After near-terminal midweek carfail ruled out the planned trip to Scotland to finally give my shiny new axes and crampons a whirl, I headed up to Leeds instead on a promise of dry rock and cake. On arrival I was treated to some of Andy's mighty carrot cake, which didn't disappoint, and spent most of the evening trying to disabuse Andy of the notion that we should go to Malham the next day.
Fnar fnar fnar
Eventually, after having a lie in to let the sky rain itself out, Andy and I jumped in the car and headed for Bridestones (the West Yorkshire one), whilst Julie ventured off for a bike adventure. After driving through plenty of places with ridiculous names, including a minor detour to take in the joys of Slack Bottom, we parked in the car park of a pub straight out of Royston Vasey, and wandered off across the moors. The wind was uninspiringly biting, there was an unreasonable amount of cloud in the sky and it even started spitting for a few minutes. This was not a promising start.
Luckily for us, Jaime soon arrived, and brought some psyche and better weather with her. We spent a while on Small And Smart and Smarter, the latter of which I eventually got with a bit of leftwards finishing, but I'm having the V4 tick (my first), before a swift team crush of The Villain, an ace V2 nearby. Before we got carried away with ourselves we spent a few minutes falling off desperate slopers on a V5 that was clearly beyond us all, then retreated to The Castle, a high but impressive buttress with some cool problems. Andy and I flashed Initial Wall, then managed to bully Jaime into committing to the rather highball top out for another team crush. We all failed to commit to the equally highball, and less holdful top out to the adjacent V3, Chink In The Armour, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth, as just reaching that point was pretty tricky in itself, but never mind. One to return to when I'm braver and/or better at dealing with heinous slopey nonsense. We finished the day off watching Andy scare himself on Face Ache, and then fail totally to get off the ground on Cleopatra, although that was far better than I managed. We retired to Leeds and awarded ourselves enormous pizzas from Mr Khan's and some more cake for being totally ace.
True to form in Leeds (at least in my limited experience), it was raining on Sunday, so we went to Harrogate wall where I confirmed that I do really have as little stamina as I suspected. I was, however, fairly successful in making myself clip the quickdraws at waist level instead of desperately clawing for them the second they came into reach. I also managed to toprope a F6c cleanly, which I've only managed once before, so clearly I can still climb routes to some extent. In spite of not actually achieving that much, it was good to spend a session working on a weakness but still having fun. Now if only I could find a way to make falling off roofs at the Works fun I'd be laughing...