Monday, 7 November 2011

Farewell To Dr DanDanDan

As Dr DanDanDan is moving to Kansas (who am I going to sandbag into coming girdle traversing with me now?), it seemed fitting to have one final session at Stanage. After last Friday's general aceness I was psyched for all kinds of things - Tower Face, Fina, Milsom's Minion, Billiard Buttress etc etc. Sadly the weather had other plans and things were looking decidedly wet and minging until the sun came out around 11:30. I convinced Dan (and myself) that the crag would be dry within the hour and was consequently slightly surprised that nobody else was in the Plantation car park when we arrived.

It soon became clear that the crag was dry in places, but also quite wet in places. The path was also doing a passable impression of a river. This was not a world of goodness. Lowering my expectations slightly we wandered up to Lookout Flake, an epic Severe. Half of the flake was dry, unfortunately not the half you actually hold on to, but once I'd got off the ground it was ok. Dan's travails getting off the ground provided me with some light relief too, which was thoughtful of him.

The colour that every gritstone climber loves to see...

As everything else in the area was hard, wet or both, we walked along (nearly slipping to my death on the wet grass several times) to the general vicinity of Paping About Like A Man With No Arms (which looked even more delightful than usual, shudder). After scooping plenty of water out of a big pocket onto a crucial smeary foothold Dan led Poor Pizza, which was better than it sounds (and not even that wet), but a touch bold.

The next route, Scorpion Slab, was even bolder, with only a sideways RP1 protecting most of the route. Luckily it was really easy, although Dan tried to prove otherwise by falling off it somehow. It was nearly dark by this point, but a few chants of "Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's TURBO-DAN" seemed to provided the required motivation, and Dan hastily racked up and set off up a VS. He quickly managed to get himself committed at a rather worrying height, with no gear in. Whilst I was trying to assess whether I should try and spot him or do my best crash mat impression should he fall off, he got on with it and reached the top, hurrah.

Hopefully things will be a little bit drier next time...

Impressed with my bomber RP1 placement

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