Week last Monday I went to the Lake District with my dad for the day, mostly to build up my QMD's, but also because the weather looked good. We started at the New Dungeon Ghyll and walked, following the river up to Stickle Tarn. Then following the Contour walked around Harrison Stickle up on to Loft Crag, continuing up towards Pike O'Stickle. Stopping for lunch here the view was awesome looking south towards Coniston.
Heading north west we descended down to Stake Pass before the long slog down the winding path and along the valley back towards where we started earlier in the day.
Later in the week with usual climbing partners busy I went to Stanage to do some soloing and work The Beautician E4 5c using self lining with a shunt. Something i've not done before but after a quick explanation from a friend quickly set something up. Worked it for a while, eventually completing it in 2 sections. Getting fed up with working the same problem moved on to do some soloing. Started on Tango Crack, Before soloing a few others in the area before moving on to the Classic VS 4c, High Neb Buttress.
Soloing at High Nebb, Stanage
The beginning of this week I went back up to the Lakes to meet Joe and his dad to go up Helvellyn. We started from Patterdale heading towards Striding Edge. The higher we got the worse the weather got. By the time we where on Striding Edge the vis was a bit rubbish!
When we got to the summit we came back down via Swirral Edge where the weather stayed rubbish until we where down around Red Tarn. The Company made up for the rubbish weather!
Last week I had off from work, I knew that I wanted to go do some more QMD’s, (Quality Mountain days), for my ML and really wanted to get back out on some grit crags at home after spending most of my summer climbing on limestone. With North Wales being the closest UK mountainous region to Swanage and sort of on my way home back to Sheffield, (if a bit of a long detour), the plan would be to go walk for a few days, then drive home for some climbing in the Peak district.
Weather pretty good and set off at 5am for the 6.5hr drive up to Snowdonia. Arrived just after noon, and not wanting to waste the day, parked up in the car park behind Joe Brown’s in Capel Curig and started walking. Headed up onto the ridge walking towards the Glyders and Tryfan. The top of the ridge is quite flat in sections and was a bit spongey to say all the dry weather we’ve had recently. Would not want to go up there after a recent rainfall! Kept walking gaining height up to Gallt yr Ogof. With the day wearing on, did not wait around there long and headed up towards Y Foel Goch. From here you get a nice view of the South East face of Tryfan and can see Snowdon in the distance. Carried on walking up to Gyder Fach, then a quick walk down to Heather Terrace and onto the footpath in the valley below following the Afon Llugwy back towards Capel Curig and the Car.
My knee has been playing up recently and the drive up that morning had irritated it. The original plan was to stay in Wales another day to do some more walking, but because of my knee headed home early, resting all day Tuesday instead.
On Tuesday I organised to get out with one of my old teachers to go do some climbing, we decided on Kinder South as neither of us had been there. We where hoping for a cooling breeze and sharp dry grit, we where not disappointed with this moorland crag, with the routes being brutal, lots of thrutching and painful hand jams. We started on the Classic Upper Tor Wall HS 4b, me leading. Nice, and at times exposed climbing all the way to the top. Next I followed on Ivory Tower HVS 5b, which was also really nice climbing!
We both agreed that for moorland this seemed too nice, and agreed that whatever we climbed for the rest of the day the 40mins uphill approach was worth it just to climb these too. Next I picked something that looked straight forward following some pockets up a slightly overhanging slab using the crack systems on either side. The route was The Punter E1 5b. There was a lot of hand jamming involved and a lot of skin was lost, not realising it was overhanging till on the route, feeling very relieved when I topped out regretting my decision not to borrow the crack climbing gloves! The following few routes where all pretty much the same sort of stuff, lots of thrutching, hand jamming and nothing seeming easy, even when you dropped a few grades! Well worth the walk though, and will defiantly be returning.
Following day we headed over to Millstone, favouring and thanking the short walk in and quarried grit after loosing skin the previous day. With lots of cracks at millstone, and me being out of practice after having climbed on limestone for quite a few months, it was suggested that I try Embankment 4 and forget the grade, (which is E1 5b). A really nice climb, and glad of the jamming gloves on the first half, surprising myself that I could still jam quite well. I then followed up Embankment 3. With the sun now getting higher the rock started to get slippery and quite humid. Moving along the crag we did scoop crack and Lyon’s House corner, which goes up an airy arete, coming back for me to lead The Mall which it was still just in the shade. Followed by seconding up a very greasy Great Portland Street, glad I wasn’t the one leading it. Ending the day there we headed home.
Rained the rest of the week, but managed to get some bouldering in at The Works, but mostly just spent the rest of my time with my family.