Tuesday, 18 March 2008


Saturday was as wet as it had been predicting all week. I had a cold in the post anyway. After a wet plod around town sorting shit I headed out through the fog and drizzle to have another look around Wharncliffe. Wet days are a good time to go looking for new lines. You aren’t wasting good climbing time and the lichen is soft enough to easily be brushed off in great swathes with a plastic floor brush. That said it’s a fairly miserable business tramping around wet bracken trying to imagine what this green filthy wet lump of rock might look like when dry. You really need the eye of faith. Spied a few bits to go back for but nothing strikingly good. Ended up at the Lescar later on and stayed fairly late, it’s hard not to when the weather is grim.

Sunday started out pretty dreary too. The deepening cold and mild hangover didn’t help much either. Eventually the weather sorted its act out and the decision to leave retreat to the wall as a late afternoon escape plan was vindicated. After much deliberation me and Mawson opted for the Plantation. Warmed up a bit, did Silk start (not the sitter), then went over to have another go at Back In The YMCA, a problem which I have been shut down on twice before. Bumped into Adam L and John Wainwright and heard the fabled Sharma was on his way over. Lots of cursing and crimping dirty little pockets ensued. Eventually a passable sequence was devised and Neil and Adam bagged the beast. Pretty hard for a supposed 7a+ (I Neil notice gave it hard 7b+ on his scorecard)! I got set up for the last move once but bottled the slap, then couldn’t get there again, I blame the lurgy. It’ll go next time. By now Sharma was warming up around Crescent arête. We had planned to go over and try Welford's newish problem below BAW’s Crawl – The Golden Path 7c, but what about getting the Sharma tick? We went over to try TGP. It’s hard! Fairly high with a pretty good landing, but tough all the way. After much jiggery pokery we figured a way to do the lower arête via a left heel-toe and a very poor sloper on the arête. I say ‘we’, in truth I never actually managed the move. This bit is good 7b/7b+ in itself and leaves you on two reasonable slopey crimps either side of the arête. Neil could get here most goes but was having trouble doing anything with it. Adam, John and then Bransby arrived, sadly no Sharma (the missus was feeling the cold so they went to the wall). Bransby managed the arête bit once but got stopped at the roof. Oh well, no team send today. Seems like a great problem, will probably become a classic one day. Must remember to ask the elusive Mr Welford for the numbers next time I see him.

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