Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Bimbling At Stanage, Spanked At Curbar

Another month, still haven't remembered how to climb. I have had lots of fun bimbling around. Much like all of Tremadog, climbing obscure unstarred low-grade routes at Stanage is one of my great guilty pleasures. I've been 3 times since my last post and climbed all sorts of mildly esoteric gems, including Birthday Buttress (a bit of a voyage at VS 4b), Elliott's Eliminate (a great route to do on a busy day, crossing 3 2/3-star routes at the Popular End) and The Real 20-Foot Crack (pocket-sized jamming loveliness). I've also found a fair few sandbags, including an HVS arete called Scary Canary that Adam led, which involved some very unlikely moves off uninspiring jams and a rounder-than-you-like arete.

Bimbler's Paradise
I've also been to Bell Hagg. Twice in a week. On the first visit I mostly just got pumped and made tremendously hard work of the easy low traverse. On the return, Soph and I sheltered from the rain and made up some amusing eliminates. Oswald and I spent a frustrating day at Rivelin, where I soloed a bold HVS between the showers. And yesterday Adam and I went to Curbar with predictable results. 

My natural reflex when anyone suggests going to Curbar is to shout "Noooooooo" with a despairing look on my face, but Adam overcame this by using the lure of unclimbed ticklist routes. So we went. Potter's Wall was very pleasant, then Adam led an unfrequented HVS with a stout little crack and a breezy top-out that was much easier once he'd found the holds. Not feeling like leading an HVS at Curbar was a good idea given my current levels of ineptitude I thought I'd punter up a nearby HS. After a long time pansying around on a ledge I escaped into the neighbouring HVDiff grovel, not fancying the baffling moves and uninspiring gear. Ignominious.

Adam then led another HVS with similar hold-missing faffery at the top, before we wandered left a bit to The Brain. It starts with an unprotected slabby teeter, which felt rather more soul-searching then it should, and finishes with brilliant exposed moves on mega-jugs up an arete. A VS at Curbar that wasn't a terrifying sandbag. Perhaps it really isn't a crag full of sandbags? 

No, it is. Adam proved this by being repelled by the pain of a frankly horrible looking fist jam on a VS crack (which is disappointingly on the ticklist, so I'll be back at some point, hopefully with an idiot to lead it for me). He followed this by sketching his way up the scrittliest slab I've ever had the misfortune to venture onto.

So Curbar is still terrifying and I still can't climb. At least I've been having fun trying.