Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A Light Dose Of Mild Esoterica

It's been a long month since Easter. A month full of rain and no climbing of any sort whatsoever. Oh dear. On the plus side I have booked a trip to Lundy in September and appear to have persuaded Oswald of the merits of some kind of Carnmore/Old Man of Hoy type adventure in August. Anyway, I had last Friday off, but the forecast was hellawindy and showery, so the only logical choice of venue seemed to be Rivelin, in spite of there being precisely no routes there I wanted to climb. I'm still mostly holding a grudge about the Altar Crack fiasco last year.

We started off with James staunchly refusing to recognise the difference between a blunt rib and a slab, but once he'd overcome this he led the pleasant, if rather eliminate Don't Birch The Doc, although he lost man points for a lack of moral fortitude in using the arete near the top. Being the bastion of morality that I am I atoned for his sins with an ethically clean ascent. Then I led a pointless little arete and followed James up another pleasant slabby HVS.

After this we felt inspired for a little bit of adventure, so we headed leftwards into the mythical Rivelin Quarries. They turned out to be a bit less cack than I was expecting, with a fair number of quite impressive lines. Admittedly most of them were E6s, but they did look good. There was also the legendary Rhododendron Crack. It looked awesome, but sadly I'd left the big bro and secateurs at home, so it will have to wait for another day...
Behold the infinite majesty of Rhododendron Crack. Ooooh.
I consoled myself with the prospect of a new crag point, and led off up one of the few dry lower grade lines. Woozle Direct even had a star. It was ill deserved. Pushy, unprotected climbing followed by some hollow holds and then some wetness (I lied about it being dry). Luckily there was some proper gear halfway up. Unluckily there was some vegetable interest on the top out. Boo.
Is this the bit that gets the star?
It started to spit at this stage, but the youth was undeterred and got wrestling with the unprotected start of a nice, but bold looking E1. It turned out to be very nice, but really quite bold. Allegedly it used to be E2 and I can see why. A good lead from young James. I was all set to give the adjacent HVS a go when the heavens opened, so we skulked off back home. Not a bad little sojourn into the undergrowth. I will be back. With big cams. And some agent orange.

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