5 January 2015

Stop Motion - Roundhill, 04.01.2015

Bryn spotted grit weather good and early in the year, and lined up Roundhill for an examination. He and I met at Masham and made for the reservoir. Two steps into our walk-in, Dave pulled up with his boys, and we all made the walk-in together. Dave had said it was longer than we would have though, and since he took us on a dubious shortcut he managed to prove himself right.

A decent slab - 'The Slab', apparently - gave us our first taste of grit, with a good selection of crimpy delicate problems. Mantles and other top-out moves felt somewhat rusty, but that only illustrated how good it was to be out there again. Dave's son, however, didn't necessarily agree, and started to feel pangs for home. At this stage, Bryn nobly took one for the team - for Dave, mainly - and entertained the boys with hat stealing antics and the like. This let Dave have a decent crack at the right rib, and then let me finish off the problem just to the rib's right.

Bryn noodled it up for a while, I took my turn entertaining the boys by dropping them off a rock that was around their height, then I vanished to go and look at the nearby... monument? Folly? Actually - it turns out, thanks to my Mum's research later - a sighting tower, used during the construction of the dam. I elected not to ascend, the downclimb would have been a killer.

Not so natural.
Once I returned, Dave and the boys - no longer concerned that I might have fallen down a mine - departed, leaving Bryn and me to scout for new play. And it was all aretes from there on in, first a kind of multi-pitch of a boulder, with a big jug on its mid-level ledge and a hold made from pure erosion at the top.

Bryn is actually off the ground here.

Then, the best of the bunch...

Reminiscent of a levelled up version of a classy little arete near Brimham's pommel area, the photos don't do it justice. But here's what was so good about it - Bryn and I chipping away at it, one us of us getting it started, the other suggesting a move, repeat and elaborate, encourage and seek feedback. Brilliant. A real collaborative effort, lots of small moves coming together to make something more than the sum of its parts. I don't think it could have worked out fairer, and we both topped it out and agreed that it was the highlight. I know that I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I'd been alone and done much the same without Bryn's turns punctuating it.

As an ineffectual coda, we threw ourselves at Top Pocket and its friends, but the wind was strong by that point, and we felt that the true narrative had been concluded. We were near the true path anyway by this point, and so we elected not to tromp through the heather for some reason, and headed off into the sunset...


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