Sunday, 24 May 2015

SPA Training

I was back in the Peak District for an SPA Training course this weekend. A large course of 7 candidates, made for a great weekend. Lots of discussions and sharing of ideas.

An interesting first day at Burbage North for personal climbing, before heading to the Foundry to course the climbing wall side of the award.

The group day was done a Lawrencefield roadside bay.  Again a good day, with lots covered and shared.

I look forward to seeing folks back for assessment.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Back to Work

It's been a frustrating month after a bad bike crash, which has meant no climbing or work for me.  So it was a good feeling to go bouldering to Burbage South for a couple of hours on Friday. I'd never Bouldered here before, so picked of lots of easy stuff and tried some trickier things to see how the body had recovered.   I managed a nice range of problems up to 7a+, so the the signs are good that things are recovering well.
Sending the Sheep

On Saturday I volunteered my services to guide Gerard, Andy and Matt around the course for the 10 in 10 in 10 for Napal challenge.  They did really well and completed the course in a respectable 7 hour 25 mins.  So far the event etc. Has raise over £10,000 and you can still donate.

Yesterday I was at Heptonstall with Suzy and David looking at how to rig bottom ropes.  The weather help off and gave us a great day out.   Both seemed to take a lot on board, so just need to get out and practice.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Work, Wilton, Work, Bolts and More Work

A very full week started with some route setting at ROKT on Tuesday.  A half day re setting the Summit room was a welcome rest from the 21m Lead wall.

On Wednesday I had some coaching work in the afternoon in Bolton.  I decided to head over early and head to Wilton 4 to finish off a route I tried last time, but was dirty.  I was glad to get there so early, as the weather soon started to turn.  My commitment was rewarded with solo ascents of White Horse E4 6b and Teacher's Crack E4 6c*.  Teacher's being a seemingly rare repeat.  As the weather crapped out, the coaching session with Bolton Boys School was redirected to Climb Rochdale.  this worked really well, as we did a focused session of steep group.  The lads did really well working through a set of moves they don't normally use.
The EB Baroud crag sac getting a run out

On Thursday I went back to Troller's Gill to finish off Tinderbox 7c+.  After warming up I climbed through the new crux, only to pull another big hold off.  I then spent time seeing if I could still do it that way, before binning it,  Looking around, I found a way to the right using what was left of the original flake.  This gave some awesome climbing and I managed to do the route this way.  What would have been a day tick in it's original condition, turned out to be a proper challenge of perseverance for me.

Over the weekend I have been running an SPA Training course in the Peaks.  Dry and sunny weather made this a pleasant weekend that the candidates have taken a lot from.  I hope to see them back at the end of the summer for an Assessment.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Busy Week

It has been a busy week.  I finished setting the lead wall at ROKT and managed to get a bit of bouldering at Almscliff yesterday with the family. 

Almscliff was more productive than I thought it would be. I ticked of a few classics I hadn't done for a while, and also put the Keel 7c to bed.  I found this as hard as ever, but managed to get my toe and heel to stick.  On the only other time I'd tried the problem, this was the thing that stopped me ticking it.  Rose got involved with some cheeky slabs that would be challenging for someone her size.  She definitely has the Hughes rockover climbing genes.  We met Dan up there so I did a quick couple of route to E4 with him before heading home.

The keel

Rose sending large

Today I went sports climbing for the first time this year with Ben to Trollers Gill.  After yesterday I was pretty tired. So after warming up, I thought I'd swing around on Tinderbox 7c+. It was coming together well, but the original crux is no longer then hard bit. The lose of a crucial flake means a new harder crux comes straight after the original one. Once sussed, I managed all the moves, but could only lead it in 2 today. Much higher in the grade now, but hopefully it will go next visit.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Scarlet Fever

After waking up to a damp day, I scrawled through the guidebook looking for a crag that faced the right way, was sheltered and not too far to drive so the journey would not be wasted.  I came up with Mytholm Steeps.

There were a couple of things to go at, but they needed a good brush and a little time for the few damp bits to dry.  Whilst cleaning I noticed the potential for a line on the wall to the left.  That was dry, so I cleaned it up and had a play whilst I was waiting.  The climbing was excellent, but what little protection there might be seemed poor. After toproping the route a few times, I decided it was to go for the solo.  I had a pad with me which at least partly cushioned the boulder below the first crux at 5m.  More good technical climbing followed to reach the final crux move to the top. An exciting dynamic pop to a flat jug.  From there the route followed Nick the Grip to the top.

Into the first crux, point of no return 
That gave the F.A. of Scarlet Fever E7 6b*
25m. A little eliminate, in that it climbs the wall between The Rift and Nick the Grip without using either arete. Climb the right side of the wall on positive flat holds. At the you would then move onto the arete, make a long move left to a good edge and get established on it. Climb straight up the left side of the wall with some cunning mid way. Holds then lead left to the second crux, a wild move to the top. Finish up Nick the Grip. micro cams may be place in poor/hollow sounding rock at approx half way. A good belayer may keep you off the ground if they hold.
The line
Once I'd finished with Scarlet Fever, I got to Flash Edge of Extinction E2 5b * * and Nick the Grip E4 5c *. A great day after the weather this morning.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Back To Basics

The classic Sheriff 
I had a couple of hours at Woodhouse this morning to try and get back in the swing of rock climbing.  It's fair to say I have lost a lot of strength over the winter for the steep stuff.  However, the not so steep seems fine.  I rattled off a few classics, along with a handful of the 7b+'s first go.  Hopefully the strength will come back quick with a few focused sessions.

Big moves across Angelface 
Finishing off the Roof Eliminate 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Watson's Winter Climbing Weekend

I wrapped up my official working season with stunning weather in the Cairngorm for the George Watson College Winter Weekend.  This year we opted to take full advantage of the weather and just go climbing.

I was climbing with Vicky, Adam and Richard, with the aim to do 2 routes on the Saturday if possible.  We climbed a really varied Central Gully Left Hand II.  It had cool thin iced slabs low down, snow in the middle and a great little ice pitch at the top,  After a bite to eat on the top, we nipped back down and climbed Goat Track Gully II in excellent condition.

Vicky getting grips with the thin starting pitches

Richard enjoying the ice at the top

Goat Track Gully

Spiral in great nick

Vicky having fun

Adam loving it

Yesterday we strolled in and climbed Spiral Gully II.  I offered the direct finish alternative, but was quickly shot down.  We topped out in sunshine again and ate some food.  Tired legs and bodies won out, and we walked back down via 1141m for coffee and cake.  Another great day on the hill in good company.  A real fitting way to round off a busy season back and forth.