After a rather crazy day at work, I arranged to meet Dan at Bell Hagg for some evening mild esoterica. Things got off to an inauspicious start when I tried to lead Furherbuch, an unstarred VS which makes it into the graded list in the back of the guide, end found myself unwilling to hand traverse a mediocre break with no footholds whatsoever and ending up hand traversing the top of the crag instead. Hmm, poor show. At this point we established that my 20-odd metre long half rope wasn't really long enough to double over, climb the routes and reach the belay at the top. Fail.
Undeterred we had a little play on the rocking block of Hangman's Arete before wandering along to Scoop Arete. Dan led up to the capping roof easily, but was perturbed by the mantle-y finishing move and after a damn good go at psyching himself up for it, took the easier rightwards finish. The mantle wasn't too bad on second, but would definitely have been a bit of a heart-stopper on lead...
Dan wrestling with his bravery on Scoop Arete
By this stage the sun had set, but there was still time for us both to solo The Lurcher, a great HS 4c with fun moves and good holds. I then bouldered out the heel hooktastic start of Brown's Unmentionable (and wished I'd taken a harness and the rope up with me, the top section looks fun) before enjoying Dan's efforts to get his foot above his head.
We finished the evening's entertainment with a play on Lurcher's Nose Front, a V1 5c with some perplexing fridge-hugging manoeuvres. Somehow our progress just about outpaced the gathering gloom, and we both finally managed the problem just before it got too dark to see any of the holds.
All in all a successful evening, and I'm excited about returning with a sensible amount of rope and a little more gumption.