Showing posts from February, 2012

Mid 'Winter' Training

With summer conditions prevalent in Scotland, I headed to Saltdean. Mike Stephenson and Mike Moss joined me. With plenty of chalk mileage under the belts in recent months we were keen to try some of the steeper routes. Tide was high in the morning so we were forced to climb on the West side to begin with. We led Back in Time (C5), then climbed the wall and arête to the right on top-rope. The latter has an obvious loose block at half height so take care if attempting this line. We then climbed Back Up (C5) before heading across to the East side where tide had now dropped.

From what we can fathom, our first route was a right-hand version of 7-UP (C7), which started at a bulldog and climbed up and slightly left to a belay.It proved to be a cracking route with tricky sequence of moves in the upper half. We then top-roped what I think was a left-hand version of the route (Also C7), which had little gear remaining. It was another A1 route which, although steeper than the route to the right, …

Direct Route (IV), Saltdean

With no partners free, I headed to Saltdean by myself for some training. I spent much of the day traversing the cliffs but had a look at Direct Route (IV) during the morning, which reasonable proposition to solo. The route lies at the far Western end of the cliffs, next to Saltdean Slab.

 I carefully surmounted the slippery black boulders that were strewn around this part of the shore and set about forming initial first axe placements. The start of the climb was steep but having gained a ledge a few metres above the boulders the cliff soon eased back. Climbing became much easier as I linked up with Saltdean Slab but the ground was equally unstable. The plan had been to down-climb Slab Route but given the instability I thought better of it. I would say this is a soft grade IV but worthwhile all the same.

Plaque Route (IV,4), Bowfell Buttress

With lots of fresh snow and cold temperatures in the Lakes it seemed unnecessary to drive all the way to Lochnagar this weekend, as had been the original plan. The high winds forecast in the Scotland also looked to be less of an issue in the Lakes. Mike and me made a late decision to switch plans to the Lakes and drove to Ambleside.

The plan had been the climb Bowfell Buttress (V,6) today but there were multiple teams queuing at the bottom of the route on our arrival with teams seemingly occupying every belay above. My friend Ryan was starting the second pitch. We waited but things weren't progressing quick enough. People were struggling on the first pitch. With the crux not being until the third pitch it was quite likely that even when we did get on the route there would be further delays higher up. We didn't fancy waiting around until mid-afternoon and then climbing half the route in the dark and therefore cut our losses and climbed Plaque Route (IV,4) further left. Not surp…