2 April 2013

Sypeland - This contest is set for one fall...

Given the time off that a number of us had over the Easter weekend, a new crag was hard to resist. James and Louis were first off the mark, and I found James' car a bit further away from the crag than the parking guide on Yorkshire Grit might have suggested, and with good reason...

That's the supposed access road on the right.
Heck of a walk-in. The crag was visible from quite a distance, but it took a lot of time and effort to get it to appear closer. When I veered from the farm track, over banks of drifted snow, I found two sets of footprints to follow. A call from Louis confirmed these were correct, and I spent a while tracking them along the crag. Many of the rocks appeared somewhat snowed in, and I frequently fell through snow that James and Louis had evidently walked over. I caught up with them at the far end of the crag, where they had barely started climbing.

Almost straight away, we moved to the next rock back along. I was too cold to get involved with a slight overhang that was exposed to the wind, but moving around the rock and out of the wind looked more favourable. James and Louis had a play while I sat on a nearby rock to put my climbing shoes on. Here's a bit of a look at what we were dealing with:

James, several feet off the ground.
The mat there was sitting atop a wave of snow, changing the nature of the problem a little. When it came to my turn, the cold was affecting my ability to hold the breaks. Basically, I just didn't make sure of things as I should have done. As a result, I fell. I bounced off the mat (right, as we're looking at the photo) and down a bank of snow. I seemed to land on my feet, but the impact caused me to shift my weight, and I fell again, right onto the same rock I'd been sitting on moments earlier. Fortunately, I landed on something soft - my right buttock. I could tell straight away that there was no serious injury, but I did begin to feel somewhat sorry for myself. I sent Louis and James on to the next rock while I took a moment to recover. I caught up with them, but called time on my presence straight away - with the wind and cold, the excess of snow around the boulders, and my painful buttock, I just wasn't getting the experience I wanted. And off I went, trudging a more direct path back through the snow.

So, not even one problem climbed. Why still blog? Because it was my first time there, because we gave it a go, and because it looked as though there could be some worthwhile rock there. Like Widdop before it, Sypeland will be one for a summer's day.

When it's not like this.
More photos here.
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