28 April 2013

3 aretes, 2 woods, 1 punter

Raining as I get to Pately, bugger the weatherman said dry until 3. I drive up to the Nought Bank boulders on Guisecliff's west end and wander down to them. I realise I have left my phone at home or dropped it walking in, no pictures then. Its a strange dry rain, its failing from the sky, its wetting me but the rock stays magically dry.

Maybe the bitter wind is blowing the rain away? I sort out a few warm up problems but don't have the stomach for some of the bigger and harder problems as the rock, though good, is pretty green and scrittley, not many have passed this way for a bit and I'm cold in the wind.

Off up to the folly and into the woods in search of some promised north facing jungle delights. I blunder around for a bit. With no phone Yorkshire Grit is offline and the new guide has decided to omit most of the boulders in the wood for reasons unknown. Eventually I stumble across the Mop Top Block its bilberry haircut making it easy to identify.

Its maybe 12 foot high and has a perfect sharp, clean arete with a flat landing, at one corner. The arete goes from both sides. The right side of it succumbs first with a little low cunning and a thin crimp. The descent is memorable, you hang from a handful of the bilberry "hair" and drop back to the jungle floor all a bit Indiana Jones.

The Left side of the Arete I thought was one harder, with a pretty powerful move to get your foot up before throwing for the top, but it was just as good. Worth the bushwacking for these two alone.

I headed on into the wood in search of A Little Sparkle.  Andy Crome's genius problem from a few years back which seems to get a lot of love from those that know it. An impending slab with one real hold on it and a dyno for glory. I found it, cleaned it and had a few pulls but I couldn't get my feet high enough to go for the dyno, one to go back for.

It was raining harder now, the dry rain turning wet, I headed back to the car. I drove out, as I got to Summerbridge the ground was dry again so I headed up to Brimham. I tried a few things on Joker's Wall but it was to steep for me. I wandered up to the the Blacksmith and had a go at Swing Arete a flake/arete/scoop thing that is balancey and thin for the feet. I have tried it a few times in the last couple of years. Today third go with magic dry rain falling around me. I bridged and slapped for the top and it held. The new guide reckons 6c which seems generous, but it seems hard for Yorkshire Grit's 6a, 6a+ seems about right.

I was supposed to bothering Whisky Galore but was feeling tired and was supposed to be on call if the kids got into bother at their Nan's. So I headed back, to find my phone on charge where I had left it. Not by any means a bad day out in the wind and the dry rain.
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