15 February 2015

Forgotten Flasby, Hellboy's Arse

I think Bryn was going to blog this one - the trip was his suggestion, and felt like his day to stretch the legs of his penmanship (you know what I mean) - but the lack of blog to this point and the fact that Bryn currently has bigger fish (mountains) to fry (slide down) means I'm hopeful that he won't mind me taking up the mantle. I'll try to do his standard justice...

So, we haz dun a clime an' it woz rite gud...

Last weekend, after a Saturday of gin, burgers, chinese food, and general debauchery, I slithered from my pit altogether too early on Sunday morning to meet with Bryn and make for Flasby Fell. The day was glorious, crisp air, bright skies, clear views. Until, that is, we took up the walk-in to the crag... The directions Bryn was working from didn't mention walking up into a cloud...

Our first glimpse of crag, and a couple of nice problems.
Sans guidebook, we gave... erm... desolate tree area? a stern examination. A first look at the lower rock was fruitless, but the upper rock looked to have some potential, with lots of texture on its face. Turned out, after a big swing to a low rail, the move was to miss out all that face - none of it was as good as it looked - and gain the top. Not that the top was a life saver - slopey, and with only a small crimp to work with in order to proceed, I really made sure of my position before topping out.

To give Bryn an idea of the crimp, but he was on the rock by the time I descended.
Bryn topped it smoother for having seen me do it, and we moved back to the boulder near the tree. I'd spotted a problem that needed some spotting, a couple of delicate high steps onto a slab top. I think Bryn had had a look already, but it was the team effort that saw it done - and don't underestimate it, a slip would have led to an awkward landing.

Up and over the ridge, to a spot sadly massively exposed to the winds, being able to see them whirl and eddie thanks to the cloud cover only marginally making up for their bitterness. More of a general play in this area, with a huge easy slab like Cheeseblock+, and a face with a delicate start and ridiculously easy finish. Plus, some climbing with big gloves on, running away from tumbling boulders (note: very small, and more like shifting slightly than tumbling), and playing with ice pools atop the rock.

Just general ambience
Last but by no means least, Rough Slab... Wait, sorry, what? 'Rough Slab'? Really? Is that the best anyone could come up with? (And how did we know this, since we had no guide? I can't even remember...) No, this Lovecraftian horror of a piece of rock, sinewy, arcane, almost designed to tear at a climbers soul as much as their palms, this deserved a finer moniker...

HELLBOY'S ARSE

Credit to Bryn for that one! Thankfully, it was actually less windy around these parts...

And here she is. Photo doesn't really do her justice. And why is Hellboy's bottom a she?
Use of the obvious mounting boulder to start served as warm-up, and Bryn found a more subtle traverse in from the right. The key move was to tackle it direct - the two lips on it conspired to create a thorny problem. Right hand on the top lib, left hand just below. Left foot locked under the larger lower lip, right foot then... Where? It took several goes - twice! - to get to a point where I knew what I was doing - locking the right foot out lower and wider meant that I was hanging more off the right hand, and could more comfortably move the left hand (this is starting to sound like Twister...) without dismounting. With both hands on the arse's top lip - ewww! - both feet then found the lower, and onwards and upwards from there. Most rewarding, though some of the chalk in evidence suggested lower starts still...

And there we called it. It doesn't sound like much, just a few areas, but it felt like a good session, substantial enough, with some good unraveling of moves and sequences, and fine philosophical banter throughout. Might be nice to go back in the sunshine someday...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...