050827 Curbar

Overview - The first day back out, and Ted and I are back to the grit we love... So why did we decide to do Curbar? Known for being all test-pieces (i.e. if you can do that grade at Curbar, you can do it anywhere on grit), but home to one of the best routes of any grade - PCM1 (3* HS 4b). Had a look at Elder Stateman, and couldn't believe what Steve Mac did. Having just read the Rockfax intro to the L'Horla area, I must admit it gets the description dead on.

PCM (3* HS 4b):

Seconded Ted - The lower section can be done jamming or twisting, and the upper as a wall or by staircase-like laybacking. Either way you do either section, it should feel like each move just works; each hold in exactly the right place.

Kayak (E2 5b):

Failed - Could've sworn this should be easy. One from the previous era of my climbing! I would say the moves are fairly obvious, but just didn't feel like it...

L'Horla (E1 5b):

Led - Back-tracked all the way to the ground from up the overhang, but still onsighted. The jug on this is supposed to be the best thing at Curbar? Ouch. Don't think I'll be going back for a bit. Though it was mainly due to spotting another hold the second time. All this talk about Cam 3/3.5 - Take neither. Nuts and a half-size friend will get you through fine. I should've known better - A Brown route at Curbar was bound to cause trouble...

Bel Ami (2* VS 4b):

Seconded Ted - A bit of everything this route. Slab work, lay-backing or jamming, and a pinnacle to finish. Very nice all-round. Perhaps a little harder than the tech grade suggests, but the gear won't get any better!