Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Loving the white rock

When I lived in North Wales I used to avoid Limestone like the plauge and openly slag it off (with the exception of Pembroke, which I've always thought amazing) to all and sundry. The truth is I'm not very good at climbing on Limestone, mainly because it is steep and technical!

Since moving to Sheffield, where the options are Gritstone or Limestone, I've climbed on Limestone a fair bit, mainly because it's good to mix things up. Also because getting my friend to climb on Gritstone with a rope is nigh on impossible.

Over the last month or so. I've done a load of ace climbing at a load of really cool crags: High Tor, Chee Tor, Stoney, Staden, Pic Tor, Beeston. All the routes I've done have been ace. Even Windover, which I can't do. Stoney 5c is really hard! Probably the route I enjoyed most was Delicatessen, though I really enjoyed slapping my way up Black Grub at Beeston on second. If only I could climb like that on lead! An honorary mention should go to Chee Tor Girdle, one of the best bad routes ever.

I spent the Easter weekend climbing down in Pembroke. The weather was ace, save for a quick shower on Sunday afternoon. The craic on the crag was ace and in the pub it was even better. The climbing in Pembroke is out of this world. When I was in the States last autumn and Duncan kept going on about how none of the world classics we were doing were as good as the climbing in Pembroke I thought he was mad. Now I agree with him and wonder why we went. The best route of the weekend for me was Beast from the Undergrowth in the Leap, thought I did enjoy fighting my way up Springboard in a perverse kind of way. Pembroke felt way more fun with a bit fitness in me, though I was still pretty knackered from four days of climbing. Cheers to Will Harris for climbing with me! I'm well psyched for more Peak Limestone evenings and trip to Pembroke over the summer. I think might treat myself to a copy of Craggy's 100 Classic Limestone Climbs in Britain when I get paid.

Duncan - approach the belay on Delicatessen. I was glad I managed to remain composed and didn't take the uberlob here.

DC pick pocketing his way through Darius on Delicatessen pitch two.

DC trying Wee Doris, before the lactic and irrational fear overcame him.

Climbing above the Windy Ledge. A ridiculous place to go climbing after work.

Duncan on Pocket Symphony at Beeston. Thread-tastically good!

On the other end of the rescuers rope for a change: Belaying some unfortunates out of a very wet Preposterous Tales. 

Will Harris - seconding a greasy Springboard. His worst route of the weekend and one of my best!
Huntsman's Leap. Just the best crag ever. Simon Kimber on Beast From the Undergrowth, Ed and Adam Booth on Darkness at Noon and Jimmy Marjot on Mythical Monster.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Pembroke STAG

We couldn't find a stag, but thankfully the St Govan's Inn had a cow which worked well as a substitute!
I'm getting married on April 26. Last weekend was my Stag do. Best man Ollie decided Pembroke was the best option. I managed to survive Friday night relatively unscathed. The weather was crap in the morning but by early afternoon it had cleared up. Unfortunately by this point the tide had started coming in. Rob, Duncan, Gwen and I hot footed it to Mewsford with our sights set on Daydreams. I abseiled down to see Rob do some pretty exciting boulder jumping to get to the base of the route. Duncan followed suit. My turn. The sea was coming in fast. Rob and Duncan's route across was now underwater. I had no choice but to sack it off or take a big jump. I jumped. Gwen tried to follow but the sea was too high by now. Thankfully I had clipped an jumar and a gri gri to the abseil rope so she could jug out.

Rob and Duncan boulder hopping their way to the bottom of Daydreams.

Me psyched to be climbing my first Extreme Rock tick of the year: Day Dreams.
Day dreams was ace. An exciting V0 boulder problem got us on a ledge that was safe from the tide. Rob lead the greasy first pitch, Duncan the tricky middle pitch and I lead the fun top pitch. The route reminded me how much I love sea cliff climbing and the great adventures you can have on them.

After a fun night in the St Goven's Inn and a midnight swim I woke up the next day hangover free. The weather was much better and Ollie and I managed a good haul of routes at Trevellan: The Hole, Enter the Goat, Soldier of Fortune and Sunlover. I finished the day with an ace HVS called Frontline before heading back to Sheffield, via Stratford for some unknown reason. God I love Pembroke.