Saturday, 26 June 2010

Big Walling in the Peak

26th June: Big Wall Training

After a morning of frigging around at Yarncliffe and aiding a couple of cracks. We sat back, had a think, picked up some gear and got the wisdom from Scott. We then went to Millstone (first bay) with our newly bought cord to set up our jumar systems and play with the fifi!

Playing 'Pull the Pig'

Welcome any advice here! So the jumar setup for cleaning aid pitches. Two jumars, right and left handed. One piece of 5metre 7mm cord. Right hand longer than left, one foot on lower left jumar Right jumar at arms length. Central hub connected with a larks foot to belay loop.

Byron opts to go for the higher left hand. Pretty quick and efficient. Must remember to tie rope off every 5-10m - I am sure I will be remembering to do that! Bought these locksafe carabiners for this. Counter intuitive to open so that's a relief.

Any ideas???

Originally we played with 1 fifi hook to get higher on a piece of gear and enable a more stable position when high on gear. However, played with this technique today.... Need to experiment more.

2 etriers, 2 daisy chains, 3 fifi hooks. larksfooted to harness. Ends joined with a carabiner and a fifi hook on each end. A fif hook also attached close to belay loop.

When high on the first runner... reach as high as possible and:

1) clip gear with a quickdraw and clip in rope
2) hook fifi/etrier/daisy on gear
3) test and weight gear by moving bodyweight onto etrier
4) hook harness fifi onto daisy chain for stability as move up etrier.
5) get as high on etrier as possible and place a high piece of gear
6) clip gear with a quickdraw and clip in rope
7) pull daisy chain up therefore pulling first fifi off the first piece of gear
8) Repeat. Found this pretty easy to place gear 1.5-2m away from your previous piece making progress efficient.

Out comes the pro traxion. Simple, attach pig to traxion. attach self to power point with sling (dynamic rope from lead line will be better here if you leave enough slack). Jumar attached to belay loop. Jump off wall ... repeat.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Roaches Climbing

Just out for a nice day today at the Roaches with Carl. Did a few top routes including the classic Valkyrie.

Carl chilling out at the belay

The last step on Valkyrie

The Neb finish on 'Technical Slab'

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A Nexus Plexus holiday with A Dream of White Horses

Abseil into A Dream of White Horses

Paulo in the Concrete Chimney

The stunning final pitch, don't look down....

After our little disaster and a broken finger for me last week, we have been out quite a bit. A few bits and pieces of work and lots of play.

Sunday : Froggatt, to be expected, sweaty and warm grit! Not pleasant, still we were after slabby routes to prevent the finger strain so Byron and I did Trapeze Direct, 3 pebble slab, 4 pebble slab and 2 sided triangle.

Four pebble slab is a funny one, graded E3 5C, but I think if you are happy on slabs and can trust your feet it feels OK. The gear is reasonable too. On the other hand, it could go terribly wrong as you would hit the floor if you fell. Felt more like E2 5B.

Monday: Gogarth, had the drive over with Paulo and climbed A Dream of White Horses. Stunning situation, nice climbing. Beautiful day out.

Tuesday: Went to the shady Plexu buttress on Dinas Mot and climbed Plexus and Nexus. NExus has an amazing first pitch, great climbing and a wild 3rd pitch! Yuk, them sweaty pockets!

Wednesday: Went to work at Burbage, climbing all day! Nice day for it.

Now it is time to concentrate on some clean aid climbing with Byron. We have got out Etriers through and are going to go have a play in Thor's Cave this weekend! Cant wait!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Just another day climbing...

The Fang Slab (Upside Down!)

I had another day climbing today. Just like any day climbing, we went out and enjoyed the company, fresh air, scenery, aesthetic movements and as usual achieved nothing. I am not being cynical about climbing in any way - you start at the bottom, find a difficult way to get somewhere you can walk up/down and then come down. A big circle of nothingness, ending up exactly where you started. The joy of the sport!

Today however was very special, we did all of the normal things - talked shite, pulled on some hand holds, placed gear, watched Byron take a big whipper.... except this time. We decided that hey, lets not finish the route. Lets leave all of the gear in and then try and abseil this massive overhang to get the gear out. Lets stop for a minute! What were we thinking, of course we couldn't ab the route...we would be dangling in space. We attempted anyway. What a surprise, it didn't work.

So what am I ranting on about! I think it is something to do with form. 2 days ago I was pulling through awesome moves on Vector at Tremadog, Byron and I were having an amazing time on Central Buttress at Scafell - Just yesterday I was struggling but still pulling moves out of the bag on Gogarth Main Cliff... Where did it all go wrong?

So for this very route in the peak, I think next time I will need to:

a) try harder
b) concentrate
c) not underestimate E1

Until next time route!

I haven't posted since I went to the Lakes last week but after having a great Saturday, I went over to North Wales to go climbing with a chap called Stu. Anyway, had a great couple of days and did:


The Fang (HVS)
Nice top slab

Stu coming up the final arete on the Plum

The Plum (E1)
Heaps of amazing moves

Vector (E2)
Stunning, amazing, pitch 3 wow!


'Gogarth' Main Cliff (E1)

A very classic Gogarth experience

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Scafell Crag : Central Buttress and Leverage

Leverage (E1 5B)

Since leaving Chamonix, have got settled here in Sheffield now. Excited about the summer and loads of trips planned including Lundy, Sea Stacks, Scotland Cragging and possibly Cuillins. I am now blogging work related days out on the Pure Outdoor Blog ( and play related things on this blog.

Nice couple of routes on Scafell main crag yesterday.

Good to get back into the swing of things on trad leading.

A 'hard rock' route and a fantastic crag with so much mountain atmosphere Central Buttress is 6 pitches and graded E1. Though the difficulties are really getting over the 'Great Flake'.

Hard Rock Description....

Located high in the centre of the Lake District Scafell Crag has a prominent position in English climbing historically as well as geographically. From the ascent of Central Buttress in 1914 to modern routes by Dave Birkett, the crag has always been at the forefront of climbing in terms of both commitment as well as technical difficulty.

Central Buttress, initially climbed with the use of combined tactics stood for two decades as the most serious expedition in the Lakes. Affected by rockfall in 1994 the original line of Central Buttress is now E3.

After, we headed around to the East side and climbed 'Leverage' E1.