2011-09-03 Peak District, Curbar   Leave a comment

After trying Birmingham’s Redpoint Climbing Wall for the first time, we set out to do some real stuff outdoors.  The Peak District is truly lovely, and Mat’s suggestion of Curbar Rocks (it certainly does!) was top notch.  Gritstone, Peak grit – the stuff that draws ’em from far & wide was excellent.  Some of the routes were a little smooth in places, but when you consider the first routes were up around 60 years ago, grit ages well.  I’d almost forgotten how to place gear (and how to fanny about properly), and the quaintness of belaying from up top was a dinky little change from the mammoth 35mtr sport routes I usually stomp around on in Catalonia.  Driving up to overcast and windy Calver, we get in to a nice routine of second one, lead one back to back.  First honours with October Crack, HS 4b.  We follow this with Gray Face, VS 5a.  The thinly protected super-shorty Thirst For Glory, E1 5b next – a bold but ultimately easy E1 and, hats off to Mat for opening Green Crack, HVS 5b.  Scary stuff, this placing your own gear lark…

Green Crack, HVS 5b Owl's Arete, HS 4cL'Horla, E1 5b 

After onsights and flashes of all the above, I blow it on Maupassant, HVS 5a forgetting how to layback a route.  “Don’t you have those in Spain?” Mat asks… Off the top of my head I can think of one, in El Dard (Arbolí).  Still – no excuse, slack climbing by me.  Again kudos to Mat for onsighting L’Horla, E1 5b, a scary test piece.  I would have flashed the damn thing but I couldn’t get some gear out so had to dangle and use two hands to retrieve a deeply wedged nut.  It only gave up its spot when Mat abbed down and was whacking it with a large hex, and even then it didn’t come quietly.

Dating from 1947, I flash the comfortable PMC1, HS 4a nice but too short.  Mat continues with Owl’s Arête, HS 4a and for a final cool down climb before thinking about erecting tents, the nice and tricky Avalanche Wall, HVS 5a.  A really good day. 

HS 4b   VS 5a    E1 5b    HVS 5b    HVS 5a    E1 5b   HS 4a    HS 4a    HVS 5a     Photos

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Posted 2011/09/07 by allend66 in Rockclimbing

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