Friday, 25 October 2013

Snatching gritstone rock climbing here and there - waiting for winter

The last couple of months have been busy. Very busy. This is down to various reasons that I won't go into. This is a climbing blog. However, there hasn't been too much climbing outside, and therefore very little to blog about. I've climbed a few things but nothing that I would say was that hard - except my bogey problem, but I'll come onto that. I have had a few successful trips out, onto the grit, however, and that's yielded small nuggets of confidence that I'll hopefully take with me into the colder winter months. 

The temperatures and humidity recently (since I last wrote) have played a large part in why I haven't touched that much rock. Sounds like a traditional British excuse, now part of the pantheon of "traditional British", along with the Sunday Roast, Royals and London Taxis. Excuses are part of who we are. And the weather provides a wealth of content to draw upon. I need cold, though, and a good breeze. But not too cold that I can't feel my hands, and not too windy that I can't hear myself or keep my pad in place. Then I need no moisture, either seeping from my skin, lingering in the air, falling from the skies or clinging to the rock. I'm not that fussy, honest, but climbing in warmth or humidity on grit tends to strip my fingers of skin faster than the warmth of human contact strips a nymphomaniac of their clothes. I do not like it.

Occasionally, the clouds have swept over the sky, blotting out the sun and bringing with them breezes and gusts. On these rare days, I have shot out and climbed a few things. Those that I remember and believe worth mentioning I have listed below. I would recommend them all and have written a little something on each.
  • Hemline (7A+), Higgar Tor - not a bad problem, with a range of holds, from jugs to pockets to crimps to slopers. Failed on Piss & Shit due to sun beating down on the slopers, so did this instead.
  • Scratchy Bun Left (6C+), Higgar Tor - I think that's the right problem, which climbs a rounded left face, using an arete and good balance.
  • Soft on the G (7B), Gardoms - tried this on several occasions and finally did it in a totally dynamic and lanky way. I would've said it felt much easier than the grade if you do it "my way", but then again I failed on this method before, so maybe I was just feeling springy that day.
  • 7 Ball (6C+), Burbage South - brilliant problem, which I think I have written about before. Done it loads of times, and it's great every time. One of the best at its grade.
  • Violence (7A going on 7C), Burbage South - my bogey problem was finally plucked from the nostrils of impossible, wiped on the tissue of possible and thrown into the bin of completed. Chuffed to pieces with this one because I've always found it so, so hard for the grade - harder than a lot of 7Bs!
  • Little Gem (7B), Burbage South - small edges to small side pull to pop for positive juggy top out. Pretty straightforward and relatively easy if you can hang the holds and move your feet around relatively freely.
  • Bad Lip (7A), Curbar - soft IMO but a good one move wonder. It's much better with the left to right traverse, below:
  • Late Junction (7B), Curbar - much better than it's shorter cousin as it adds in loads more climbing, all burly, horizontal and on relatively good holds.
  • Gorilla Warfare (7A), Curbar - excellent problem that everyone who climbs in the Peak District knows. Climbed it loads and will continue to climb it loads until I'm old and wrinkly and can't climb it anymore. Or until I get fat.
  • Early Doors (7A+), Curbar - not quite as good as it's easier cousin, in my opinion, but still very worthwhile and one of the best at its grade.
There are others, of course, lots of mediocre climbs, things not worth mentioning, pottering and messing around. I haven't invested time in anything as yet, waiting for colder temps to encroach and then hopefully I'll find a project or two for winter. Until then, I'll continue to sneak out occasionally and take advantage of what's on my doorstep, the Great British Peak District and its great British climbs.