Thursday, 26 July 2012

Demon Wall Roof

Tonight's trip to the cliff has been one of my most successful yet. I started off by leading, on sight, my hardest route, Whisky Wall (E3). It wasn't technically hard, only 5b, but it was run out and sustained. Oli Read belayed me on this, which took a long time, and him and his friend Rich seconded me.
They then had to leave so I went up to the Demon Wall to try Demon Wall Roof again. After a few attempts to get solid on the moves I decided to have a quick burn from the start just to see how far I got. I managed to stick the toe hook, moved onto the under cut, then managed to twist my foot into the crucial flake foot hold and then topped it. I really didn't expect to get it on this attempt but I put everything into it and it went, so there are no complaints here. This was my first V7 outdoors. I'm also not sure if I've got many indoors, if at all.
I was on a bit of a high and wandered around trying new problems, although I didn't get any of these.
I attempted Tea Spoon on the North Face of the crag. This is a V8 with an awkward looking mantle at the top. I didn't get very far on this. The foot holds were a bit slimy and the whole area smelt a bit like a public toilet.
I then went on to try the Virgin Traverse and got some useful beta on it from some locals. Despite the beta I was bit tired, and it was bit too dark, so I didn't manage it.
I'll be back for more of my Almscliff fix.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cliff life

I'm starting to make quite a lot of trips up to Almscliff. It has got to the point where I quite often know someone at the crag, so I can go and climb with them. Tonight was no exception and I met up with Alexis YB and Gareth Pilkinton.
I started off the night by climbing with two new people, Carl and Charlotte, who were bouldering in the West Cave area. I managed to climb Hanging Rib sit start (V4). After this we moved onto Flying Arete (V3). I have tried this a few times but today it went on my first try. We then moved up to the Black Wall where I climbed The Nose (V3). It was good to climb with Carl and Charlotte, as they both seemed very good. I was very conscious about trying to keep things nice and techy and not do too many strong moves.
I then went on to work Demon Wall Roof (V7) and managed to reach and hold the next hold. My back was hurting so I couldn’t bend in the right ways to get my foot in the right place for the next move, but hopefully I should be able to do it on my next visit. I then climbed Crucifix Traverse (V4), in both directions, to finish the day.
This has been one of my best days out at the cliff. Hopefully I will have more soon. I was climbing too much so didn't take any pictures though.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Dogging in Yorkshire

This post refers to me falling off a lot of things recently.
You may be glad to know I did manage to do over 100 climbs in June, 115 in total. The last of these came at Aberdour and Wolf Crag. July began with a trip to Auchinstarry quarry where I climbed lots of very nice routes including Midas Touch and Gold Rush, both E1. Auchinstarry was the start of my falling off where I took a reasonable fall off Promotry Direct (HVS) when my foot slipped close to the top. It was perfectly safe and I easily managed to finish the climb afterwards.
Whilst being back at home I have been joined by Joanna and a few other friends from Edinburgh. Before this though I went to Almscliff with Katy, where I climbed Franklins Green Crack (VS) and Overhanging Groove (HVS).
On the 12th July I made my way to the Roaches to meet up with Sam Capewell where we bouldered around a bit and I led the super classic and intimidating "The Sloth" (HVS). It take a crack through a large steep roof. I decided to climb up to the roof, place gear, then climb back down to a large ledge where I would allow my arms to recover the quickly climb the rest of the roof. This tactic worked and I quickly dispatched the roof.
The Sloth
The weekend after Joanna, Oliver Millington, Naomi Hatto and Lukas Solanka came down and I met them at Almscliff on Saturday evening. That evening I climbed "The Great Western" (HVS) with Joanna. TGW is one of the classic routes at the crag and I was glad to finally get it done. Through the week I made a number more trips to the cliff climbing Dolphin Belly Slap and Syretts Roof, both V6, among other things.Both of these took lots of attempts as I never got everything completely right, like my thumb was in the wrong place or my feet slipped.
On the Sunday we went to Ilkley where I climbed a few nice things including Fairy Wall (E2) and a number of boulder problems and I soloed a few routes too. 
Reaching for nothingness of Fairy Wall
Midweek we made our way to the peak district with the intention of climbing at the roaches. Unfortunatley it was very wet there so we went to New Mills Tor, which is perma-dry, for some undercover routes and bouldering. Here I managed to climb Honcho (E4 6b) on my second lead attempt. This is currently my hardest clean trad lead.
We ended the week with a trip to Heptonstall and Almscliff before I dropped Joanna off at the train on Sunday evening. Heptonstall was in fact the crag which gave this post its name. I tried Demerara (E4) there which takes a line up two cracks on the steep main wall. I fell of this repeatedly, and didn't manage to get it clean, although I did get to the top of it in the end.