30 March 2013

Slipstones Quest - Intercommunal Climbing

I know Mr Prince has already posted, but I've resolved to myself to blog as much as possible, and this is the place for outdoor climbing, so here I am. I haven't read Dave's post yet, so as not to colour what I write, but I'll probably try to put my own slant on things.

The day began with a logistical farce - Louis had apparently recently drunk all of the alcohol, and was having difficulty stirring from his slumber. James and I were at Bryn's by this point, and although it looked like we would need to go in two cars - Bryn would need to get back to walk the dogs, and James would want to stay till the bitter end - we decided to wait for Lou. And wait. And wait... Eventually, I sent Bryn and James on while I carried on waiting. Louis arrived soon after, and we hit the road. All that, and we ended up beating Bryn and James to the crag - road layout changes on the A1 vexing Bryn. Fortunately they weren't too far behind, and the four of us took on the not insubstantial walk-in together (ante upped by snow, but still far warmer than recently at Widdop).

We found Dave already at the rock, along with Pete and Kirsty. Whilst we are (Facebook group) 'Communal Climbing - Yorkshire', Pete and Kirsty are from 'Yorkshire Climbers with a day off', so collaboration was order of the day. And whilst it was very pleasing to have such a delightful secluded crag away from the bank holiday public, it's good to share climbing with like minded people, and Pete and Kirsty certainly fitted that bill.

Not Pete or Kirsty

The climbing began with an attempt on a flake that I'd failed to get on our last visit - likely some three years ago. Today, it still proved a challenge, but it pleasingly went easily enough, setting a good tone for the day. Bryn and I found a little slab to play on while the others went at something beyond our level, but we soon hooked up again for some action on Tea Party Slab. Lots of options here - an enjoyable face at the left hand end, with a lovely flake/mantle in the middle; a huge ledge to mantle and stand up for the top; a smaller ledge immediately to the right; and a series of  problems with tiny holds as the only options. I got the face - which I believe I did achieve on the last visit, but which felt much more comfortable this time - and the two ledges. The large ledge was a doddle - I even stopped there for pasty and tea - but it was the small ledge that was most rewarding, needing some big use of some tiny holds in order to stand up for the top - I may well have been pulling myself up by my fingernails.

Around this time, Pete and Kirsty moved on, with Bryn and Dave following soon after. This left me, Louis and James. And although Slipstones catches the sun all day, it hadn't done enough to remove the snows, which created issues at the bases of many a problem - and was beginning to take its toll on our toes. I struggled to keep up with Louis and James, but pointedly I did mostly try to do so, save for a moment where I left them to it and went back to the first flake in order to duplicate it, which I managed. The highlight of this stage of the session was a monster roof problem, tucked up at the top of the crag. A short slab led to a gap before the roof loomed out, and I followed James and Louis' attempts with some fine encouragement and pointers from them, James below and Louis above, Louis in particular letting me know how far off a move I was. James, meanwhile noted that a rather large section of the shelf on the bottom of the roof had moved when I smeared off it - a fraction off falling away, apparently. I was already in a mantle by then, so I like to think I would have been okay... Anyway...The lowlight was... well, it was the cold toes, but climb wise it was a high arĂȘte which frustrated me by refusing to let me get started, and teased me with quality looking holds higher up. Ah well, an excuse to go back...

The roof in question. Wobbles not visible.

The pub beckoned - we were near Masham, after all - and the three of us tackled a slightly different version of the walk-out, the prospect of my rather warm car being all sorts of appealing...

Full photo set here.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...