15 Jun 2008

E1 5b your joking...

Hello! As part of the usual climbing week we go out to a crag with Ash this week we went to Armathwaite. Having done the good climbs on the left side of the crag like Glenwillie Grooves, Flasherman and blah blah blah, we moved to the far right hand side where the is a big slab with some tough routes on, none below E1. YIKES! First was Barnacle Bill a one starred E1 5b, it starts laybacking up a good corner, the only protection you possibly get get so far would be a really small cam, but none of us have one. Once you have laybacked up the the triangle shaped roof you traverse under it using a poor hold on the lip and a tiny layaway, this takes you to the sanctuary of the exit crack where you can throw in some pro if you want but remember Armathwaite is sandstone and not too compact so your pro even if it seems bomber may just pop out, not good that. Ash was considering soloing it but thankfully he didn't, its not that high but a fall would do some potentially serious damage.

My Dad had a few cracks at it but the crux traverse under the roof was too much. The video is him swinging off yeah its a bit lame but deal with it.

There are two other lines on the main slab, Andy's Slab E3 6a and Smear or Die which hasn't been led but has a tech grade of 6b. My Dad didn't fancy his chances on either so he belayed. Andy's Slab is a unstarred route but i think it deserves at least one. It is very delicate climbing on smear and involves a tasty rock over to gain the main slab which is BLANK, you have to rely on friction to carry you up until you gain the horribly sloping gangway gaing it is the crux from there you reach a big ledge on which to have a rest then blast through the top moves. After a couple of goes Ash came down, with the beta i was feeling optimistic and it went brilliantly clean first go the holds were very dusty and covered in some sort of licheny moss type stuff, but it wasn't as bad as Smear or Die. It starts up Andy's Slab to a hold out left which you rock over onto a sort of dish like featurechalk up rest then follow poor holds to a scoop and from there finish up Barnacle Bill. I toproped it cleaning as i went with only one fall. i reckon its probaly E5/E6 to lead but i wouldn't fancy that.

Codpiece Left Hand E1 5b 1 star looks really easy but its not, in another guide it gets HVS 5c. Me Dad was spat off at about 3 meters while trying to get his foot up. Ash then did it cleanly first go but couldn't believe the grade i then followed and have to agree it was desparate.

Heading off we stopped for a quick boulder at one of Armathwaites many bays, i chickened out of the circuit Ash showed us and contented myself by walking up a slab with no hands! Ash said he did the circuit 10 times in a row PHEW! I couldn't even do it once!

We left the bouldering and Ash soloed a Diff (Thirty Nine Steps) while we took the path it could be his last climb for a while as his wifes having a baby (congratulations).

So its Saturday iv'e got Coursewrok to do.....nah il go to Windmore i think.

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