Thursday, 12 February 2015

Climbing Low Rider (7C+) at Stanage North

Checking out Low Rider at Stanage North
Today I climbed one of the Peak District's best boulder problems. That's a great statement to be able to make. And I am able to make it because today I climbed Low Rider - located in an area that I call Far, Far Left Stanage. I believe others call it North Stanage.

After trudging up the hill, you are confronted with an amazing roof. It grabs your attention straight away. Although I suppose I'd be more inclined to call it a horizontal prow, as it's roughly the width of a double fridge, with both sides exposed, and reaches out for 8ft or so, before leading into three upwards movements to a large pocket jug.

Walking up to Stanage North in the sun rise
Low Rider, which is graded 7C+ (or V10 for those of you across "The Pond") climbs in many different ways and finding "your" beta - that is, beta that works best for you - is half the fun. I ended up doing a cross-over to a very bad slopey dish and a lurch to the jug rail at the end of the roof, getting the horizontal bit over in as few moves as possible.

Crossing over to the slopey dish on Low Rider
Reaching for the "jug" at the end of the roof on Low Rider
The crux for me, however, was actually the end. Not because it was the most physically demanding bit, but because my mental ability to calm down and dispatch was rather lacking every time I got there. I must have dropped the last hard move (matching a slopey break just before the jug pocket) about a dozen times. 

However, on my fifth try today I was able climb Low Rider to its conclusion. And let me tell you, that was a great feeling. What a great boulder problem.