Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Quick Grit Hit

Chris styling Wild Thing at the Roaches. (Photo: Adam Gill)

Having spent my winter working hard, scrubbing boulders on my own and generally having to put in a good bit of effort for the minimal gains Highland bouldering often provides, it was nice to have a few days down in the Peak District on the grit. Chalked, clean, established problems and routes as far as the eye could see, and an abundance of pysched climbers. Happy days.

I went down with Chris after work on Tuesday and stayed at his folks' place in Matlock. After a 2am arrival, day 1 started with coffee and bleary eyes as we wended westwards to the Roaches. The perfect slabs of the Skyline area was the plan for the day, and didn't dissapoint. Chris made quick work of Mantis, Wild Thing and The Staffordshire Flyer, I somehow got to the top of San Melas, Triple Point and Wings of Unreason. These were three routes that had been on my radar for a long time so it was good to get them done.

Almost fluffing the Wings jump. (Photo: Adam Gill)

After a day of bold routes we opted to boulder on day 2 and made a tour linking Mother Cap, Owler Tor, Millstone and finishing at Burbage South. Not much skin left at the end but some good problems climbed. I can't claim Technical Master at Millstone as I jumped off at the jug - that top-out is pretty high! Golden Arete at Owler Tor and Attitude Inspector at Burbage South were the highlights.

Day 3 - the last day - was Stanage, and I had my heart set on a couple of routes and problems, but as soon as I topped-out on Crescent Arete at the start of the day I knew the thin tips would put paid to my plans. I gave Satin a good few tries, but those crimps weren't very friendly. After the fun highball Pullover I tried Wall End Slab Direct but ended up climbing back down after commitment issues. There's always next time.... After a quick play on some easy numbers on the Plantation Boulders we packed in and bailed out for coffee and muffins in Hathersage.

Still so much to do!

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