Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bouldering in Burbage Valley - Zaff Skoczylas (7C)

Spring is ending in England and Summer is coming. It's been rather mild since our return from Spain but the temperatures are definitely on the rise. Mid-teens still feel cool after you've spent a week hiking in the high twenties, however.

A day after landing in Manchester airport, we were still psyched for climbing on rock. And so the following day we found ourselves climbing in Burbage Valley. I managed to get up a relatively new boulder problem called Monochrome, which is a gem. I wonder why it hadn't been done a while ago, in all honesty, as it's a pretty obvious looking line and good fun. It's graded 7B but it felt easier to me as I finished it rather quickly after finding the right place to put my left heel hook.

The rest of that session was spent working a significantly harder climb called Zaff Skoczylas, which I had played on in previous years. I was never strong enough for the burly moves before, never managing to link the first, overhanging section together, but I found myself climbing through to the easy finish fairly quickly. Unfortunately, I ran out of juice every time I got there and dropped the last two moves three or four times. 

I decided enough was enough for that session and left it for a week. When I returned 6 days later, on a much warmer and sunny Saturday afternoon (the last Saturday of the Spring), I managed to finish the problem fairly quickly. A really good power test of a boulder problem. The mini-compression moves require a good amount of squeeze and this is followed by a big throw for a slopey edge off a very shallow one finger pocket that you can stack your fingers in. I got some footage of the climb here if you're keen to try it and want beta...

The rest of our afternoon in Burbage valley was spent enjoying the sunshine and climbing on some easier classics. There was a nice 6C called Solitude, hidden under a small canopy of leaves. It starts off very low (try to keep your butt off the floor!) and leads into a nice rock over and pleasant finish. I also climbed Banana Finger Direct, another 6C, for the first time, which was great fun. Banana Finger is a classic 6A that I'd done about 10 years ago. It's a must that everyone should climb if you're bouldering at Burbage North. But I'd never done the direct version, so this was a treat.

All in all, a brilliant couple of days at Burbage North. Burbage Valley is possibly my favourite place to climb in the Peak District.