060629 Stanage Pop

Overview - I dunno, Chris gets back from San Fran for Abbe's wedding, and arrives a few days early, specifically to make a concerted effort on the E1s of Stanage. Wicked! Gorgeous day, nice cooling breeze, and just enough other folks about to take photos for us...

Amazon Crack (2* S 4a):

Solo - Nearest easy warm-up. First move feels quite a bit more than 4a, but the rest's about as nice and well-protected as you could ever want. A very easy Left Unconquerable?

Mississippi Variant (2* HVS 5a):

Seconded Chris - Two traverse moves make this memorable: the first at half height, and feels wonderfully tenuous at the grade. The second move is just below the capping roof, in order to gain good holds out right - we had very different ways of making those moves, but heck, whatever works! Deserves the stars.

Mississippi Variant Direct (2* E1 5b):

Led - It was dripping the last time I was here, and I'm now glad I didn't go for it then! Not really onsight, as I knew exactly what the crux move had to be, and had just seconded the top section, but heck. Good E1, though I might be tempted to give it another star. Chris seconded.

Morrison's Redoubt (2* E1 5b):

Seconded Chris - Another the one-move-wonder E1s on this buttress. Less sure this is E1 than the rest, as it's one slightly-bold move (you've only just left the ground, so you haven't had time to lose the bouldering feeling yet) to a good pocket and gear. The rest seems to happen by itself. The E3 next door looks good, but slightly too bold for the moment. Might need to lose a star.

The Link (3* E1 5b):

Led - Cracking route. Felt very Sloth-esque hanging off the large flakes, but then it all gets a little serious again trying to gain the large ledge. From that point on, I felt it was a little pointless, but it still deserves all three stars. Chris and Mick (gnarled photographer) seconded.

Acheron (2* E1 5b):

Chris led - I think the rockfax quote "an E1 that somehow conned a guidebook writer into thinking it`s an E2" is about right. Nice lay-off the arete plus one more move and it's all over (but, I didn't climb it, so what would I know?). Mick seconded.

The Old Dragon (1* E2 5b):

Led - A brilliant start to huge ledge, followed by an intimadating finish - No, not the left-hand finish, that's a cop-out! The starting section just seems to flow from one move to the next, such that you find yourself on the ledge, not quite sure how you got there! Deserves another star, and a bit soft in the grade. Chris re-led on my gear.

Verandah Buttress (1* S 5b):

Solo - Did this to retrive gear from the Old Dragon. Quite a hard first move, but a walk from there, so the grade doesn't really mean much...

Pedlar's Slab (1* HVS 5c):

Solo - A hardish slab move (5c) off the ground, followed 2 moves later by a wonderfully bold rockover (5b) make this a high-ball boulder problem rather than route, but those confident at this grade might still have to pause before doing the higher move! Chris also soloed.

Pedlar's Arete (1* HVS 5b):

Solo - As a solo, this is much more serious than the last one. Aparantly it has gear where needed, but otherwise it's more sustained if not quite so technically challenging as Pedlar's Slab. Probably more a uber-serious VS than a p*ss-easy HVS, but call it what you like, it'll probably still scare! Chris also soloed.

Pedlar's Rib (2* E1 5c):

Solo - Took a few attempts to get off the ground, but otherwise a fine, balancy arete. Perhaps I should've taken gear with me, as it's not over once off the ground, but the higher moves do ease somewhat... Mid grade and well-worth soloing at the grade.

Punklet (1* E1 5c):

Solo - Guide book is dead right, in that "a fierce pull" is necessary if you're going for static perfection. However, a more dynamic approach gains the ground far more quickly. I escaped off right, rather than tackling the upper section.

5.9 Finish (1* HVS 5a):

Chris led - The start to this is the start to Wing Buttress (VS on the right), NOT Wing and Prayer (straight up arete). A great little (!) roof problem awaits anyone trying it, but can you find the no-hands rest before the pull over the roof? Very definitely HVS 5a on the correct line.

On a Wing and Prayer (1* E1 5c):

Seconded - I climbed the start of this to finish up 5.9, and it's a doozy! The lower arete requires good balance and absolute faith in friction for hands (or a horrible mantel). The upper section really should be combined with 5.9 to make a truly great route. The grade fits in with the other routes done on the day.

Dover's Wall, Route 4 (1* VS 4b):

Solo - Because it was there, and I hadn't done a VS that day...