Overview - Having moved back up to Derby to write the thesis, I found Teapot on ukcliming and headed out to the Roaches, slightly delayed by an MOT, but ended up having a wonderful afternoon playing on some of the harder lower tier lines. We met up again on Friday, and had a similar day ticking a great roof, and trying some very technical smearing and aretes!
Solo - The boulder problem start from Kicking Bird makes a nice hard hyper-direct start to Pincer (which is basically only a boulder problem followed by a severe). Probably long 5c ish moves. Had a look at the upper slab and decided that I wasn't going anywhere near that soon!
Led - Both Dave and I hadn't done this one, so he got first go, and I clipped into his gear, after inspection! The move at the top of the slab is the crux by far, but the pyscho-crux is, having manteled onto the upper flake, laying onto the upper arete. Terrific! Deserves all three stars and the grade.
Failed - Dave had a crack, then decided against the upper section, so we needed to retrive the gear. I've been on it 3 (?) times now, so had another look at the step across onto the slab. It'll go, but I need a little more conviction!
Smear practice - Just to the right and left of the carved steps are a pair of wonderful lines that reley totally on trusting your feet. Escapable to either side, but well worth warming up on if you're going to try Chalkstorm... Around the back, the arete and slab left are also good fun.
Seconded Dave - It's funny how the memory can change the shape and size of holds. Definitely E4 for on-sight, E3 if not. It was a walk the second time around. It probably deserves another star, simply because it is a pure slab, of which there are relatively few.
Led - The few moves off the ground get slightly hard for no gear, but the roof gives a nice Cam in one of the flakes. Two words - Keep moving. The holds are all there, making this a good big-brother of The Sloth. The top section seems pointless, so maybe belay from the first grassy ledge and scuttle off right. How does this get E2 with Flying Buttress Direct being down-graded to HVS... I think I'll have to go back and repeat it, they seem of a far more similarly difficulty!
Seconded - This was Dave's tick of the day, and looks a tad intimidating from the ground beneath it, with the holds you've got to get between fairly obvious. The flakey circle just about takes gear, and I'd not bet against it catching you, but still... I think he and I traversed too low, dropping down and then having a huge reach to gain the first ledge in the middle of the face. The delicate rockovers are well worth it, thought, and the top eases, irrespective of what the guide says. Correctly starred and graded.
Failed - Couldn't quite commit the smear off the arete, but feels right for the grade. I managed to land hard on my heals once too many times for comfort...
Solo - Really nice laybacking all the way to the top. We decided it was probably really easy if you knew how, and were comfortable doing it solo, but for someone who's pushing into VS and placing gear, it's probably a bit of a pumpy horror!
Solo - The various start are quite fun, all starting by from the central large pocket:
Dyno to the ledge (6a) (two hands - 6b?)
Move to the undercling on the arete and up (5c)
Stretch out left and up to a small rugosity, and crank for Britain