Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Back Bowden

I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been beaten up after yesterdays Newtyle sesh but I had planned to go to Back Bowden with Joanna so off we went. It was reasonably warm, well warmer than last time atleast, and the wind wasn't too strong. We had the crag to ourselves which was nice too. Back Bowden is a sandstone crag in Northumberland. The crag shows lots of nice sedimentiary features although there are far too many to describe here.
We set up beneath The Sorcerer and bouldered around for abit. Last time I was here Tom mentioned that the sorcerer is supposed to be a good route so I figured I might as well go for it. After abit of a battle to do the starting boulder problem, it's harder when you've got a rack on, I mantled onto the hanging slab headed for the groove at the top. The last bit wasn't as hard as the start but still felt quite nice. I had to abb to get the gear back as this was Joanna's first time climbing in 3 weeks, thanks to christmas, and the boulder problem at the start is quite hard. I also managed the start of sourceres apprentice, which is a steep font 5+, just next to the previous route.
Me on Sorcerers Apprentice
 We moved further down the crag to beneath Morgan which I wanted to have a look at. I have bouldered the start of Morgan before, font 6b, and I figured that the end wouldn't be too much harder, if not abit easier, as the route as a whole is given E5 6a. As I had already blown the onsight I decided to abb to check out the gear and holds. The gear looked pretty good with loads of small pockets around and even a thread. I ended up trying it on toprope instead of getting straight on the lead and i'm glad I did as I popped off just before the thread, which is the first real piece of gear. I got back on and managed to find the hold I needed but I decided to leave it to another day. If I get it it will be my first E5, or first of anything harder than E3.
After playing around on some boulder problems we headed back to Hazel Rigg wall. Here I managed to work out a few more moves on Hazel Rigg wall traverse, font 7b. It feels pretty hard and those moves will be difficult after doing the start of the traverse but its something.
Hazel Rigg wall traverse
 Despite not getting very much done it was quite a nice day out and im pretty psyched to head back again now.

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