Thursday, 29 July 2010

Not very photogenic

This afternoon Graham and I met up for a couple of routes before he headed home in Scotland. As we only had a short amount of time we went to a busy Shepard's Crag in Borrowdale. We avoided the crowd's on Little Chamonix by heading up to Climb The Black Icicle (E1 5b). Its an excellent route with a great second pitch, felt very exposed as it was very run out. We scrambled back down and Graham led up the first pitch of Monolith Crack (HVS 4c) and I took over and led up Porcupine (E3 6a), another great line. Unfortunately Graham had to shoot off but there is plenty more to do here.

Childhood playground

This evening Graham and I headed to Gouther Crags, near to where I grew up. Graham started off on The Fang (MVS 4a) which is such an ace line, I had done it before but was happy to do it again. After a walk down I led up Sostenuto (HVS 5a) which I think was even better than The Fang despite the large amount of bird poo we had to climb over. Getting up to this crag in the evenings is really worth it. Some really quality routes o do across the grades. Only the E3's to do now.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Fine finish to a wet day

Today as it was raining quite alot over the Lakes, Graham and I headed over to Kendal wall for a training session. After getting totally pumped the weather cleared so we packed up our gear and headed to Castle or of Triermain, Thirlmere. Graham wanted to lead Gazebo (HVS 5a) (a route he had seconded a while back). He ran it out in one pitch as I had led both pitches before. I then led up an 'E1', it felt a bit more E2 5c but it wasnt in our guidebook so I dont know which route it was...

Friday, 23 July 2010

Senior Moments

For the last 5 days I have been showing Gordon what Lake district climbing is all about! Lots of wet rock! He wanted to improve his climbing technique, get some more milage on rock and learn some more ropework skills. Day 1 was extreamly wet but we went out and climbed on Brown Slabs (D). We then went and climbed a very wet Little Chamonix (VD) before escaping to do some gear shopping at Needle Sports.

Day two and three we spent at Kendal Climbing wall. Working on technique, strength and improvised rescue techniques. On day 3 it finally stopped raining at 4pm so we shot off to Castle Rock at Thirlmere and climbed Via Media (S) and Zig Zag (VS 4b). It turned out there had been a major rock/turf fall at the top of pitch 3. The route could do with a clean now.

Day 4 we went down to Raven Crag in Langdale and climbed Evening wall (S) and then Bilberry Buttress (VS 4c) as it was fair weather and we didnt want to spend another day indoors.

Day 5 Gordon had a train to catch so we headed to Borrowdale again and headed up to Black Crag. We climbed the classic Troutdale Pinnacle (S) which is a must do route for every climber visiting Black Crag. We then shot over to Shepards as Gordon wanted to know what his limit was. I led up Kransic Crack Direct (HVS 5a), Gordon followed up but popping off a couple of times, he did get to the top though.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

MIA Assesment

For the last 5 days I have been in North Wales staying at Plas y Brenin. I was undergoing my Mountaineering Instructor Assesment, which I passed :-) The first day was personal climbing, we went to Tremadog. Jason climbed One Step in the Clouds (VS 4c), I then led up Scratch Arete (HVS 5a). Second day was Improvised rescues again at Tremadog. I led up The Brothers Direct finish (E1 5b) whilst been given lots of scenarios which I had to solve. Mo led up Grim Wall (VS) and I was acting as casualty. Day 3 I took 2 clients out climbing at Clogwyn yr Oen, we did a VD. It was the worst weather of the week, constant rain! Day 4 was scrambling in the Ogwen Valley up and around Idwal Slabs. Day 5 was the navigation test which was done out the back of Plas y Brenin. An enjoyable week despite the horrible weather!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Windy day

Today I headed up to Buckston Pass with Zac for a few climbs. Neither of us had been here before and it turned out to hold some good routes. We started on Sinister Grooves (VS 4c) which was great and then we climbed Cleopatra (HVS 5a). Also an excellent route. One of the routes had also seen an winter ascent?! Nice short walk in! We then spent the rest of the day doing some short roping and checking out some of the old quarries, quite a good place to explore. I forgot my camera again but I think Zac will have some sweet photos up soon.

Great views

Today I met up with Ian who had driven up from Lancaster with a couple of mate's. The plan was to get Ian more familiar with multi-pitch climbing as he only climbs at single pitch crags. He also really want to climb Troutdale Pinnacle (S) so we did. Each pitch gave us a good opportunity to talk about belays, rope work skills and stance management. Ian built his own belays all the way up the route. After topping out we went and climbed Troutdale Pinnacle Super Direct (HVS 5a). I led him up all the pitches except the last where Ian took the rack and shot up building a textbook belay at the top. Remember Ian, practice those 'clover hitches!' ;-)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

White Ghyll

Today I headed up to Langdales with Barry to check out White Ghyll, a crag I haven't visited. It was extremely windy up there with only one other team out on Haste Not, they took ages as the second couldn't commit to the traverse. We climbed the Gordion Knot (VS 4c). I led all pitches as Barry hasn't climbed trad for many years, in fact he's only been bouldering and climbing indoors. We then went and climbed Chimney Variant (E1 5b) which was a wicked little route, the second pitch is superb, with a super exposed traverse then a tough pull up a groove, quite sustained, Barry did very well.