this visit, then come back agin for the boulder problems.

I started with Stile Wall HVS 4c, then High and Mighty E2 5c*.  Both nice route routes, but a little dirty.  The guide suggested that it's worth brushing the harder lines, and after experiencing the others, I was not going to argue.  A gave the bold line of Come Walk With Me E5 6a** a quick brush, then went for the flash.  Some of the footholds could have done with a brush and I pulled a pebble off which made the crux section feel exciting.  That said, it was a good route.  As this was the hardest route I planned to do, I videoed it.  Time was on the short side to video all I wanted to do though.

Entering the crux section

In the bag
I continued my clean flash ethic.  Next was It's Not My Stile E4 6a, which I thought was excellent and definitely my style.  Chips and Gravy E3 5c was next, followed by an on sight of Eagle's Nest HVS 5b***.  I had not read the description for this as it just looked like as a hand crack from below.  Instead, it was indeed an 'old school struggle' as suggested up an off width.  A bit manliness and fear soon put my at the top, relieved.

I moved on to the next buttress and did Ram's Head Slab E3 5c, followed by Arrhythmia E4 6a.  Again these were real quality and worthy of stars.  Pulse Racer E6 6c** is the hardest route here at the moment, and I hadn't planned to do it today as it has a runner.  As I had a bit of time left, I thought I'd have a quick look.  Belaying myself as I climbed, cruised all but one move.  I fluffed a foot swap at 2/3 height, but soon had that sorted and climbed it clean whilst belaying myself, so it was game on.  This went smoothly, so I thought I'd ticked all the E graded routes and went home satisfied.  Unfortunately, I missed one, so will have to try and grab it next visit.

An amazing afternoon though.

come walk with me from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Last Few Days

It's been a busy few days.  Tuesday was a full day setting at rokt, which was pretty knackering. The next day I was hoping to go to Earl and try the classic Pegg test piece  Mind Bomb, but despite  roads and walls being drunk,  the crag was gopping!  The wind was strangely blowing over the top, which at least meant somewhere would be dry.

In the end , Elliot and I ended up at Scout Hut Crag. I had been here once before and ticked pretty much all the routes in the old guide with stars so didn't think I would ever go back.  However, the new guide shows a good range of steady boulder problems to go at.  Some of these I had done on my last visit not knowing what they were, but it was nice to repeat them and do some new ones.

I retro Flashed Dave's Traverse 7a+ and a bunch of other stuff, was feeling the day before towards the end of the day. This meant I ran out of steam on the last tricky thing.  I think the crag has at least one more visit in it, as I'd like to do the traverse challenge.

Today I met up with Terrance and Mark at Heptonstall.   I was feel pretty tired so did a couple of easy routes with those guys and came home for lunch.

A few days of good rest and recovery are needed.

Saturday, 15 November 2014


Yesterday we came down to Sheffield to see friends in the afternoon. To my surprise the weather was improving and the road etc drying fast.  I decided to go and have a quick boulder at Burbage North and look at Submergence 7c.  It has been on my list for a while, so I was hoping it was dry.  The problem was dry, but the pool under the arete problem was inconvenient.  I strategically place the mats and got on it.  I cruised through to the crux move first go, then hit a wall. It took a fair few attempts to find the best way to the slot. Even then it was very hit and miss.  As my skin was sore from the previous day, I just kept trying from the start hoping I would hit on an attempt.  This finally happened as the sun disappeared and conditions improved a touch.  All that was left was the shallow water solo up the arete.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sheriff Crack F.A.

Despite things looking a little damp outside this morning, I nipped over to Woodhouse after I had dropped Rose at pre school.  The main reason for going was to see how things felt on a new eliminate I had been trying.  This is the crack of the Sheriff only, which makes for some tough moves.

Conditions were surprisingly good on the Sheriff block, so I warmed up on Cave Buttress doing all the classics up to 7a+, then mooched back over to the Sheriff block.  It had been a while since I had done the Sheriff 7b+ it's original way, so did that to complete the warm up.  This eliminate has been a project for a while, and I've probably been trying it on and off for a year.  I put in some real effort last year and got close, but didn't have a good way of finishing.  Trying to do it all nice and techy made it desperate.  Now I had a good way to finish, I just wanted a better way to get into the crack proper.  Today I finally found this better way, which meant I could do the first crux move easier, and save the energy needed for the next part of the crux.  I dropped the crux a few times, started to feel impatient.  After a good rest and psyche up I gave it absolutely everything I had.  I made it through the crux and just had to hit the top.  My head felt like it was going to explode as I held by breath and pulled that bit harder, and hit the top.  Once I came down and sat on the mat I thought I was going to throw up.  I lay there for around 20 mins before I moved on to do some other problems, but pretty happy with the result of the effort I'd put in.

I finished off my morning by doing the Trackside Arete 6a and Trackside Wall 7a at the far end of the crag.  Then I worked back and did Angel Face 7b+, Roof Eliminate 7b+ and Rainy Days 7b+ on the Clingen Face.  I tried to do Houdini, but had nothing left when I got to the lip.  Instead I wrapped things up with Close to the Edge 7a and continued up to the top for the E3 6b tick.  A great morning that my body seems to be suffering for now.  No pics etc. as I didn't take camera thinking it would not be in the best of condition, Error.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Yorkshire Gritstone Vol. 2

A must buy

I met Adi at Rokt on Monday afternoon and our girls went on a send fest in pursuit of Jelly babies and Cola Bottles.  Rose and Lilly did a good amount of climbing, Rose an even great amount of moaning.  Adi had generously brought along a copy of the new Yorkshire Grit Vol. 2 Guide for my small contributions with Woodhouse and a couple of other areas.  I might be biased, but I think it is even better than the first volume.  This volume covered the areas of Yorkshire that are much less frequented.  Whilst everyone is revelling in the polish at Almscliff, those of us in West Yorkshire have a guide to show the best the area has to offer.  Once past the polish of Ilkley, you enter into the area of rough grit of Barden Moor.  A little further West takes you to the Dark difficult world of Earl Crag etc.  Continue you journey further South and you hit the Widdop and Calderdale area.  With much more documented to go at, even the most dedicated local has something new.  I personally am really pleased with area.  This guide has re ignited my enthusiasm for my local area.  crags I had ticked in the old guide suddenly give me reasons to return.  Matt and Neil have really done a great job, Thanks guys.  The Woodhouse and Kirklees section is another area that will offer a great deal to the West Yorkshire/Calderdale local.  There are areas I didn't even know existed, all within a 30 min drive.  Add to all this the Shipley and Baildon section, and you another climbing to last you a lifetime.

My mutant arm, I wish I had this reach!
This is a guide that would be worth every penny.  You can pick your copy up from Outside, the Leeds wall and other retailers.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

SPA Assessmet

Over the weekend I was running an SPA Assessment in the Peak for Stuart and Will.  The weather on Saturday was apocalyptic, so we decided to switch the days around and do the group day first.  We ventured up to Burbage North, which was surprisingly busy, with another SPA group and crazy folks climbing.  Once I had seen enough, we ran away to the foundry to cover all the climbing wall aspects of the award.  Despite the weather, it was a very productive day with a great deal covered.

The second day way a complete contrast.  We took advantage of this at Froggatt, which had a few damp spots early on.  Both Will and Stuart did really well and led a couple of routes each, as well as completing a few other tasks.  Both had showed a strong performance over the 2 days, passing comfortably.

We had a little time left in the day, so after chatting decided that seconding some trickier and varied routes would help develop their climbing.  After climbing Chequer's Buttress HVS 5a***, Three Pebble Slab E1 5a***, Brown's Eliminate E2 5b*** and Four Pebble Slab E3 5c***, their weakness had been found.  Each had different strength and excelled on different routes, but more importantly enjoyed the challenge each route offered.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sladen Roof

The new Lancashire bouldering guide came out recently, and I was tipped off about a couple of local spots that would be worth an hour or so.  After a busy morning, I finally had a couple of hours this afternoon to visit Sladen Roof.  This is a small block between Littleborough and Tod with 4 problems on.  Frustratingly, after a nice dry morning.  It started pissing down when I wanted to go out.  I decided to head out anyway and see what the score was.  It proved worthwhile, as when I got there the main hold on the hardest problem was dry.  With all the other holds being good and positive, it seemed like it would go.  I dried out the edges and used a load of chalk to dry them out enough to hang on and warm up my fingers.  Was I felt warmed up enough I surprised myself by flashing Sladen Roof 7b.  The finishing jugs were soaking, but so big it didn't matter.  I'll probably go back again to tick the whole block and combine it with another venue.

Sladen Roof from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Some Quick Ticks

I took advantage of some surprisingly dry rock this morning and ticked off a couple of good eliminates on the Sheriff block at Woodhouse.  I did the Sheriff with no Arete 7b+ which is much harder than the original.  The moves to finish being the hardest.

Last Hard move to hit the top on the Sheriff with no arête

Next up I did an easier variation on Cracker Jack which I called Slacker Jack 7b+/7c.  This eliminates all the same hand holds, but adds in the back wall.  How hard it is will depend on body size and reach I think.

Tricky moves on Slacker Jack getting established on the Arete

A good hour spent.
sheriff Eliminates from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Watty Quarry New Routes

With the new Lancashire guide in the final stages, I was informed of a small quarry that had a couple of good lines left to do.  Watty Quarry was the place, and a scratty little thing it is too.  When I first walked up to, I thought I must be at the wrong place. However, after a closer inspection,  it was it.  Pretty disappointed, I thought I'd look at the lines whilst I was there.

My knowledge of the proposed routes was very limited.   So I picked out what looked to be best and tried them. The left hand line on the steep face made sense to be a straight up route with no deviations. This made it a bold little number, with a tricky move highish and bad landing.  After one flash on a rope and clean I soloed it to give Watt the #&#& E3 5c.  The line to the right made sense to go up through the low roof before passing the second on it's left. A further tricky move to the arete led to an easy finish.  Despite having a cam low down, the tricky moves higher up would not be protected  and the landing is pretty bad.  Again one quick top rope and I soloed the route to give Watt a Load of #&$@ E5 6a.

Despite the look of the venue the climbing was quite good.  That said, it would only really be of interest to a local.  I'd be surprised if these routes ever see a repeat.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Bolton School Spainish Rock Trip

Adam enjoying the techy climbing at Abdet

Ben Loving the views

Andy in Echo Valley

I have spent the last week working with students from Boy School Boys Division in Spain. The aim was to give them a good progression from all they have learnt at home with me and their school staff. A lot of ground work has been done, so we were very hopeful for a good trip. The temperature was high for this time of year, 32 degrees in the shade at times. Which presented a different challenge. The lads adjusted well, we found venues with shade at times and got fully stuck in.

Anosh cooling off by the sea on a nice 5
Ethan on El Albaran Volador 6a***

Anosh on Es Carlota 5***
Anitesia 6c***

After a toprope each on the first day, they got straight into leading. This theme continued through the whole week. I was really impressed with how they took everything in their stride, and really focused on pushing themselves everyday with no imput from us. Each day had success and setbacks as they tried routes that suited and did not suit their styles. This seemed to drive them on more as they learnt from every route. The second last day at Montessa seemed like a sendfest. 3 of the 6 onsighted their first 6b's and 1 redpointed his first 6c. Others fought hard to break new ground, but the week had taken it's toll. The week finished at Bellus, with a wide range of 3 star routes on good steep rock. Everyone, despite being tired dug deep and were rewarded with some good ticks. One of which was a top 50 6a that some flashed in great style. I even took advantage of the quality climbing and onsighted a 3 star route at every grade from 5-7a, with a 3 star 7b thrown in as a quick redpoint. An awesome venue.

Rokodromo.com 7a***

Thursday, 16 October 2014

SPA Assessment

The last 2 days was spent in a damp Peak District running an SPA Assessment for McKinlay Mountaineering. A busy course with 8 candidates. Personal climbing was in tricky damp conditions at Froggatt, but all did well. We then moved to the Foundry to cover the climbing wall aspects of the assessment. The group management section was done at Lawrancefield and Millstone to give a mixture of rigging and management challenges, but all did well. A very successful course, with everyone passing. The first for a while.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Rainy Days

I had a couple of hour at Woodhouse this morning to continue my attempts to get fit and stronger again.  After all the rain, it was the Clingen Face that never disappoints.  The arête was soaked through, but the slot not too bad.  So, I plugged it up to dry and warmed up on a number of the eliminates.  Whilst lying around in between problems, I noticed a sequence I had never seen before.  Truly eliminate, but offered good moves.  As the slot was still wet I did a shortened version to give a nice little font 7a.  Once the slot was useable, I managed to link the whole thing.  Climbing Angelface Reverse into the new finish to give Rainy Days 7b+.  I then did the 7b edge eliminate and a few other things.  My attempt to video Rainy Days failed on the last move as I'd used up my fingers on the problem after the F.A. Error.  Did video the short version though whilst waiting for slot to dry.

Rainy Days from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Busy Weekend

On Saturday I was at The Leeds wall running a CWA Assessment for McKinley Mountaineering.  The 2 candidates did a great job, and both passed comfortably.

The worlds smallest spotter
After a pleasant 50 miler on the bike on Sunday morning, I had a quick hit at Woodhouse in the afternoon.  This is one of a handful of sessions I've had in the last few months, so repeating some of the hander problems I know well is really helping me get so  strength back.  After warming up and then doing the 7b+'s on the Angel Face.  I was really happy to redo Interfacing Angel 7c, which I put up last year.  It's strange for me to find some strengths coming back quickly, but my fingers struggling to come back.  Hopefully they won't take too long

The crux

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

SPA Assessment and Scary Monsters

Over the weekend I was running a SPA Assessment in the Peak for McKinley Mountaineering.  The candidates did a great job a Burbage North for the personal climbing section, before we moved to the Foundry.  A long session at the wall set them up nicely for the group section of the award at Lawrancefield and Millstone.  This went well for all but one, but everyone worked hard throughout the day.

Yesterday I managed to sneak a quick route at Trowbarrow.  This was the first since June, so I was pretty happy with my flash of Scary Monsters E5 6a*.  Fingers crossed it's not so long before the next one.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

SPA Training and a bit of route setting

Last Saturday I ran the first day of an SPA Training in the Peak.  A busy, full course, with a good variety of experience between the candidates made for some good discussions.  We spent the first part of the day at Stanage looking at all aspects of personal climbing, before heading to The Foundry to look at the climbing wall part of the award.  A good day seemed to be had by all.

My back seems to be on the mend, so I ventured out for a boulder on Tuesday.  I picked my way through some trusty problems at Woodhouse and managed a handful of things up to 7b+, which was a real surprise.  Hopefully strength and fitness will return quickly.

Today, a bit sore from bouldering.  I have been route setting all day and testing some circuits.  It's fair to say a poor year climbing and an injury that has kept me out for a month, is painful to come back from in more ways than one.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A Mish Mash of Things

It has been a strange few weeks which have been a struggle, due to a mountain bike crash at high speeds that involved a drystone wall.  I'd like to think of it as a draw, but jury is still out.

Despite this I have managed to do some window cleaning and a lead climbing session with Bolton School students in preparation for our Spanish climbing trip in October.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to climb properly by then.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Climbing Coaching in North Wales

The last 2 day have been spent with Colm and Dave in North Wales, refreshing old and introducing new skills.  Due to them both having some injuries, the grade of the routes was not important, but time spent on rock was.

Colm getting into it on Little Tryfan

Thursday was spent on Little Tryfan, where they lead a good number a pitches, did multi pitch abseils and looked at stance management.  It was a day well spent, with the guys saying it was the perfect day, which was much needed.

Elephant Slab providing tricky gear and food for thought

Dave enjoying the atmosphere on Rap

Yesterday we made the decision to head over to Anglesey to avoid the rain.  I turned out to be a great decision, as we drove through rain to dry roads and sunshine.  We went on to Holyhead Mountain to continue the theme from the previous day, and add a couple of simple problem solving techniques in there.  We rounded off the day with a quick ascent of Rap VS 4c*** on Castle Helen.  Sadly, Colm was a bit too sore for this.  Hopefully they get the weather to put all they've learnt into practise over the next couple of day before heading home to Ireland.

Dave living the dream

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Busy Week Setting and CWA Training

This week has bee pretty busy.  The lead area at ROKT has been given a new look with friction paint, so I've been in re setting the 21m beast.  There are now a good range of routes from F4-7a+ to go at, with more to come.  There will be a couple of good trying routes soon to compliment the easier range that are already there.

Over the weekend I have been running a CWA Training for 5 candidates.  The mixture of venues (ROKT and Leeds Wall) really adds to the course, as well as the mix of experience from the candidates.  Everyone was very complimentary of the course and seemed to take a lot away from it.

I've managed to squeeze in a few sessions for myself indoors, so will hopefully get out and take advantage of these soon.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

ML Training

Over the last few days I have been running part of an ML Training down in Wales for Mckinlay Mountaineering.  Thursday was a mountain day, so we head up the North Ridge of Tryfan.  We looked a lot at the boundaries between what is, and is not, ML ground, as well as route finding and navigation.  This was a great day and brought up some good discussion points throughout the day.

Racheal leading the way
Friday and Saturday were the Exped.  We started on the Nant Gwynant side of Snowdon and walked up the Watkin Path, before heading up over Yr Aran and on to camp beneath Snowdon.  We spent the day working on 1:50 and 1:40 maps, which presented a new challenge to the candidates.  Once darkness fell, we moved back onto the 1:25's and got to grips with Night Nav.  A long but very productive days.  In the morning we made are way back out taking in more nav legs on the larger scale maps and covering anything again that folks wanted.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Catch Up

I've been pretty slack on the blogging front lately, so thought I'd catch up.  Since the last post, I have run an SPA Assessment, a fair bit of route setting, staff training and Technical advisor work.

This weekend I was working in the Peak on an SPA Training Course.  A wet first day was spent covering group stuff at Lawrancefield, before moving to the Foundry for more of the same.  Day 2 was spent at Froggatt for all the personal climbing aspects of the course in the sunshine.

I did manage to grab a morning at Kilnsey with friends and Rose, which was reasonably productive.  A couple of quick hits on Metal Guru 7c, meant I now know the moves.  Next time with a warm up it should go quickly, I hope!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Low Low Reverse F.A.

I only had a couple of hours this morning, and no one else free to climb locally, so hit Woodhouse before it got too hot.  I went to Cave Buttress to have a look at reversing the Low Low Traverse and taking out any of the higher holds that are reasonable.  It makes it more eliminate, but a better problem.

About to make the tricky drop down
Fingery climbing

Finishing up the V5

Low Low Reverse Eliminate 7b, starts in the crack and traverse right on the big ledge, below dropping down to the lowest holds on the lip.  Follow these right to join the V5 on the far right and finish up that.

Low Low Reverse from Adam Hughes on Vimeo.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Staff Training, Multi Pitching and Sport Climbing

On Thursday I was at Higgar Tor running and supporting some staff training with Pink Adventures.  The aim was to do a site familiarisation and talk through ways to maximise the venue.  It was a great session, with loads of discussion and activity.

Over the weekend I have been in Wales with Bolton Boys School taking students climbing.  On Saturday Aston, Ethan and I climbed 3 multi pitch routes on Little Tryfan in the morning, before heading to the Milestone Buttress and climbing Super Direct HVS in the afternoon.  The lads did extremely well, and really took on board all the learning points.  Steve had Alex and Andy and climbed a few routes in the morning on Little Tryfan, before Direct Route VD in the afternoon.  We rounded off the day with some bouldering on the RAC boulders in the evening.

Chilling on the first belay

Confident with no hands

Aston enjoying a tricky Severe pitch

Sunday we headed back North to do some Sports route along the A55.  Castle Inn Quarry in the morning, where some of the guys led up to 4+ and toproped 6a.  In the afternoon we moved to Penmaen Head.  Here some led up to 5+ and pushed themselves to try a 6b+ on a toprope.  I managed to sneak in a 7a and 7a+ onsights to top off a great weekend.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

SPA Training and Green Death

The last couple of weeks have seen the usual route setting work and squeezing in some climbing to tick over.  This year continues to be a battle to find the time for days out for myself, so I'm doing my best to stay fit-ish.

Over the weekend I was running an SPA Training in the Peak for Mckinlay training.  A well attended course meant a good mix of candidates.  As always, the more the better for sharing ideas.  Tricky conditions on Saturday, with heat and rain for personal climbing.  However, everyone climbed well, some above the standard.  A good group day at Millstone and Lawrancefield rounded off a good weekend.

I managed a quick send Of Green Death E5 6b*** early Sunday morning.  A good brush, then solo, with an unfortunate damp top out when some drizzle started as I was in the top crux.  A trick start via the 6b version makes for a better route all round.

Today after climbing partners have not been able to make it to Kilnsey, I opted for a morning session at Woodhouse.  A stiff workout, with a handful of 7a+'s and 4 7b+'s made it a worthwhile morning.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

CWA Assessment

After a week stuck in at home not so well, it was back to The Leeds Wall yesterday for a CWA Assessment.  The 4 candidates did really well.  A mix of abilities in terms of their personal climbing, meant some had a harder time than others.  All gave good performances when it came to the other aspects of the award.

Today I met with a posy from ROKT at Heptonstall for a few routes this afternoon.  There was approx. 20 folk there, which has to be the busiest I've ever seen it.  Despite the warm temps, folks were getting stuck in to a range of routes.  I soloed a few VS's to warm up, then led Brown Sugar E2 5c** with Chris.  Mark was putting in a good effort trying to lead Hard Line E5 6b**, but fell short of the top.  I took advantage of his very high gear to nip up it, and found it very easy to my surprise.  Even after being a ill all week, I seem to have recovered ok.  Lets hope I can start finding some time to get out and do a bit more.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

CWA Training

Over the weekend I ran a CWA Training course for McKinley Mountaineering.  It was a full course, with a great mix of experience through the candidates, which really made it.  The personal climbing day was done in the varied venue of ROKT.  A great venue for this day of the award.  The second day looking at all the group aspects and the abseil module was done at The Leeds Wall.  Another good venue for this award, and contrasting to the previous days.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Work, Work

After a day inside route setting yesterday, it was nice to be out today.  I was working with Steve at Heptonstall doing a multi pitch training day in preparation for his schools trip to Wales next month.  We spent the day looking at belays and stance management, as we broke up the routes into 2 or 3 pitches.  This worked really well, and gave a good opportunity to talk about avoiding common stance problems with 3 people.  Steve did well on the routes he led and was well organised.  A bit more practise before the trip and things will be cruisy.
Steve on Sunstroke Slab

We nipped over to Mytholm Steep Quarry to climb the rarely dry and climbed Revolution HVS 5b**.  It was a bit dirty, but gave some great climbing.

Monday, 19 May 2014

SPA Refresher, then SPA Assessment

On Friday I was at Stanage doing an SPA Refresher.  It was a long and productive day as we went through the whole syllabus, but the sunshine made it a good day to be out.

I went back out in the evening with friends for a bit of a boulder, and ticked a few classics in the process.
A great evening at Stanage

Over the weekend I ran an SPA Assessment.  The weather made it a nice, but tiring affair, but the candidates did a great job.  Burbage North was the venue on Saturday for the personal climbing section, before heading to the Foundry to cover the wall bits.

Above & Below: Evangelos enjoying his assessment

James & Vicky stuck into 20ft Crack
I nipped out to Stanage again in the evening and climbed some classic routes with Penny.  She cruised the VS's and HVS's we did on this, her first time outside for a while.

Sunday was the group day, and Lawrancefield and Millstone where the venues.  It was a tough day, but everyone put a lot of effort in.  There was success for most, but one unfortunately needs to return for this day.  Congratulations to everyone that passed, a good effort by all.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Work and Climbing

I've been pretty busy again since last blogging.  The usual route setting has kept me going, as well as hanging banners and letters off the outside of the ROKT building.  There have been a few good climbing sessions locally too.  A mileage day at Heptonstall in which we climbed 20 pitches.  All but 3 of these were E2 and above.  On another visit to Heptonstall, I flashed Anti cyclone E5 6b*, which is a steep thin crack finish to Thin Red Line.  One worth doing.

Whilst up in Fort William on a family holiday, I grabbed a couple of hour out with some friends.  A dad's outing that saw us move together and bag 16 pitches of severe in about an hour and a half, and finish at the top of the crag.

Today I had a quick visit to Widdop after hearing a couple of routes had been cleaned.  I quickly soloed Piton Crack E1 5b* and Mantel Madness E3 6a, then thought I'd do my bit and clean another couple.  Stage Fright E3 6a was a great solo and then Hammertime E6 6b* was terrifying one.  A great morning though.

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Bit of Work and Milage

This week I have managed to cram a fair bit in.  A couple of steady bouldering sessions outside doing problems up to 7b+ I know to try and build up some strength.  I have done my usual route setting at Rokt, and fitted in doing the odd route there too. 

Yesterday I went to Heptonstall with Dan hoping to get a good session in before the rain.  After warming up of a few easy routes, we got stuck into some laps.  I ended up climbing 16 pitches of E2-4,with a high number in the higher end.  Leaving the crag tired, but not wasted meant it was a perfectly balanced session.

I am working tomorrow, so no doubt I'll squeeze in a few routes too.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

SPA Assessment

Over the weekend I ran an SPA Assessment in the Peak in friendly weather.  The 4 candidates did well across the 2 days, the first of which was at Froggatt.  A good personal climbing day, with a high standard of leading by all.  Day 1 continued into the evening at the Foundry to cover the climbing wall part of the award.

Day 2 stayed mostly dry for us at Millstone and Lawrancefield for the group section too.  A steady day by all meant passes all round, a good result.

Friday, 18 April 2014

A busy Couple of Weeks

Things have been pretty hectic over the last couple weeks with work etc. So not as much time to get out.  The beginning of the month took me to the Peak to shadow a Gold DofE practise expedition in some pretty horrible weather.  Since then, the weather has been improved.  I've had the odd session at Woodhouse in between route setting and site visits, but have been feeling a bit weak still.  A quick morning visit to Heptonstall helped pick me up, with ascents of some routes I had not done before.  Holdless E4 6a, Just Jump E4 6b and No Safety, No Surprise E5 6b are not in the current guide, but will be nice additions to the new guide.

Tuesday saw a turn around for me at Woodhouse.  An early start gave top conditions on the Clingen Face.  After warming up, I rattled through Angel Face, Angel Face Reverse, Angel's Crossing Extention and Angel Face Roof Eliminate, all 7b+.  With a couple of 7b's and 7a+'s it was a great session.

Today I went to Troller's Gill with Ed not expecting much after setting Wednesday and climbing in the wall a little yesterday.  I felt sluggish warming up, but thought I'd get stuck into Kick My Habit 7c anyway.  It was pretty dirty and dusty at I put the draws in, but after a good brush and quick climb through the tricky sections it felt fine.  I had a good rest, then sent it first go.  Pretty psyched with that.  I had a quick play on Mhoody Dhoo 8a+ next.  I could link the first 3 bolts and do the finish up Angel Heart, but there are 2 or 3 moves in the middle I can't work out.  I pulled a big hold off today, so the way I would have done it no longer exists.  It's a bit gutting, but I might work it out yet.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wilton Classics

Today after checking the weather, Elliot and I settled on Wilton 1 as the rain was not due till the afternoon.  I have only done one trad route this year, but as always was thinking of something tricky.  First up I gave Pathetique E5 6b* a severe make over as I waited for Elliot to turn up.  It was an awkward one to clean, as the line is not very obvious under all the dirt.  It would also be easy to stray into the routes either side and miss the crux out.  I'm pretty sure I cleaned the line, as Elliot could not do the crux sequence.  I was psyched to Flashed the route, but almost dropped the crux first try when I mess up the foot sequence.  After reversing down and having a second look, it went smoothly.  I'm glad, as it's not a route to fall off.

Elliot cruised up Cameo E1 5a*** as are warm up.  He then tried Soot Monkeys E6 6c** on a top rope.  I fancied Parasite E5 6b** which had been climbed recently.  Elliot had said the pegs were poor, so I abseiled down to check.  He was right.  The climbing also looked blind, so rather than have a horror as my third route of the year, I gave it a quick climb, belaying myself as I went.  Happy is was ok, I went for the lead.  It would be fait to say a pissed up to the pegs, and feeling like it was super easy, I decided to just miss out some moves and crank straight up.  This meant I used a smear that was not clean, and also meant my foot popped straight off as did I.  Gutted, but happy the pegs held, I got straight back on.  This was an error as I was a little pumped by the peg this time, and the rest of the route felt harder than it should have.  Excellent climbing though, and probably a little under graded for a true on sight.

Starting the second crux

Leaving the pegs behind
On the jugs after the run out

Friday, 28 March 2014

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

It's all been a bit hard work since coming back after the winter.  I'm no where near as strong as I was before going away, so have been struggling on the boulders.  A few hits to Earl Crag has seen me close to a few classics, with one more visit needed.  Woodhouse has given a couple of good sessions to aid getting stronger, along with the wall (needs must with a toddler).

I had a quick trip into Cow's Mouth Quarry last Saturday and Soloed Visions from the Darkside E5 6b.  This felt like another Lancashire chop route, with the grade reflexing a headpoint feel, not an onsight.  I thought this would be the case, so gave it one quick toppy, the soloed without any pads.  They would not help anyway.  The climbing is very good and worth a look if you are in there for the other E5.
Making the hard starting moves

Today |I had a quick couple of hours a Woodhouse as it was the only place dry local.  I added a new eliminate Angel's Breast font 7b to the Clingen Face.  The aim was to climb on a different part of the crag, but the weather had made it's mark.

Cupping the breasty sloper