Apparently the weather is quite decent down in Peaks/Yorks at the moment - and it makes the snow dumped all over the crags look quite pretty. The gales forecast next week might wipe it away a bit with rain as well as wiping another week's chances of actually getting down there and climbing any grit.
Instead of sulking I've been errr sending. Or smashing, or whatever it is the kids of today do. Climbing small lumps of rocks above large stacks of pads anyway. Some of these lumps of rocks have been larger and some of the stacks of pads have felt smaller, too. And most of them have felt good training for technique, determination, and regular skin loss, as well as being rather fun...
Sheltering from the wind with Stevie. It was blowy as fuck man at Hazelrigg Wall and pretty mellow on the boulders beneath the Tube. I had lots of ideas and desires here and carefully timed them so I had 30 mins on each project, just enough to get demoralised and move onto the next with similarly no success. The only exceptions were Magic Leap - I hate dynos, this is a complete sandbag and totally misdescribed in the guide ("small but positive holds" - where? "crimp/sidepull" - what? "F6A+" - oh just shut up.), but it is also brilliant as it's not hurtling ineffectually on big holds but instead teetering and falling upwards on rubbish holds. Improbable and fun. The other exception was Mantle Underclass which was more like 30 attempts to failure rather than 30 mins. Still that was better than Mantle Masterclass which I can't imagine ever being possible for my physique. MU I could imagine doing after many hours effort, pretty standard for a F6B. Grades my sweaty RING.
Headed down with the McNair and a car full of chatty young things. God knows how we all crammed in but it saved me an hour of driving and meant there was adequate paddage for anything that was desired. Apart from poor Niall who we left on his own to crush some 7C/8As while we bimbled around. I laid Transformer to rest after discovering that I'd been previously trying the much harder RH version. Then spent about 20 goes being unable to lank Y Front Left-Hand (""6B+"") before doing Dog Eat Dog ("7A" going on steady 6C) in 3 goes. Grades my KNOBEND. The latter was pretty satisfying though especially for the amount of trad-style slapping and grinding at the top.
A few years ago I walked to this sheer quarried wall in the Galloway hills and rapidly walked away, dismissing it as too high and too blank. It turns out is is the former but not the latter, as just recently some dude called Fletch put up a nu-skool classic 6C(!) highball. So we had to go and repeat it the next day after the first ascent. It delivers as much as it promises and makes Physical Graffiti at Dumby feel like a lowball ladder of crimps. I managed to scrape up it after some scary goes, but knocked a jutting finger nubbin off at the top, and left a slightly crumbly hold (the rest of the slab is immaculate), so will have to go back and stabilise that hold to keep it's classic status.
N.B. I didn't manage this little horror yet, I'll be back...
Finally to ensure that all finger skin is suitable brutalised, we went on a little tour of Carrock. A few steady classics like Captain Kirk, Kit's Arete and Terrace Wall led us up to Stratosfear following the highball psyche, which turned out to be no match for the snowy slope on top of the problem, so we turned down the snowy slope back to the road and finished with a thorough burnout on Left Wall. This is eliminate, morpho, and a complete sandbag on vicious holds, yet somehow is intriguing and entertaining for all that grimness. I eventually found a cunning short person's sequence, caught the top jug, adjusted my hand and slipped off and never reached the lip again. CUNTFLAPS. I'll be back....I might be back into this bouldering malarkey...
(most photos from Mr Weir.)
The scenery has been quite nice in it's winter plumage too: