050515 Higgar Tor

Overview - We had about 30 s here at New Year, and I remember its reputation for being very rough grit being well deserved (that could have been the arctic temperatures, though). Another choice for "somewhere we hadn't been". I've come away liking this climbing stuff again, and now look forward to a good summer. I will have to return here to do the E2 finish to Surform - The Rasp "Monumental, a contender for the best grit route in the Peak!" - and Rock around the Block, which just looks like a total stamina-fest!

Surform (2* E1 5b):

Led - Hard to get established, then easier, but strenuous, moves (slightly overhanging laybacks), but knackering just staying there to place gear. Simply draining, up to the moment you reach for the salvation of the ledge, and realise it's an off-balance 5b move away. I remember thinking every second of those two moves "I'm off any second now..." As much gear as your strength will hold out for. Unfortunately, I think I found the perfect anti-Paul climb; it completely killed him for the day. However, I can't recommend it highly enough.

Overhanging block (E1 6a):

Led - An amusing one. Not in Rockfax, but Paul's Frogatt's guide had it. The shelf was green and damp, but after chalk and brushing, the upper block is just good fun. A bit of a reach, perhaps 5c for the long. Funnily enough, although this is one of those routes that really is just a big boulder problem, I wouldn't do this one with a mat. I felt more comfortable leading it. Paul seconded with swearing...

Scoop (E1 6a):

Solo - I'm not sure where this one starts. One hard rockover/mantel and your in the scoop and finish easily. I'm just not sure that's a 6a move. A start rightwards eventually leads to the same move, but from a much lower start, possibly 6b. ?Shrug?

Left arete of Freya's Climb (HVS 5a?):

Solo - Nice first moves balancing around the arete, easing further up. Not sure it's real HVS, but the tech grade could be a little higher.