Monday, 2 September 2013

First grit session of the season

Had a great first grit session of the season over the weekend. I hope the weather remains cool now, as I have missed the grit stone, and climbing this weekend only got me psyched to get on some hard projects this year.

We had a little excursion to Clifftop Boulders, in the Peak District, on the Saturday, for our first taste of grit in months. I climbed a range of problems, from 4+ to 7A and checked out a potential project for the winter. If you're climbing in the 6B+ to 7A+ range there's lots to go at here - and they're all really good. My highlights would be:

  • Nose Direct (5)
  • Original (6A+)
  • Cracker Block (6B)
  • Middle Wall (6B)
  • Steep Arete (6C)
  • Boing Boy (7A)
  • Emergency Room (7A)

We then popped over to Robin Hood's Stride and Cratcliffe (a short jaunt up the road) where I demonstrated the excellent Cave Right (7A) to a friend and ended up climbing it first try. I pulled onto T-Crack (7B) a few times as well but, arms waning at this point, I failed to turn the bulge towards the end of the problem.

On Sunday, we took it easy and got out in the afternoon, to Higgar Tor, where the wind was blasting the top of the crag and nearly knocked us over - our pads acting like sails. On the East side, however, below the ridge, it was much more comfortable and we got on a few nice boulders. Of those that I climbed, the only one I'd really recommend is Scratchy Bun Left (6C). If you can, try not to get beta from anyone or the internet and figure it out for yourself - the moves are intricate and balance dependent and I had fun working them out. It took me a while, mind. I climbed a few others and tried some stuff but nothing worth noting.

Leigh-Anne had a good afternoon, climbing a bunch of nice problems. The highlight for both of us, however, was her flash of The Huge Slab on the South side, which was being smashed with wind at the time. The landing is awful, so you really don't want to fall, but she pulled on and danced her way to the summit without a problem. I think I was more nervous spotting!

Anyway, lets hope the weather continues in this vain!