This time of year can be a frustrating one!
The weather has been pretty grim over the last five or six weeks with the dry days few and far between, sadly. Those days seem to have coincided with work days which is great for my clients of course (we’ve been busy guiding, SPA assessing, ML refreshing etc.) and we’ve got some good routes done, but today was a day off and the weather looked ok! Having spent a lot of time in the Beacon lately I’m climbing pretty well, feeling quite strong and not worried about falling off, I’ve been desperate for dry days to translate this into quality routes outdoors.
The best option for dry rock is often the slate so that’s where me, Tim and Stu headed with Oreo in tow too. I wanted to have a look at Goose Creature (E3 6a) which I was about to jump on the other day before the rain beat me to it…
The Looning the Tube area is a great looking slab of rock, I’ve climbed Looning (HVS 5b) many times, it’s a mega classic and also the worth while direct version called Bise Mon Cul (E2 5c), Goose Creature is the next easiest.
We got to the bottom and it was nice and dry, if a little chilly! Kitted up with just a few ‘draws (it’s bolted but in slate style, not a proper clip up sport route) I tied in and put on my lovely brand new Five Ten whites which are perfect for the tiny slate edgy holds. As I was tightening up the laces Tim made a noise that seemed to suggest he’d felt a spot of rain… Sssshhhh, it’s not going to rain!
Super happy with the Whites! Five Tens fit me really well.
The start is bold, but thankfully pretty easy, an ideal chance to warm up as I hadn’t climbed anything easier to start with, you reach the first bolts after maybe five metres. There’s two bolts here so you may as well clip ’em both. After this it soon gets a little trickier and very soon you’re onto the first crux near another bolt. It’s a pretty big rockover with small hand holds, commit to it and it’s fine.
By this time the odd spot of rain had turned in to quite a few spots of rain and as Stu who was belaying said, the drops on the slate were starting to join together! A couple more moves get you into position for the top crux, foot on a slightly slopey hold, not much for your hands, the jug of dreams just out of reach! Stretch up, heal rising and less toe in contact with the slopey hold, stretch a touch more, pop goes my foot!!!
An annoying fall! Pull back on, a quick faff and chalk ball out to dry the key holds and try again. This time the toe is sticking, reach a little more and boom I’ve caught it with my left hand, match with the right and using some frankly tiny foot holds the next jug is reached. It was all dripping wet by this point but it was in the bag!
A little victory against the weather!
A quality route that I was happy to get, sadly the only one of the day because then the rain was seemingly set in so it was home time. Sadly no photos of this ascent, so sorry for the boring ones on this blog!
Good edges on your shoes will help as will thinking balancy thoughts!
For updates of what we’ve been up to at JB Mountain Skills, check out the Facebook Page