051001 Cawdor

Overview - Hoping across the wall and taking a steep, slick path down makes this crag feel like it's someone's garden. Quite a nice, private crag, that will probably be empty (and hence loose!) for quite a while. A hangover and too long a drive made this quite a late start. Chris merrily got a couple of 6a / 5 s, and performed two of the best retreats on bolts I've seen - 1) Falling off an arete and managing to take almost three precise steps backwards on to a tight rope. 2) A very strenuous arete leads to a sloping topout, and Chris shouts "Dave, I'm fc*ked" and proceeds to catch the previous jug on the way past, which lead to a quick retreat to the nearby ledge.

Empo on a Spring (F6a+):

Led - Lower walls are easier than they look, and upper section is far worse than it looks - but then again, that might have just been the hangover+first-route-of-the-day syndrome. The BMC guide suggests that swinging left from the corner is 6b, but I reckon that's moving left far ealier.

Footsie (6a+):

Led - The guide quote, that it is a good arete that ends too soon, is bang on. Terrific little arete with a a nice technicque/mantel/balance/power combination that would be really nice to have ~10m tall, rather than ~3. Don't remember anything above that.

Unbalanced (5):

Led - Chris forgot to take the knot out of the end of the rope, hence I re-led this using the other end. Unbalanced is an odd name, and this is very similar to PCM1 at Curbar (HS 4a) in that each hold and move is exactly where you'd be expecting it, meaning the climbing flows really nicely. I would recommend this to anyone of any ability.

Taylor Made (6b+):

One rest - Made it to the second bolt, and hung around for too long... Then spotted the obvious foot, and the rest went easily. I don't know how far right you're supposed to be on the top section, as the compact-shell-like rock would be a fair bit harder.

Coward (6a+):

Led - I escaped out to this from the first clip on New Face in Hell to the left. That route needs returning too, but this was another nice arete problem that again finished a little quickly. It's well worth it, but only late evening, so topping out above the trees is just beautiful.