Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stanage in the Spring

I'd like to add a warning to this post. If you plan on climbing at Stanage this post is perhaps a bit of a spoiler for Baws Crawl and  Goliath's Groove. If this is not an issue please read on.

Got on the bus to Manchester and bumped into these two shady looking chaps.

We camped at North Lees Campsite, which turned out to be a great place to stay. 15 minutes from Stanage (amazing climbing) and 15 minutes from Haversage (beer and curry!).

As Taba and Leighn had already climbed at stanage I got the chance to lead some fantastic routes including BAW's Crawl, HVS 5a. The route involves an interesting way to climb a quite intimidating roof.

Taba took a little more of a relaxed approach.

We also climbed another stanage classic, "Goliath's Groove" HVS 5a.
The first 5 metres were made up of a meaty off-width, the first route I've found so far where chunky thighs are an advantage!

The top section is great, if you're not too pumped.

Leighn took on the challenge of "The Left Unconquerable" E1 5a.
After some gentle encouragement from a source we shall not identify.... along the lines of "It's totally safe", "You've got bomber gear, you should go for it" and perhaps an impersonation of a certain farmyard animal. Leighn went for it and fell from the crux hurting his ankle. Just goes to show there's nothing like supportive encouragement from your climbing partners, ahem...

Me and Taba both ended up getting rinsed by "Jeepers Creepers" HVS 5b!
One day I shall return!

Taba got the dubious honour of leading "The file" VS 4c.
"Perhaps the Peak's pre-eminent jamming crack"


After placing initial gear.

On completion of route.

Still, not as bad as this guy!
(An inexperienced climber who was new to grit, after climbing "The File")

We also had a go at some bouldering, something I avoid like the plague!

Here's Taba on Crescent Arete
This boulder problem held more fear for me than a full Scottish winter of climbing!

The weather during our trip was pretty patchy, this encouraged us to pursue objectives closer to our nice dry tent.
"The Tree", (grade unknown.... maybe E15)
Wheres wally?

Thought I better add a few shots for the ladies!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Glen Clova: Diagonal Gully III***

After a week of low temperature and a dump of snow the conditions were looking good, so to the hills we headed. James and I blagged a lift with Henning up to Glen Clova. Henning unfortunately on arriving at the car park realized his boots were in Dundee. He decided to do some winter walking in his approach shoes, or so we thought... 

We decided on Diagonal Gully, a route described in the guide book as "The best climb in the corrie".
The route follows a line of ice up to a large snow basin. From the snow basin there is another small section of ice followed by a long pitch of snow and turf to finish.

The ice was a little lean but still irresistible.

James flaking out the rope at the foot of the climb.

The second pitch involved a short ice section followed by easy snow slopes heading towards the basin.

James enjoying a luxury belay in the basin after leading the third pitch.

It was at this point that a green and black blur shot past.
Henning had decided to climb some grade II gullys in approach shoes!
He passed us on the way up his second route of the day having already bagged a Munro.

The fourth pitch started in the basin then took a short ice section. 

The last pitch was pretty run out with (what was for me) a scary cornice to deal with.

James topping out.

The descent was almost as exciting as the climb as we bum glissaded down flume like gully's at high speeds.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Arran - August 2010 - A photographic tour

The three step forth!

Fast and light was the name of the game.

We arrive at our cleverly chosen camp site.



Yes we camped on the saddle between glen Rosa and glen Sannox.
Clever fellows.

We found a new camp site.

 Climbed several fine rock routes.

Then went on trek the A'Chir ridge.
We encountered many wondrous things - fine scrambles...

exposed ridges...

Deep chimneys...

Alluring Temptresses...

interesting rock formations...

and mysterious ninjas.

If there is one thing to take away from this experience, it is to be prepared.
We ended up spending a lot of time entertaining the locals.

yep, midges!