040903 Stanage Popular

Overview: Popular end is not as rammed as people always think... Go there and explore exactly how big Stanage is! Flying Buttress is still the immense tick, but there are so many others around that I would recommend doing those first...

Flying Buttress Direct (3* E1 5b):

Failed - It's amazing; having talked this climb up to everyone the entire week, seeing Che and then Nick failing consecutively slightly puzzled me. Failing intentionally (i.e. with knowledge) off the crux is not a dangerous thing, but the final hard move is either an incredibly long reach, or something else needs to happen. Proof that I have none of the strength / confidence that I had a year ago.

Kirkus Corner (2* E1 5b):

Led - Lower slab is technical and pleasant assuming use of the arete. Gear, then a single hard move... Then starts the head game. I have little idea what grade the upper section is, probably 4b / 4c, but it's utterly terrifying on lead. The top padding would probably be easy for someone who's normally above gear, but it scared the sh*t out of me. Seconded by Nick.

The Little Flake Crack (1* VS 5a):

Seconded (Nick led) - Very strange first section; use the right-side wall to make it VS-worthy. Hard hand-traverse, then a large step to decent holds. Easy from there. No, really...