Friday, March 29, 2013

In the garden of Eden

Five assignments due on the same day meant that I've spent the last two weeks sat in Library, eating unhealthy rubbish, doing zero exercise and spending far too much time on the internet. Friday came and, by now beyond caring, the assignments were handed in. I caught the train to Warrington where the dream team was reunited and we drove North. Unfortuantley the Lakes was covered in unseasonable snow, which put paid to our work plans for the weekend.

On Sunday we headed up to Dove Crag with designs on Inaccessible Gully. The hastily formed brittle ice kept it that way so we soloed South Gully and ran away. There was trouble in paradise, too much snow to rock climb, but rubbish conditions for winter. Optimistically we headed to the Eden Valley, fully intending to throw in the towel and head to Eden Rock. Thankfully fortune favors the brave and we were blessed with dry rock, good routes and warmth, at least in the sunshine.

Me on the walk into Dove Crag.
Ollie approaching the inaccessible gully... It wasn't as good as it looks.
Ollie on South Gully
On the top in the wind - time to run away.
At Armathwaite we lead and soloed a selection of routes. Highlights for me were an excellent corner Barnicle Bill,  Savage Simian a Hard VS with scary rock and a brilliant Diff call Bulgine Run. Ollie ticked off a load of routes too, including an impressive onsight of the Exorcist (E4) the classic of the crag. A group of squaddies on an 'adventurous training course' must have thought he was totally bonkers, even more so when he stripped off at the top and launched himself into the Eden.

Ollie getting up Erection - the start of this in never 5a!
Burrows celebrates his exorcism...
Naked Burrows versus a dozen squaddies no contest...
Me committing to the crux of Barnacle Bill.
We also enjoyed a fun day at Scratchmere Scar climbing and reclimbing a load of fun routes on the Gritstonesque rock. Best of all though was an illicit visit to Lazonby. We climbed Merry Monk Direct a three star Hard VS and the line of the crag. The crag is far and away the best in the Eden Valley. It's in a magic situation as beautiful as any in Cumbria. It really is a crying shame and totally senseless that climbing is banned there. Anyone up for a mass trespass?

Ollie towards the top of the main pitch of Merry Monk Direct.

A bad photo of a brilliant crag.

1 comment:

  1. Hi for the trespass idea..yes, there will be one later this year. I'll let you know in case you are around.