Search This Blog

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Twin Peak

Saturday July 30th
BP back from the southern brink, seems a lot has happened since the Adam and Eve it efforts.  Lack of a solid Lakes forecast finally forced a foray to Derbyshire - first time this year and it's almost August - lots to catch up on so headed for the Queen of Gritstone .....
Stanage Edge

Verandha Pillar HS 4b

AT anxious about lack of gear

Mr P took over the lead
Have pro, will travel!

Sketchy finish above good gear

Wind picking up, sun fading out.
Three more safe and easy routes done - but all getting a bit wild,  so had a confab and retreated back to car for the short drive to the sheltered haven of......

Only one other pair there!  What a great call!  Sun fully out.  No wind to speak of.   Possibilties restored!
Quick lunch then metal tested on Excalibur (VS4c) - the magnificent soaring corner above the pool

 Hard moves gain the lower slab

Then up into the corner proper

Gear in...
Lay back and think of England

(50 years to the day since World Cup won)

Another view of this fantastic must do line

Climber committing to the fingery lay back moves

© Paul Phillips 

AT eats up Gingerbread
VS 4b

One crack
4 wires

BP moves out of the comfort zone and up to the very steep finish of
VS 4c

He's got the Power!

Hanging off the crack to place the reassuring finishing friends

Great exposure composure Mr P

Limpopo VS 4b

Follows the obvious corner left of the slabs

Gingerbread taked a line left of the arete on the right of Limpopo

Sun finally illuminates this rather forboding line

Swallows gear

The finish is steep

And pretty hard at the grade

A worthwhile finale to a really action packed day

The Speed of Life
Routes done
Stanage (note inverse grade progression)
Verandah Pillar HS4b BP AT  8m
Intermediate Buttress HVD 4a AT BP  8m
Verandah Cracks Left 8m VD BP AT
Verandah Cracks Right D 8m

Excalibur VS 4c BP AT 20m
Gingerbread  VS 4b AT BP 10m
Tyrone VS 4c BP AT 18m
Limpopo VS 4b AT BP 10m 
Last 3 routes with second pitch about 6m each
100m target reached!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Going Gabbro

Tuesday 26 July
Looking for an amenable venue with range of possibilities to suit today's trio, a quest for the holy grail..... ? settled on an esoteric venue in Mosedale in the NE Lakes. From one extreme to the other c.f last Tuesday, from intimidating and complex crag architecture to benign slab uniformity, rural tranquility versus remote high mountain atmosphere. Easy access drive-wise but a rather tedious twenty minute scramble up steep bracken and scree.  Despite its undoubted obscurity a pair was already in action on....
Snail Shell Crag

NB dances on up this gabbro stuff


PM follows with a soft shoe shuffle

AT gets a move on as the weather threatens to break

This rapelling is getting to be a bit de rigeur...

Awkward descent and a multiple thread anchor on hand so seemed sensible

Now up to 11 this year!

After a while the routes and moves all seem to blend into one big slab fest

Gear ok, some sections a bit run out
Crag setting.
There is a path believe it or not!

Various climbs done , NB lead 1,3 and 5 from this list, 120m total
Assorted pics follow
Weather brightening up over the afternoon

Venue flagged
On the eastern slopes of Carrock Fell

Lots to do for the boulder folks

Two chaps from Cockermouth already at the crag

Good company

A few showers passed us by and it looked pretty gloomy towards Hellvellyn etc.

Micro climate?

Walk out


Mercifully short

More pics
Car rock........!!
Shuffle featuring
Ray Charles
Archie Bell and the Drells
Dire Straits
John Lee Hooker with Carlos Santana
Snowy White
The Beatles

Thursday, 21 July 2016

The Best of the Biggest of the Big

Tuesday July 19th
It was just last Sunday as I was wandering down the path back from Little How crag with CB, feeling quite bushed after a great day's climbing and a pretty long walk in and out.  The mobile pinged - text from NB.  "Am good for a day out on Tuesday - the forecast is nailed on - how about TW?".

It only took half a second for a cocktail of excitement and apprehension to begin to bubble in my brain - he's talking about....
Tophet Wall
Earlier this year an intention was expressed to get it done, so this week's standard response seemed right.  "If not now, when?".  And so plans were duly laid.

The long walk in on the hottest day of the year.

600m ascent

Pasta power....

 Rewarded with a view of the wall in full midday sun. 

It's a monster!  A bit less intimidating than usual in this friendly light.

Line of the route shown in yellow
Belays in red

Climbers in view centre pic and right hand skyline.

Good signposts for adventures ahead

HS all the way

P1 provokes some thought.

But wishing it was easier won't help!


NB moving up to the belay at top of P2.

For once the shade was more than welcome - time for a few gulps of cold water from the sack.

Looking across to Lingmell

Big mountain atmospheres abound in this sensational situation.


NB on the superb hand traverse

Next moves are up and left to another good belay

P4 catches the last of the midday sun

AT on P4 (below)
The way up is somewhat forshortened from this angle

Pitch 4 - Climber making the thrilling moves from the pinnacle flake onto the finishing wall

The wind was really whipping round the edge (again!)
A bombroof big bong helped to stop the klaxons going off here.

This is it....

If you're gonna take a photo 
"Simply magnificent - unequivocally the greatest mountain route of its grade in the Lake District"
(Lake District Rock)
                                 Just about sums it up.......
Breathing again on the narrow belay ledge, stayed roped up on the anchor given the sheer drop down on the right.
Westmoreland Crags in the background

A tricky down climb (roped) leads to the screes of Hell Gate

Steep and loose, but thankfully not too far back to base

A party from the Newcastle Climbing Wall just getting underway on P1.

Did the route in two big pitches versus our four

Looked a viable option
Would definitely run 1, 2 and 3 together next time Mr P?

Welcome party

Some numbers
0735 - leave W
0920 - park car
0935 - start walk in
1155 - arrive crag
1240 - start route
1630 - finish route
1710 - return to sacks
1735 - start walk out
1930 - arrive at car
2145 - W

Monday, 18 July 2016

How about it?

Sunday July 17th
M off to Hadrian's Wall with the gang.  Had spoken with CB at the Wainstones about some possible Lakes action next week, mentioned Gimmer and C route, he came back with Kipling Groove!  Fortunately(?) CB could only do Sunday, we ruled out Gimmer given that it would be heaving and Langdale car parking might be tricky.  After a quick confab came up with a remote, off the beaten track crag, and with some knowledge from the last visit back in 2009 (hors de combat at the time).  CB v keen, never been to
Little How Crag (Coppermines) 

Parked at the Walna Scar track, 3.5km walk in, 420m ascent, 85 mins.

Not many pics from the day here's one from 2009

Sunshine Arete
Found this to be very pleasant but certainly not Diff here, more like low Severe.

The sunshine was somewhat lacking also

The walk off was pretty horrible
 Back up to date

CB on Thunderclap VS 4c

Excellent climbing on very rough rock, plenty of gear

CB finishes the route.

Good spike with wire back up for belay and abseil station - used on this and subsequent routes, which follow distinct good lines to the right and left of this one.

AT committed to abbing off the down yawning gulp

7th abseil in last month

More than the last fifteen years put together.

I hope I never really get used to this
L- R
Sunshine Arete Diff (AT,CB) 41m
Black Moss Crack HS 4a (AT,CB) 39m (direct finish through overhang 4b?)
Thunderclap VS4c (CB,AT) 31m
Grease Lightning (VS 4c) (CB,AT) 30m
Slap up feed at the Sportsman!!
Steak and Ale Pie deemed "Up to standard!"

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Would you Adam and Eve It?

Thursday 14th July
A fantastic weather window opens up - BP and AT have no option but to heed the call of the wild west and explore the unfound and forgotten features of
Shepherds Crag
Even though it's a frequent venue there is still plenty to do, 2 new routes and one old fave for me, one new and two long since forgotten for BP

New route alert!

BP on the testing moves at the intro to
Brown Crag Wall VS4b

Red pants rule ok!

Surprisingly good cimbing up corners, grooves and a hard entry to a hanging slab (BP shows how) to a fine tree belay

Thought provoking climbing and some fine positions in this unsung sector of Shepherds Crag.

AT on P2

Well worth another visit - a big change from the slabs up round the corner

BP shows off his hot new pants in the warming sun

Next up - a visit to an old flame.....

Ardus!  First done 27/09/98

So I guess we could leave the guide book in the sack....

BP running P1 and P2 together working hard to keep ahead of those red pants!


Nice shot by Pixels Perry

Going well - time for another one

AT - "Adam?"
"What do you think?"

"If not now, when?"

AT fails on P1 (no pics)
BP makes it - just!
AT follows - just!

BP retains his turn for P2 and sets off in a fine position - pants ablaze

A hard move right then back left

Very sustained climbing to a proper rest at the tree, then it just keeps on coming for another 15m

Great gear all the way,

A magnificent lead by BP

AT makes brief acquaintaince with this guy who was belaying on Eve
Turns out him and BP were recently acquainted.

You wouldn't Adam and Eve it...!

Full story here

Brown Crag Wall

Climbers on the arete and slab

Ardus MVS 4b (L)

(Climber visible on P3)

Adam VS 5a (R)

In summary 

That libation at the H&F was bang on target!

Check it out here!