040515 Castle Naze

Overview: Best veiw in the Peak! Small crag, low grades, but fun. Quite busy with locals (twice our age...) Scoop face is a simple must do.

Keep arrete (2* VS 4b):

Led - Great arete climb, thread at half height, but I wouldn't claim that this makes it bold, as all the moves to there are large ledges. Fantastic balancy moves on the upper arrete (don't be tempted by the corner...). Correctly stared. Seconded by Nienke (her first outdoor climb)

Ledgeway (HVS 5a):

Led - Nice lower boulder problem onto a large ledge. Go up, place gear, come back down and study it. Then totally ignore the "obvious" way of looking at it, and make a large reach out right. Some nice large rock-overs. Seconded by Paul.

Scoop Face (3* HVS 5a):

Led - Absolutely wonderful. Technical moves, but virtually no strength required. Rather polished, though. Bouldery moves to a very nice traverse (try not reaching up until you absolutely have to). Then some good high steps. Very nice. Correctly stared. Unfortunately done in a hurry with 4 of us wanting to lead it, so pre-placed gear.

Pilgrim's Progress (2* HS 4a):

Seconded, Chris led - Jamming-arete climbing. If you want to remember why you climb, go back to this easy one. Probably VS, but fun either way.

Pod Crack (HVS 5a):

Led, with multiple rests - Horrible. No, I take that back, simply strenuous until in the Pod, then horrible. Top move of the V impossible. Needed an hour to recover. Seconded (unsucessfully) by Chris

HVS 5a in Rockfax... E1 5c in Staffordshire Grit, with the comment "criminally undergraded". SG got it right...

******** Comment on RockFax ********
Not a chance it's less than E1 5c (as with Dan, I would normally walk this). Quite nice moves into the Pod, but getting out of it to the upper moves of the V beat me so thoroughly that I only just made the escape up the HS next door.

My brother seconded (leads roughly same grade as me), and even then couldn't figure out the top V move.

Only way to justify the grade would be to escape the upper V to the left, but that would miss the point of the climb entirely.

Fifth Horseman (HVS 5a):

Seconde, Chris led - Not much to say, really. Walk up the lower section, place bomber gear (2/5 height), then make nice moves up the left of the rounded corner. Chris made crux, then in "galloping" too fast, slipped on top move, scaring us both.

Niche Arrete (2* VS 5a):

Led - I think "stick to the right of the arrete" is correct - no sneaky use of the left-hand Niche Crack, hence the only gear is micros at 1/2 height (amusing 4 micro nut/cam double cradle :-) ). Then work out the feet up onto ledges on the arrete and a reach to the nice ledge. Walk up from there. 1* deserved. Chris seconded.