Friday, 30 September 2011

Summer's Here Kids

Now it's almost October and summer has finally poked its head above the parapet for a few days, it seemed rude not to make use of it and do some climbing. Unfortunately Dan was suffering a bout of sport-climbing induced man-flu, so I set off on my own on a quest for some esoteric low-grade bouldering.

After wandering across some beautiful moorland in glorious sunshine I arrived at Rabbit Warren. The crag was small, but appealing, and there was even an alluring offwidth. I spent a pleasant few hours climbing most of the easy problems and managing not to bottle out of some of the slightly highball finishes. Whoop. I had a quick bite to eat and turned my attentions to the appealing undercut prow of The Tomb. Depending which guide I believed this was either well within my abilities (V1 5c) or far too hard for me (font 6b+). In the end I managed to climb it in two sections, but failed to link them into each other. It was a nice problem though, maybe even justifying a return visit with some motivational hecklers.

The esoteric delights of Rabbit Warren

On returning to the car I was disappointed at the lack of the promised ice cream van, but once I'd got over this I drove up the road and struck out through some man-eating bracken and shin-destroying heather towards Harland Edge. The guide had warned of an arduous approach in summer and they weren't wrong. Eventually I reached some rock, and promptly got totally spanked by a V0 fist-jamming crack. After the loss of much blood and much cursing I finally hauled myself up it. Grrr.

A bit more bracken-wrestling took me to the main event, an impressive little buttress which could have escaped from Slipstones. Unfortunately it didn't appear to have many holds and I was sweltering in the heat, so I could only summon the beans for one problem, but it would definitely be worth another visit with spotters and better conditions.

Harland Edge

After a recuperative drink in the Robin Hood, and a brief wander down to Stump Hole Cavern (which was damp and a bit spooky, but the eponymous problem looked good), I huffed and puffed my way up to Birchen. After an hour or so of soloing and easy bouldering (that still felt very hard) Adam, Kate and the hound arrived. Adam provided the necessary motivation and heckling to persuade myself up some of the problems on Copenhagen Wall which have always evaded me. In return I tried to persuade him up the comically graded VS 5c right-hand version of Camperdown Crawl. He got as far as furtling the crucial holds before deciding better of it and bravely running away.

So, by this stage I ached a lot and had absolutely no skin left on my fingers. So obviously we went to the Works for a couple of hours. Surprisingly I actually managed to do a few problems, but I'm paying for it now. I feel like I've been in a fight. With a bear. Made of grit.

So obviously I'm just off out climbing again (well, it is sunny...).

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