Monday, 6 August 2007

Tuesday 24 July - Pavey Ark.

Brockenclock - E2 5a 5c 5b - ***. With Francis Blunt.

After getting rained off the Borrowdale and failing pathetically at the Bowderstone. We descided Pavey Ark and an early start was best bet. Left mine at 7:30. Walking up to the crag with a winner of the LAMM A class was knackering. Francis lead the first pitch to warm himslef up. I'm glad as even seconding it was a firece warm up! Francis the lead the imaculet, but short 5c slab, which was awsome. I then lead the steep 5b pitch, which was quite impressive for me, as I normally avoid anything close to an overhang. Francis ran it out in a long easy pitch to the top. Spot on route.

Sunday 22 Hodge Close Quarry.

Behind the Lines - HVS 5a ***. With Will Sim and John.

A good HVS. Cool climbing and Bomber gear. Placed all my quickdraws. Finally got up a pitch with Mr Sim!

Malice in Wonderland - E3 5c ***. With Will Sim.

Sat at the bottom for ages, while Will tried this superb looking route. He got right up on to the blank arete, but got gripped. He then made a belay and then escaped up the top of Through the looking glass. A good route, but not the real thing. Hitched home, with this weido from Carlise.

Friday 20 July - Burnt Crag

- HVS 5b. With William Sim.

After a long hitch/walk in the drizzle I finally met Will. We walked up to Burnt Crag, which was quite dry. I started off up this steep HVS 5b on the righthand side of the crag. I got to the crux, which was a very long reach, and after severall attempts lowered off. The loose block, did little to calm my nerves! William tied onto my ends of the ropes and pulled through the crux, but promptly fell off. The easiest route he has ever fallen, he alleges. He then got back on and climbed it. I followed.

I then belayed William on some E4, with a peg in it, which he fell off repeatedly until desciding to leaving for another day. I then belayed him on Shifter, which he backed off due to crack being wet. A fairly unsucsessful day. Will dropped me off at Cockley Beck and I had a fairly exciting hitch home. Oh well it was a bit of an adventure.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Thursday 19 July - Gimmer Crag

F Route - VS+ 4c ***. With Paul Whittham.

It took me two lifts to hitch from mine to Paul's (Troutbeck). From there we hitched along the A66, down St John's in the Vale to Ambleside and through to Langdale with a grand total of 5 lifts and taking 2 hours. We then walked up to Gimmer which was, as ever, knackering. I lead off up F Route, a brilliant pitch, which I had followed some years ago with Dad. I do remember it being hard for VS then. It still was, luckily the route has good gear all the way up and another good hold always seemed to appear. I was Paul's first route of the year and he followed with style. A good effort. I wouldn't be suprised if this get upgradded to HVS 4c in the next Langdale guide.

Whits End Direct - E1 5b **. With Paul Whittham.

A good pitch, faily thin and sustained at E1, but at least it had ample protection. The first moves up to diagonal flake were pretty go-for-it with no time to hold on to place kit. Luckily runners and a good rest appeared after. The climbing then continued up the slab on small bit posertive holds, just my style to a good rest benaeth overhang, where small wires could be fixed. I then climbed up on small holds, but failed to work out the sequence to get to the overlap. Reversed back, rested and tried again. This time I got to overlap, where a friend slotted in nicley, couldn't workout how to get into the hanging corner so climbed back down. Tried again. Got into the corner this time, where I could rest and place another friend. Then made a thin move up and right to a good hold. Easy slab climbing to the top. Paul descided that wearing tight rock boots was too painful for his ingrowing toe so I absailed off to remove the kit. Luckily I met Matt and Francis from OB and they kindly brought my gear down with them. Cheers Guys. Walked back to Langdale had a swift pint and then hitched back to Paul's in four lifts, via Keswick this time. Another exciting day in the lakes.

Tuesday 17 July - Castle Rock

Watchtower - E2 5a 5b **. With William Sim.

Met Will in Keswick after a fairly sucessful hitch and after descding that we betwen us we'd practically 'cleaned out' borrowdale plumbed for Castle Rock as a good bet. Unfortuantley North Crag was a bit wet, but that was nothing to deter the Sim-Ripley duo. I set of up the wet, minging, horrid 5a pitch which fortuanatley had half reasonable kit on it. Arrive at an awkward stopper 5a move, which i descide I can't do and shamefully loweroff. The pitch sucumes to awsome Simster effortlessly.

Now the wild 5b pitch which Will lead without problem. My turn. I arrive at the bottom of the finger width layback crag, "This looks impossible", luckily although strenous you could fsink your fingers deep into the crack (ooerr misus!) and layback it to the ledge on OHB. From there you climb strenously up steep ground, on good but hollowe hold. Glad he lead it not me.

Triemain Eliminate - E2 5a (yeah right) 5b. With William Sim.

Yet another Brown and Whillans route that I can't even second! I'm conviced those two wern't human. Will Jinxed me by saying, "I bet you have to lower off this 5a pitch too", just after I left the ground. Bastard. Sure enough I got to the stopper move, which when seconding felt much more like 5b to me, and lowered off. Will lead and I followed. The next pitch was a steep wet overhanging corner, throughally unpleasant looking if you ask me, but nothing deters the Sim mister. He cruises it. My turn. Steep climbing is not my fortee. Pull up, gibber, "tight", gibber pull up, flick a runner out, "take!". This countinued until I got the stuck cam, which I got well and truly pumped attempting to remove and eventually rested on the rope. "Fuck it, I'll get it on the way down, Just having a rest Will." Pull up, gibber, "tight", gibber, sags on rope. At which ponit Will announce that he can't hold on much longer and my great weight is hirting him, so I sucumb and he lowers me off. From the ground I am four metre out from the foot of the crag, Castle Rock is desceptivley overhanging. I'll need to get very strong before I lead that one.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Saturday 14 July - Beeston Tor

Nocturne - VS 4c *. With Caitlin Ripley.

Stopped off at Beston for a quick route on the way to Bill's. I lead Caitlin up this nice slaby VS, it would have be excellent but all the pockets had silt in them somewhat spoiling the climbing. The climb felt a bit disjonited as it finished halfway up the crag. Thorn the *** HVS to left looks stunning with a really exsposed second pitch. A white peak trip is definatley on the cards soon.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Sunday 8 July - Gowbarrow

Susan - HVS 5a **. With William Ripley.

Fucked up again. Can't climb cracks. Espeacially gay ones, which involve fist jamming and are damp and greasy. Looks a good route though. Failed at the crux halfway up, don't forget your cams up #4 and double up on #2.5-3.5. Don't bother bring any wires.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Tuesday 3 July - Black Crag

Troutdale Pinicle - Severe ***. With Wayne Cartmel.

Joe and I went after school with Wayne and Arran to do their first route. Both really enjoyed Troutdale Pinicle and climbed with style.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Monday 2 July - Quayfoot Butteress.

Mandrake - HVS 5a ***. With William Ripley.

Driving down Borrowdale the weather wasn't looking promising, but desperate for our fix we proceeded. On arriving at the foot of the crag that weather still wasn't looking promsing and the midges were out with avengence. Dad lead the first pitch, leaving me to tackle to top pitch, which I remember being somewhat desperate but I was only 14 last time I did the route. It was pleasantly suprising pitch, with lots of gear and equal amounts of polish and a great pullover move over the roof. Good fun.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Wednesday 27 June - Serengeti

Seams the Same - E1 5b **. With Geth Thomas.

After having a mini epic wandering up to the bus stop after work I managed to pursade some guys to go climbing with me. We started at Serengeti and followed Geth up this cool, but sadly polished extreme.

Seamstress - VS 4c **. With Geth Thomas.

After learing my lesson from falling off, I descided to warm up on some thing easy. A nice route, but the gear isn't as good as he guide book suggests.

Peter Pan - E2 5b *. With Geth Thomas.

A brilliant looking route, with a photogenic line, looks even better in the sun. Unfortuanatley the climbing is crap. The top moves are quite sequencey. Geth led first and then I followed with the clips in.

Slippery People - E2 5c **. With Geth Thomas.

Following Ioan and Ed's recomendation for a soft touch E2 I had a pop at this. It was desperate, not suprisin when you I realised later that I was on the wrong route, actually Tentive Desicsion E5 6a!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Tuesday 26 June - Bus Stop Quarry.

Equinox - VS 4c *. With Steaky Desroy.

After a relaxing days work at DMM, streaky and myself set out in serch of dry rock. I followed Graham up this nice little route, which does have gear unlike the guide book description suggests.

Solstice - HVS 5a *. With Steaky Desroy.

I lead this nice abeit polished route.

Sterling Silver - E2 5c **. With Streaky Desroy.

Graham lead this nice route which takes a line of hollow flakes in the rain. Nice climbing with good gear. Easy E2, but I did only second.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Sunday 24 June - Vivian Quarry.

Phycothearpy - E2 5c **. With Will Hunt, Jamie Light, Cliff Shafsby and Lyndsey.

The weather perked up in the afternoon, so I wandered into Vivian in serch of climbing partner. Came across this lot, who kindly allowed me to tie on with them. The all post on UKC so knew who I was when I introduced myself, they thought I was quite nice in real life though! I set of up Phycotherapy, always a bad idea warming up on E2, climbed the crux and the fell off, rocking over to place a runner. I was climbing on a mega skinny single rope and nearly decked on the rope strecth! I started seconding the route, but unfortuantley it started to rain. Hopefully I'll get it done latter in the week, but presently the weathers not looking good. Torrental rain in North Wales.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Saturday 23 June - Wen Zawn

Back for a rematch, after scaring myself silly on Wen previously.

Dream of White Horses - HVS 4b 5a 5a 4b ***. With William Ripley

Luckily we were first on this route, otherwise we would have been following a very slow party of three across the zawn. Dream certianlly lived up to its reputation, the atmosphere and the climbing was superb. Dad lead the first pitch, which was about 4b, not 5a as NWR sugests. the next pitch and first traverse pitch was mine. brilliant climbing, with questionable gear, which often was not frequentent and some unrevserible moves(they may have been, but fortuanatley i didn't have to try). Glad I didn't get gripped agian, but i was still pleased to reach the belay. Probibley top end 4c rather than 5a. The next pitch was more like 5a than 4c in my view with some thin moves, I managed to pursade a stuck number 5 nut out too. The last pitch, in some respects was a disaponitment. Although the best pitch on the route, offering stunning atmospheric climbing, I found the climbing really obvious with big jugs all the way. Still a damn good route though!

Concreate Chimney - HVS 5a 5a ***/ With William Ripley.

Orginally I detered from this route due to its name! Fortuanatley it avoids the conglomerate chimney and offers stunning climbing adjacent to it instead. Belaying Dad on the first pitch was so cold I wore my puffball! The first pitch was brilliant, big holds and good gear, climbing through some steep and impressive terrain. I was somewhat nervous about the next pitch as overhangs are not my fortee, however this one was friendly with big holds, runners and bridging, enableing me not to get pumped out of my mind. A superb route, cheers for the recomendation Andy! Finally I've managed to lead a Joe Brown route, without failing or gibbering - Gogarth's not that scary really!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Wednesday 20 June - Hodge Close Quarry.

Sky - f6b+ *. With Andy Hobson

After one lesson of school I got bored. My English teacher was ill and there is no ponit going to geography (it is only colouring afterall). So I begin walking/hitching home. I managed to get hom in about 50 minutes and three lifts. A taxi driver who didn't charge, An old man who was spot on and like me hated the Daily Mail and Frank, a local farmer. Once home I dashed in and grabbed some gear (climbing not drugs) and walked out. Managed to get to Ambilside in a 3 too. First a pair of students from Southhampton, the girl was rather tasty! Second with the Local copper. Third with a strange old couple in their fifties. I met Andy in Ambleside and we quickly drove to Hodgeclose. We rapped into the quarry and Andy started up Sky, however after a short while it began to rain and we started and mini epic to retrive the gear, involving multipile absails and getting wet. After this we returned to Ambleside for food and retail thearapy, Lakes climber made me a cuppa. I then managed to hitch home again in three. First and Couple to top of Kirkstone pass, then another couple to Paterdale. At which ponit it began to rain tourentailly, but luckliy I got picked up quickly by a kind couple who dropped me at me door. Oh well no climbing, but a fun day out!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Sunday 17 June - Shepherds Crag

Creeping Jesus - HVS 5a **. With John.

After trying to warm up on the Grasp and not suprisingly falling off! I did this route again. It was as good as I remembered however the top half (top of Kransic Crack Direct) I found quite hard, despite having done it about 4 times before.

The weather then looked better so we descided to go to lower falcon, but it began to pour. After William descided that E2 in the rain was a silly idea we headed to Bowederstone Crag. Daniel and I messed around at the Bowederstone, whilst William and John and absailed down some mega E8, which Will's made his project for the end of the summer. Hitched back in a twoer. Nice bloke dropped me off home.

Wednesday 13 June - Vivian, Dali's and Tremadog.

Raining and dank on Anglesey this morning so packed up the tent and headed inland. Weather wasn't much better there either, but we descided to test the abilities of youth and old on the ultimate climbing medium, S-L-A-T-E!!! Not suprisingly yoof won!

Mental Lentals - HVS **. With William Ripley.

A nice introduction to slate climbing, with good hold, good bolts and good gear. fun fun fun. Lead.

The Monster Kitten - E1 5c *. With William Ripley.

A short and pumpy route, for both hands and feet. thin posertive hold and rockovers were the order of the day. Thankfully the route was well protected by a thrutch of good runners, but despite this I still downclimbed twice due to de-pump.

Zambesi - VS 4c. With William Ripley.

Seconded. Good.

Launching Pad - E1 5b. With William Ripley.

Easy E1, Glad of the bolts, would have been a different proposition without. At this ponit we were rained off, so after wandering the quarries, having a look and California Arete and Looning the Tube we retired for my first Pete's Eats exspirence (the best Caffi in the world!).

After buying Dad some new rock shoes, a very long dull and drawn out process, even for a gear freak, we drove to Tremadog where the rain had subsided.

Shadrach - VS 4c **. With William Ripley.

Even after spending what seemed like forever trying on boots in V12 he had manged to buy them too big. So we had to share, lowering my pair down to the second. A good route the first pitch, fortuanatley Dad's, was thrutchy. The second pitch, mine was technical and better.

Tuesday 12 June- Gogarth.

Britomartis - HVS 4c ***. William Ripley.

After getting lost looking for the crag, due to our combined incompetence we evetually got sorted and abbed down to do this route. found a number 5 nut on the ledge, which was nice. Watching seals playing, whilst belaying was magic. Dad was less than pleased when I asked him if he was safe on the Crux. Although his pitch was a juggy romp, it was mega pumpy and quite bold, great route pitch. The top pitch was brill too, with a cool traverse. Super route.

Wen - HVS 5a ***. With William Ripley.

This roue, confirms my view that Joe brown was/is the gaffer. Dad lead the first pitch, which despite being an evil offwidth and him dropping one of my cams into the sea was brilliant. I then attempted to lead the next pitch, which was going well until i got to this stopper move at a bludge. Whilst attempting to climb that a big wire, that I had presumed bomber just lifted out, scareing the living be'jebus out of me, making me totally gripped. At this ponit I down climbed and Dad lead the rest of the pitch. The top pitch was good and with hindsight I should have lead it. C'est la vie - good route though.

Monday 11 June - Gogarth

Left Bills at 06:30 to drop Caitlin off at OB Aberdovey for work exspirence. Dad then drove use to Anglesey.

Lighthouse Arete - VS 4c ***. With William Ripley.

The guide book described this route as, "the start of many Gogarth apprenticeships". Sounds good to me. Very similar to Chair Ladder with the wave cut platform. Dad lead the first pitch, I lead the top two to the top. Great route, I suprised how difficult the rock was to read.

Lighthouse Arete Direct - VS 4c ***. With William Ripley.

Dad lead the first pitch, intending to combine it with Blanco. He went off route and i ran it out to the top.

Bezel - VS 5a *. With William Ripley.

We then headed over to the upper tier, intending to do Parklane/Doomsville or one of the HVS, however it was begining to rain so we did Bezel instead. Dad lead the first pitch, I got the 5a pitch, which had this really cool move over an overhang. Good route. Enjoyed.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Sunday 10 June - The Roaches and Hen Cloud.

Pedestal Route - HVD ***. With William and Cailtlin Ripley.

Nice route. Lead in one pitch.

Technical Slab with Neb Finish - VS 4c ***. With William and Caitlin Ripley.

A great route, which I secounded. Much better than Pedestal Route. Cool out there climbing on the top pitch. Another Classic Rock tick.

Saul's Crack - HVS 5a (5b due to polish) ***. With William and Caitlin Ripley.

I made an pathetic attempt to lead this route, but due to my inability to jam and climb go for it grit routes I failed. Dad lead in fine go for it style. Both me and Cait seconded. Good route, Joe Brown definatley was a monster!

Bachelors Butteress - VS 4b **. With William and Caitlin Ripley.

A nice, but quite bold route with the added bonus of a free 120cm sling jammed in a crack at the top. Lead.

Prow Cracks - V Diff *. With William and Cailtlin Ripley.

Prow Corner - V Diff **. With William and Caitlin Ripley.

I lead this nice route after niavely presuming that I would be able to lead Chalkstorm when its 25 degrees.

We then retired to the Roaches Cafe for cream teas at Dad's exspence! Followed by a couple of routes at Hen Cloud.

The Arete - HVD ***. With William Ripley.

The Guide book said this route was better than anything in the alps! Well I'm not sure about that, but it was damn good route, almost superseeding Heaven Crack as the best Diff on grit (that i've done).

Central Climb - VS 4c ***. With William Ripley.

Yuck! First pitch offwidth hell, which I couldn't do. Backed off and Dad lead running it together with second pitch, he likes thrutchy stuff. I lead second pitch, good route. Bill must have been a nutter to solo it and down climb!

Saturday 9 June - The Roaches and Hen Cloud.

Set off earlyish from home and arrived at the Roaches around lunch time, where we met Bill.

Via Delorosa - VS 4c ***. With William Ripley and Bill Parker.

A nice two pitch intorductory Roaches route with a cool jam. Classic Rock tick too. Lead.

Valkyrie - VS 4c ***. With William Ripley and Bill Parker.

Seconded this suposed uber classic to Dad, wasn't impressed really. The climbing wasn't half as good as Via Delorosa and it didn't deserve to kiss Eliminate A's shoes.

Pebbledash - HVS 5a **. With William Ripley and Bill Parker.

After both Dad and Bill's fairly pathetic attempts to lead Matenee (HVS 5b). Bill lead up this pleasant HVS. There was this dead hot eastern european aupair climbing it before us, why can't I have one of those?

Black and Tan's Climb - Severe ***. With William Ripley.

After looking at Saul's Crack, which had killer biting things around it I ran up this pleasant Classic Rock route.

The Sloth - HVS 5a (E1 4c) ***. With William Ripley and Bill Parker.

An awsome lead by Dad, the only time I have ever seen other climbers begin to clap! Very Whillansesque, a pause by the cheeseblock and then straight over the roof, no fannying around placing gear, to the bomber jugs and jams. Both Bill and I descided we'd have placed gear on the roof rather and messed around. A good lead in good style.

Reunion Crack - VS 5a **. With William Ripley.

Joe Brown was a monster and I can't climb grit or his awe inspiring routes. Went up in the evening for a quick climb and I failed miserably on this route. My ability to lay away and jam is pathetic. Must do better next time.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Friday 8 June - Black Crag

Jubilee Grooves - E1 5b **. With William Sim.

Hitched to Keswick, rather quickly actually. Tom Merchant kindly saw me and drove back to get me, he took me as far as Berrier, from their I quickly got picked up again. Met Will in Keswick and headed straight for Black Crag. The walk in was as always a bitch! The first 5a pitch was excellent quite bold climbing. Will lead the second, which i found hard for 4c but you always climb worse seconding. The top pitch was easy for 5b but quite bold, with a couple of cool moves to get into the groove, where there was thankfully gear. I then ran it out to the top.

Grand Allience E4 6a ***. With William Sim.

The chance of having to queue on an E4 on a weekday, especailly in the Lakes is slim, but Bill Birkett and Co. beat us to it. Oh well we were happy to wait. I lead the first 2 pitches in one, which was easy 5b. Will lead the top pitch onsite, no messing. Good lead. Then much to my suprise i seconded in good style. The moves on the slab were really nice, but with a scary runout. Glad the rope was above my head. One to lead when I'm good. I had a look at Prana as I absailed off, but descided to leave it until I've done a few more E2's. A week of climbing lies ahead, hope the weather holds.

Thursday 7 June - Dow Crag

Eliminate A - VS 4c ***. With Joseph Dixon.

The Desicion Maths AS Exam this morning, went quite well. Who care I've done 'em all now. The summer of climbing lies ahead. After the exam we jumped in Joe's car, went to his for lunch and then to Coniston. It had been ages since I went to Dow and i took the wrong tunring on the walk in, making it much steeper! I won't make that mistake again. It was really muggy and humid on the walk in, I was dripping by the foot of the crag.

Anyway, what a route, 6 stunning pitches, good gear and interesting climbing throughout. Joe and I swung leads. Although we could have run it together as 3 long pitches it was great fun to climb slowly and mull over such a stunning route. Pitch 5 was the best, with a brilliant moves as you traverse across the slab, under the overhang with all that space beneath you feet. Superb. Maybe the best VS in the Lakes?

From the summit with donned our boots, climbing on to the summit. We then walked down to the col, dumping our rucksacks and nipping on to Coniston Old Man. We then walked back passed the crag and down the car. A stunning route on a stunning day.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Sunday 3 June - King's Meanburn

Scarlet Lyvennet - MVS 4a. With Caitlin Ripley.

After a somewhat dull, but necessaryweek of revison I was allowed out for an afternoons cragging. I set of up the flake (HS) first, but it was dirty and so i tohugh this looked better. A nice face climb with some bridging to begin with. Good gear all the way.

The Small Assassin - VS 5b. With Caitlin Ripley.

I asked Cailtin to choose the next route. She told me it was VS, but failed to mention the 5b. A nice boulderary start on the sandstone, followsed by runners and a strenous limestone crack, which I avoided to the right. If I had climbed climbed the crack direct I reckon the route would be E1.

TD Corner - Mild Severe. With Caitlin Ripley.

After Caitlin tried to lead Owl Crack, a vile MS (FRCC have interestingly given this Mod). I went up this corner, must be only limestone route in the world that requires number 4 friends, not that i had one.

Marik - HVS 5a ***. No second.

Caitlin had got bored by now, so I got Ian to belay me. I tried to do Ivy Crack, a steep E1 5b, but steep polished limestone is not my fortee. Not deteter I wandered round the corner to do Marik. This excellent VS, now HVS, was just as remebered it. Steep, fairly sustained climbing with bomber gear all the way. Unfortuanatley it is slightly polised and bit sandy. A serious contender for the best Cumbrian Very Severe (or HVS if you must) outside lakeland. Superb.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Saturday 27 May - Gimmer Crag

Kippling Groove - HVS 5a ***. With Joseph Dixon and Andrew Mitchell.

Wow! What a route, despite my slight stupidity with regard to route finding and mainly being dim we got to the bottom of the climb. The overlap, was just as remember it, just not as gripping. Looked up to the groove of Equus, which looks stunning definatley one for later in summer. The top pitch, which is equally brilliant and quite sustianed with two definite cruxes kept me entertained. The crux felt a damm sight harder from when I first climbed the route, aged 14 and lived up to it reputation of being ruddy hard. (Ruddy 'ard, Ruddyard, Kippling Groove. Get it.) Whilst belaying at the top, I saw a guy take a pretty cool fall of Spring Bank, that wee roof looks spicy.

D Route - Severve *. With Joseph Dixon.

After abing off, Joe and myself descided to quickly nip up this rather nice little route. Met Ian Jackson from UKC on the top.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Saturday 19 May - Brimham Rocks

Great Slab - HVD *. With Andrew Mitchell

Pooring with rain in the Lakes today,.so set off to Brimham with the hope of finding dry rock. This turned out to be a good crag choice being bone dry, but it was extremly windy especially on top of the little Gritstone tors. First grit of the year and it was nice to lower my grade a little. Good wee route.

Square Route - HS 4b *. With Andrew Mitchell.

Another nice wee climb, really nice frictiony, rockover moves of the type that you never really get in the Lakes.

Thin Line - HVS 5a **. With Andrew Mitchell.

Very similar vain to the lastroute. Cool rockovers betwen horisontal breakes and bomber friends. Not sure if it was HVS, felt loads easier than Rough Wall.

Heather Wall - S *. With Andrew Mitchell.

A good route with quite a technical first move. Then very easy.

FAILURE! (again!) - Rough Wall - VS 5a ***. With Andrew Mitchell.

Thought i'd attempt to lead this excellent route again over a year on from my first attmept. failed at exactly the same place, the very top move. I must have tried it 4 or 5 times, but couldn't commit to it. I think i need to improve my bondy tension. This route is becoming something or an archnemises for me, maybe I'll lead it one day.


I nearly killed myself while absailing to strip the gear on this route. I failed to chech whether both ropes were touching the floor and as a result nearly abbed of the end. ALWAYS TIE A KNOT IN THE END.

Majoa - VS 4c **. With Andrew Mitchell.

Best route I did all day. Great climbing, with a cool layaway up the fluttings.

Central Crack - VS 5a **. With Andrew Mitchell.

Last route of the day. Really nice hand/fist jam crack up until the body jam crack at the top. When it started to rain, had a top rope lowered! Poor effort. Need to work on offwidths.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Monday 14 May - Reecastle and Shepherds.

The Noose - HVS 4c (5a in my book) * - With Joseph Dixon.

Headed to the crag after a stressful day at school. History exam went ok, newer have to think about the stupid 1832 great reform act again. It was great going in Joe's car rather than having to get lift every where with parents. Reecastle was much wetter than I exspected. I started up the rack, which looked wet and turned out to be soaked. Went on the Noose instead. Awkward and strenous, was how i remember it and that time it wasn't wet. This time it was and I had a bit of a wobbler on the groove and then speant ages at the top trying to work out this move, which was much simpiler than it seemed. I had a look at the Gibbet Direct, but E2 is had enough when its dry let alone wet!

Little Chamonix - V Diff *** - With Joseph Dixon.

Thought we'd get second route in. Dashed up little cham in trainers in two pitches. Fisrt time I've done it this year, but still brill.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Saturday 5 May - Grey Crag Buttermere

Unfortuanatley due to lack of climbing partner and obscene amounts of revison i've been unable to get out in the stunning weather all week.

Harrow Butteress - Diff ** - With Ian Carter.

Set off home earlyish to avoid the bank holiday crowds in Buttermere. The walk in was pleasant and took longer than exspected. My feet were a little sore in my plastics, but they soon settled down. We arrived at the crag, via a very tedious scree slope and just before the crowds. We geared up for moving together and i lead off. The climbing was superb and flowing, but quite short. A great Diff, but not as good as Corvus.

Slab Ordinary - V Diff * - With Ian Carter.

From the top of Harrow Butteress we countinued moving together to the foot of the next butteress. I set off up the first pitch of Slab West Route, a somewhat bold Hard Severe, but ended up on the belay ledge of Slab Ordinary. The first pitch of Slab West Route I'm sure offers excellent slab climbing, however it was rather interesting in plastic boots and the lack of gear focuses the mind. We then followed Slab Ordinary to the top, which we moved together on.

Oxford and Cambridge Direct - Mild Severve *** - With Ian Carter

Wow. A stunning line on superb, perfect rock. We climbed it as two pitches, the first was good, but not as memorable as the second, which climbs up to a crack on to a slab where the crack contiues and then continues some more as the rock steepens. The climbing was excellent and the gear was good, with a great sort of rock overmove (remember you can't smear in big boots) up to an insitu cam, which wouldn't sucum to Ian's efforts. A strong candidate for the best easy line in the Lakes. We than, after a quick chat about first aid, walked pleasantly along to Sticks Pass and down to the car. Another stunner in the Lakes. I called in at Needle Sports on the way home and brought North Wales Rock and by the looks of it there are some equally stunning days to be had down there!

Monday, 30 April 2007

Sunday 29 April - Sergeant Crag Slabs

Lakeland Crags Man - HVS 5a *** - Sergeant Crag Slabs. With Tony Shepheard and William Ripley.

Stunning day in the Lakes today. After the OB conference we descided to go cragging. The slabs were quite busy, but suprisingly all there were locals. Dad lead this great route first and it was joy to follow. nice flowing climbing good gear.

Asphaisa - E2 5b *** - Sergeant Crag Slabs. With Tony Shepheard and William Ripley.

A brilliant route. My first E2 lead last year, Tony lead with style. I htink I went slightly off route when i did it. I found the route much harder than i remember, due to sore toes. A quite bold feeling route with a suprising amount of gear.

Terminator 2 - HVS 5a *** - Sergeant Crag Slabs. With Tony Shepheard and William Ripley.

I'll be back.... maybe not! A great route, and like most at the crag low in the grade. Nice flowing climbing lots of gear good friction on the rock. A stunning end to an afternoons cragging.

Thursday - 26th April - Gouther Crag

The Fang Direct - HVS 5a *** - Gouther Crag. With Caitlin Ripley and Joe Dixon.

Great Climbing on broken feeling, but solid rock. hold better than they look and good, but small gear. Crux is a quite run out rockover, but the rcok 10 beneath my feet was confidence inspiring.
I attempted One Step Beyond afterwards, but couldn't do the strenous and awkward VS 5a moves up to it. I reckon i could have done One Step..... poor excuse!

Friday, 20 April 2007

Quick Review – DMM Phantom Karabiner.

Meaty review: I received four of the new DMM phantom krabs yesterday, so I thought I’d give them a quick write up. First impressions: Wow! This is light. The phantom is currently the lightest krab in the world and a meagre 25g per biner. I’m very impressed by its weight, strength (23kn closed, 7kn cross loaded and 9kn gate open) and size - I can’t see krabs getting much smaller than this while still being usable. Size wise the karabiner is virtually identical to a Black Diamond Neutrino, but with a deeper nose, making it more appropriate for racking wires. I was a little dubious about its size at first, thinking that its small capacity would make it harder to clip in extremis, but having used BD neutrinos quite a lot and played around with the Phantom I’m convinced that this is the way forward. DMM are manufacturing the krab in 7 funky colours: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and grey. In my view the only downside to the Phantom is that is too small for racking wires . I'm sure just as with the first wiregates, the hotwire it will be recived sceptically, but to my mind light is right so the Phantom is the way forward.

Quick summary: An excellent little krab that has set the standard as the new light, leaving those old hotwires looking very heavy indeed. This is the perfect biner for anyone who is serious about shaving the weight off his or her rack.

When I’ve abused mine I will add more. The Phantom currently looks like what I will be replacing my old quickdraws with.

Competition: Black Diamond Oz (28g), Camp Nano Wire (28g).

More info at:

The DMM Phantom will soon be available in all good climbing shops in a range of colours for: £7.50 each.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Saturday 14 April - Gouther Crag

Hindleg Crack - Severe * - Gouther Crag. With Joe Dixon and Andrew Mitchell.

Hot and sunny today, Bizarre weather for April! Would love to be out and about on the big crags Scafell et all, but AS levels are looming all to close. I’ve been forced by Dad to do four hours revision this morning. Maths maths maths. Andy and Joe came to picked me up and we headed over to Swindale. The walk in was sweaty. Truss buttress was surprisingly busy, but the main crag contrastingly empty. Started up Hindleg crack, a traditional looking route that was in the shade. The guide book description said, strenuous but I didn't find it so. You just had to bridge. The route had a rather awkward pull round a chockstone, from inside the chimney. Very traditional, but it was good entertainment. Andy and Joe seconded with ease.

Bloodhound - E2 5b ** - Gouther Crag. With Joe Dixon and Andrew Mitchell.

I wasn't exactly psyched for the Bloodhound, but decided this looked like good fun and was my style of climbing. I spent ages working out where the line went and where the gear was. The route was in full sun when I started up it, the rock was very grippy, which was lucky considering how hot it was. I climbed easily up right and managed to arrange 3 runners, one of which could have been considered a side runner, but I'd have still hit the floor before I managed to place the next one. Next, the difficult traverse left, lots of small holds and masses of friction. I backed off a couple of times, before I worked out the sequence. I then got to a big handhold, which mantled on so I could arrange some more gear. If I had fallen then the alleged side runner wouldn't have stopped me. I then continued up on small but positive holds arrange more gear on the flake and just above. Then up on to a sloping ledge, tiptoeing down it, balancey. Up into the groove, where a good runner was arranged. Now the final bridging moves to a big hold, The climbing eases. A big whoop and the top. 3rd extreme of the year and third E2 onsite, good sustained climbing, which doesn't ease until the very end. Andy and Joe did really well seconding. Neither fell off, despite it being their second route of the year and Andrew hadn't even followed E1 before!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Sunday 8 April - High Crag Buttermere

Delilah - VS *** - High Crag. With Tom Parker (aka Bandana Boy).

Buttermere full of bloody tourists. The farmer will have made a bob or two with his parking feild. The walk was steep as usual. High Crag was suprisingly quiet. Started on Delilah. A lovely VS with varried climbing. I lead it in one pitch. Bombproof gear all the way up. Tom seconded the route slowly with numb hands!

Tom Ripley leading the crux on The Philistine

The Philistine - E1 5b *** - High Crag. With Tom Parker

A great route, that i've wanted to do for ages. It lived up to its reputation and was a briliant exspirence. Middle of the grade. Good gear when needed, but never felt too bold. A short difficult section with gear by your waist and then a few run out sections, but every nut was bomber. I managed to drop 3 wires of my harness half way up! Bummer! Fortuanatley i found 2 of them and had found another of the other size at Castle Rock. Tom fell off due to cold hands, so I lowered him down (interesting when you are using a magic plate! I then Abbed and cleaned the route. A stunning pitch that lived up to its exspectations. One of the best E1s i've done in the Lakes. Nearly as good as Red Edge.

Saturday 7 March - Corvus

Corvus - Diff *** - Raven Crag Borrowdale. With Caitlin Ripley.

Got up late again. Started walking at 12ish. Arrive at the bottom to find 4 parties on the route. There we 2 parties of muppets at the back, (one had an pully for aid climbing on his harness, but when i suggested Troutdale Pinnicle as good route said severe was too hard for him!) who were climbing extremely slowly but blaming the instuctor with his two clients at the front. We overtook them, i think one of them wasn't happy about this and took it as an insult to his... manhood! the route was as good as I remember it. The best diff in the lakes - with the traversse pitch being superb. Topped out as the same time as Dad and Nic who had done a couple of good routes. We then proceeded to walk back to the car. We had to queue for about an hour into Keswick! Bank holidays!

Friday 6 April - Castle Rock

North Crag Eliminate - E1 5b *** - Castle Rock. With Caitlin Ripley

Home now. Couldn't sleep in because work at 8:30. Got home and went straight out to Castle Rock. Crag very quiet considering it is good friday. Dad and Nic did Overhanging Basiton. Cait and I did North Crag Eliminate. Tree Pitch fun as ever. Caitlin got very gripped on the tree pitch. I didn't feel up to doing the ramp pitch. I've done the route before anyway so i finished up Barbican. Caitlin dropped her belay plate from the top of the crag so we rapped off as pair... interesting. I got a wire out of NCE, which was bonus. Without the ramp pitch i supose the route is easy HVS 5a.

Very amused by the thread on UKC about my exsploits on the Ben:
Most odd. I'm a web celeb of sorts!

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Thursday 5 April - Walk out

Walkout today. End of our Adventure. Pack up bags, which felt considerabley lightier. Said good bye to the Hut and began walking out. Passed Andy Nesbit walking in with a tiny pack, he must keep his stuff in the hut though. I'm going to do my Munro quota to join the SMC this year. Arrived at the station with 20mins to spare so i bought some food. Train journeys was exciting with stunnign views of the Highlands. Managed to cross Glasgow quickly so got a much earlier train. Didn't have my rail card, but i managed to blag it by the skin of my teeth. Got home absolutley knackered.

Wednesday 4 April - CMD Arete

Carn Mor Dearg Arete - With William Sim

Our last days climbing and another stunner. I got up early hoping that we could do Astral Highway, but William didn't fancy any more front poniting after 4 days front poniting in his Scarpa Manta Boots. So we descided to walk up the CMD arete, which was brilliant, espcially on such a stunning day, however the walk felt more knackering than Orion Direct! We took loads of photos. The sky was cloudless with the temprature at 3000 metres. We stopped at several places for long (boots off!) sunbathing sessions, i got extremly sun burned. We then descided to leave out bags and head up to the Summit, where we met Stuart Anderson, who knew me from UKC! We met the two Dave's descending down the Little Brenva Face. I then joined them in scour for gear beneath the Orion Face. I found a Rock 9. Met Dave Mcgimpsey and Andy Nesbit on the walk down. Dave also knew who I was from UKC - werid! Can't complain about going walking, considering the stunning weather we've had and the routes we've got done. No worries about alarms tommorow!

Tuesday 3 April - Ponit Five Gully and Smiths Route

Ponit Five Gully - V 5 **** - Ben Nevis. With William Sim.

Got up early again. Ready Break gross again. Felt shit on walk in again. Second on route again. C'est la Vie. Luckily the two Dave's from Yorkshire let us over take us and we climbed the route very quikly after that. We swung leads and Will did the best pitch, the chimney pitch. I got the Rouge Pitch, which was some what of an anti climax and very hacked. Topped at 11:00. Messed around on the summit and then descended Tower Gully.

Smith's Route - V 5 **** - Ben Nevis. With William Sim.

There were two parties on Smiths as we descended down so i fancied Albatross, but William wasn't up for that. Unfortuanatley two spainards beat us to the bottom of Smith's so we had to wait even longer. As Will had had all the best pitches so far and was knackered I got the crux of Smith's, which was super. It was hacked to pieces, which spoilt it a bit as no front poniting was required. The crux was a little steep buldge pulling onto the ramp, which was great fun. The top pitch was nice snow slope looking across to Tower Ridge that looked brilliant. We then descened back to the hut. Dinner was rice with pilchards. Yummy! Set alarm early hoping to Astral Highway.

Monday 2 April - Orion Direct and Tower Ridge

Orion Direct - V 5 **** - Ben Nevis. With William Sim

Got up at 4:30 while all my friends were still in bed, but despite this we were still second party on the route. We were happy to queue though. We started climbing at 7:00am. Will got the first pitch, which was hacked. I led through onto the second, which was nice wee gully. Third pitch had a scary looking bit of mixed climbing on it so i was more than obliged to let Will lead. It wasn't half as hard as it first appeared. I lead the 4th pitch that took us to the foot of the crux, but was unremarkable. William then led the Crux, which was hacked and scary. A determined and focused lead by William. the screws looked better than they were! The next two pitch were unremarkable apart from Will getting ice in his eye. I then lead the top ice pitch, which was excellent and good fun. We had to move together before I got to the belay though! The top pitch was a simple snow slope. We basked at the top, like the cat with the cream, reflecting on our efforts. Hats of to Smith and Marshall for vision to climb thing in 1960. We then descended Tower Gully and after Will proclaimed that Psychedelic Wall was going to knacker him out we descided Tower Ridge would be a good laugh.

Tower Ridge - III 3 **** (AD in conditions) - Ben Nevis. With William Sim.

Will Sim easily heading along the Eastern Traverse

We descided to go light and left our bags at the bottom. Just taking a rope and few wires and slings with us. We soloed up to the Eastern Traverse, where Will wanted to rope. We swung leads from their up to the top. A fine route in alpine conditions. Again we descended Tower Gully and I found a krab and leash on the descent. Dinner was pasta and tomato sauce. Folks in the hut are all jolly. We set the alarm for 5:00 again. Ponit 5 tommorow's game.

Sunday 1 April - Comb Gully and Green Gully

Comb Gully - IV 4 *** - Ben Nevis. With William Sim and Will Ripley

Got up an hour late because my alarm was set wrong! opps. Oh well. Luckily we have access to the Dam key so we didn't have to walk too far with our heavy bags. Got recongnised by Stuart the Postie from UKC out side the CIC! how bizare, while we were dumping our bags. We then started up into Creag Corrie na Ciste. COmb was empty, but some bastards nipped ahead of us and then proceeded to climb very slowly. C'est la vie. William led it all which was good as he needed the practice at placing screws, even though he still proceeded to drop two! The climbing was excellent with a long crux pitch. At the top we basked in the sun while waiting for one of our screws to be returned by a following pair of climber. Thanks. Fi kindly returned the other screw to me through UKC. Thanks.

Green Gully - IV 3 *** - Ben Nevis . With William Sim

Dad then left us to Climb on our own. So we descended down Number Four Gully and traverssed round to the foot of Green Gully. Which we climbed quickly in 3 or 4 long pitches. The climbing was very good, but unfortuanatley the route had recived lots of traffic in the good weather and was very hacked.

We then descended down to the CIC, quickly grabbed some beds and made some dinner. The Hust was packed with folks sleeping on the floor. Set the alarm for 4:30. Orion Direct next!

Saturday 31 March - Zero Gully

Tom Ripley leading the first pitch of Zero Gully.

Zero Gully - V 4 *** - Ben Nevis. With William Sim and Will Ripley

First of 5 days on the Ben and very excited. Up at 5:00. Tony was late so didn't start as early as hoped. walked up to the orion face. Climbed Zero Gully an excellent route with good belays, a rareity for zero I'm told. I lead the first pitch, which was excellent and had a nice steep section. We then alternated pitch until the top easy bit, which I lead all of to save time. Met Tony on the top and had walked back. The Ben was very busy and there was stunning clear weather. Got back to OB and went out for fish and Chips in Fort William. We then packed up all our food and cobble for the next few days in very heavy bags. set alarm for 4:30. Bed at 11:00.