Thursday, 24 July 2014


June was a month spent mostly back in the UK, and being just under a month it’s probably the longest single stint I will get this year. I got back at the start of the month after an amazing trip to Yosemite with James. I felt tired, still slightly hungover and generally without my usual motivation for getting out to climb. My main ambitions were to enjoy chilling at home and to catch up with my folks. I did, however, manage a few amusing days out climbing while at home.

It was good to get a few days out climbing with Reeve on the Peak District limestone, which included climbing dirty wet routes at Chee Tor and a day at Dove Dale trying Eye of the Tiger. This is probably the best limestone route in the Peak that I’ve been on (except for maybe Thormon’s Moth) and it also might be the hardest. I’m surprised that I never really knew it existed and I wonder how many more gems there are out there. Reeve had a couple of tries on the route last year and he had got pretty high before his arms went into meltdown. We ended up giving the route about 5 or 6 tries each, ground-up, before I finally cracked and decided I was going to hang on the rope and work out the damn moves. I then gave Reeve the knowledge and we had a final few tries each as our forearms started to crash. We both fell on the last hard move that would have led to big juggy flakes and easier climbing, we just didn’t quite have enough left. It’s said this route would be 7c on gear, it felt a lot harder than this to me! Well done Reeve for getting back on it recently and finishing it off, it’ll have to be next year for me.

Reeve's shot of me on Atomic Hot Rod
Reeve  contemplates eye of the Tiger
The great dry weather in the UK in June meant Dinas Cromlech was good and dry and a bunch of us headed up there one sunny day in June. Cat kicked things off by cruising up Centoph Corner (hardest move on the Cromlech so it is said), that she’s always wanted to do but never gotten around to. I did Lord of the Flies again because; it’s brilliant, and I wasn’t feeling good enough for any of the harder stuff on the upper tier I’ve never tried. We then went to hunt down Atomic Hot Rod, which I’d failed to find years ago! This is a Yosemite style splitter crack, mostly too thin to hand jam and too wide to finger jam – which is probably what off-fingers means. Reeve was just topping out when we got there, having led it with only one cam or something like that, it sounded quite scary. I managed to scrounge more cams and led the route, successfully but with extreme difficulty! It’s a brilliant route and I dread to think what lowly sort of grade it would get in Yosemite.

The next day I teamed up with Reeve to head to Gogarth to check out Food and Drink, another Main Cliff e6. My main excuse for receiving a thrashing from this route was the heat, it was a furnace down there! I had a first look at the first pitch, got lost and confused and lowered off and told Reeve to sort it out. Reeve got a bit higher and gave it a proper shot, gunning for it into the unknown before taking flight. Armed with the extra knowledge, I led the pitch on my next attempt and brought Reeve up. This whole process had probably taken about 5 hours of baking heat without water and we were feeling pretty worse for wear. The next pitch didn’t look too bad, but probably was and neither of us fancied it, so, we bailed up Graduation Ceremony which felt desperate enough! Another one for another day...

Kylash at the crag
Summer bouldering with Trys
More photos to follow...

No comments:

Post a Comment