Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Choss botherer's anonymous

The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. I've got married, got a job and done hardly any climbing on solid rock. After a pretty dry spring it had to rain sometime, unfortunately that sometime was the day leading before my wedding. It was so wet in Sheffield that I left my gear at home and headed to the Peak for tea and cake. Inside Outside James recommended Fingal's Flue a perma-dry caving expedition at Stoney. I dashed back to Sheffield to grab my gear. The climb was ace and dry too. A sort of muddy bridging exercise followed by posting one's self through a man sized letter box.

The next day was the big day and needless to say I was keen to get a climb in beforehand.  Dreams of Left Unconquerable or Flying Buttress Direct were thwarted by the weather. Despite this a big gang of us headed to Stanage and thrutched our way up Helfenstein's Struggle before getting dressed up smart and heading off to the church. It felt pretty committing which was pertinent. The climb was a right leveler. All of us gave it a good go. I needed pulling out on lead, a couple of us couldn't (or wouldn't fit through) and it took a well known E5 leader two attempts on second! The rest of the day was perfect.

After work on Monday I headed to High Tor with Malcolm Scott. We climbed the classic Lyme Cryme, which was brilliant and at the cheeky end of the E3 spectrum (I had one rest on the crux), getting to the top just before dark. By far and away the most solid route I've done recently and not a bad first route as a married man.   

The following weekend the forecast was less than ideal. The only place which looked half descent was Swanage, which I'd not climbed at before. I spent the three days, getting pumped and scared in the sun at Boulder Ruckle. The climbing is Swanage is steeper than Pembroke, the rock is much looser and the steep, tottering top outs feel pretty harrowing. Duncan and I spent the weekend ticking our way through a load of classic Hard VSs and E1s. As well as Ocean Boulevard a brilliant juggy E3 and Craggsy one hundred tick that Duncan cruised.

Me inside Fingal's Flue.

Squirming my way through Helfenstein's

Excited! Me and Duncan just before Nikki walked in.

Walking out of the Church to Here Comes the Sun. Very, very happy and a little bit teary.

Malcolm on Lyme Cryme.
Duncan on Jo. The next bit is ridiculous.
Duncan and Clare on the top pitches of Thunderball and Jo respectively. Steep juggy fun and not much between them grade wise.
Getting my powerful legs out on Dark Side of the Sun - no pushover at E1.

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