Saturday, 18 August 2012

Back to school

I am leaving Yorkshire tomorrow to go back up to University (school). I know this is quite early but I have a field trip in Northern Scotland at the end of August. I'm not sure how much climbing I'll get done between now and the start of term so I think this is a good opportunity to sum up my summer of rock.
Ive spent most of the summer at home making evening trips to Almscliff and I know a fair few of the locals now. I have also been to Brimham, Caley, Kilnsey, New Mills Tor, The Roaches, Ilkley and Heptonstall. I can't mention everything ive done, there is a lot and it would just be a massive list, but I will describe any highlights.
My trip to New Mills Tor, despite being a bit wet, was good. I managed to climb Honcho (E4 6b), which is still my hardest lead. The route is a short, steep and bouldery and I got it on my second attempt. I think it was possibly a bit soft at E4 6b. I would be tempted to give it a high in the grade E3 6a.
Another highlight has to be my ascent of the Sloth (HVS, 5a) at The Roaches. I climbed it with Sam Capewell, who I know from Edinburgh. The route takes a crack through a large, steep roof. I have wanted to climb this for a while but was put off in the past as it looks really scary. It is an intimidating HVS, but probably only HVS.
The Sloth
Another highlight of the summer was when I on-sighted my first E4, 'Arries 'Ook, at Almscliff. The route takes a steep, unprotected slab to gear, some bulges and a long reach. The route suited me down to the ground and it didn't feel too hard once I committed to the initial slab. The route gets given E4 6a but I felt it was closer to E3 5c, and possibly slightly soft at that. The route was in my style so my opinion may be a bit biased.
Other routes I have done at Almscliff which were particularly good were Crack of Doom (VS), Great Western (HVS), Demon Wall (HVS), Birdlime Traverse (E1), Black Wall Eliminate (E2), Bancrofts Roof (E2) and Syretts Roof (E3). All of these, except Great Western which I led, were done ground up on solo.
Dolphin Belly Slap
I have also had a good summer bouldering. I managed my first V7 outdoors, Demon Wall Roof, which is as hard as Ive ever bouldered indoors. Other highlights include Dolphin Belly Flop (V6), Pebble Wall (and with sit start) (both V5), Morrells Traverse (V6) and Virgin Traverse Part 1 (V4). This is a selected number of problems I have done at Almscliff and by no means complete.
I would have to say that it has been a very good summer of climbing for myself and hopefully I can continue this into the next year at University and the up coming Winter season and Scottish Tooling Series. 

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