Amongst all the recent tumult of house-buying and various other stress-inducing diversions, I managed to find time on Saturday for a few hours at Rivelin with Jaime. After arriving in the drizzle the weather soon dried up, and the sun even came out by mid afternoon. Jaime was leading her first routes of the year after a recent holiday in font, and I was trying to remember how gear worked after all this recent bouldering, but we both had a pretty good time.
Highlights included romping up Jonad Rib without even a tiny whimper at the unprotected 4c moves, and retro-flashing Blizzard Ridge on lead. It felt pretty steady, and only confirmed my confusion from when I seconded it previously that people consider it to be bold and high in the grade. Sure there are several 5a moves, but the gear is good and not that spaced, and none of the 5a moves are that hard (unless you're unusually short I'd imagine). It's still a brilliant route though. If you haven't done it then go and rectify that now (and do Croton Oil too while you're there).
Less highlights were my initial failure to remember how to climb whilst uselessing my way up a Hard Severe, accidentally climbing round the crux of Angle Rib, an unstarred HVS (although in my defence the move I avoided was committing, above some very worrying sounding gear and hopelessly eliminate) and accidentally sandbagging Jaime on Cocaine Place. This was an HVS just left of Wilkinson's Wall which I'd previously contemplate soloing. It turns out that the good looking gear isn't, and the crux comes after the tricky moves to pass this (and is really hard). Ooops.
Overall it was a pretty successful day, although somehow I still managed to avoid doing either Kremlin Crack (which still looks ace, but like very hard work indeed) or Altar Crack. The latter is getting a bit ridiculous now. I think it might be the only three star VS on Eastern Grit (or at least one of very few remaining) which I haven't done, and it's the one nearest to my house. Oh dear. I must learn to either layback, man up some more, jam thin cracks, or ideally all three. The shame, the shame.
Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some evening climbing to the party. Watch this space...