Sunday, July 30, 2006

Climbing: Peak District July 2006

Yesterday I took a day trip to the Peak District to meet with Lau, Alastair, Nienke and Nick. Lau and I headed to High Tor, a crag we had first visited almost two years ago, ticking the classic E1 Debauchery. Back then we said we'd have to come back to the counterdiagonal E2 Delicatessen, which we did yesterday, what a brilliant route - the line is marked out on the photo, belays at the red dots. Then I started up Flaky Wall, an E4 I've had my eyes on for a while, but it started raining - rats! I was pretty confident too. So after a quick pub break it stopped raining and we headed to Cratcliffe to nip up a quick route or two - or so we thought!

Delicatessen E2 5c, 5b High Tor
I took the first pitch, the ever-reliable Lau the second. Magnificent climbing, not at all polished, with tricky 5c moves both right at the start and right at the end of my pitch; the final moves to reach the belay in particular are exposed, airy, fingery, delicate and just brilliant. The second pitch was a delightful delicate traverse, led confidently and in style by Ian; it's only marred by the fact that it joins the horribly polished HVS, Original Route, to finish off.

Boot Hill E3 5c Cratcliffe
There's no two wasy about it, this route beat me up. I didn't fall, but had to rest twice - although the second was only because I didn't see a good foothold, and gave up early as I knew I'd blown the onsight anyway. A brilliant route but possibly not one to do as your first grit route of the year, on a hot humid evening with very little friction. For my arrogance I deserved to get punished and so I'm not too miffed - actually I'm pretty pleased I got up it at all! With hindsight it is a brilliant route with some wonderful layaway moves off the rounded arete - although those weren't words leaving my mouth as I was halfway up the thing!

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