060809 Harborough Rocks

Overview - To quote Western Grit, Harborough's "Best Feature: An evening's soloing, how many can you tick?" 46 routes, averaging 8m and about S/HS... Needing a break from the thesis writing, I popped over to Harborough with doing the whole crag in two hours, but not really believing that it was possible. 1 hour 53 min, and onsight solo from the ground up (no down-climbing ticks). I'm quite happy with that! The routes listed here are only a selection of the more memorable ones... No grading or star comments on this report, as I was just climbing, not really noticing technical difficulty / grades / exposure.

Skylight Chimney (Vdiff):

Solo - Honestly, walk into the cave, be surprised at how large it is, then climb the back left corner up the skylight. It's horribly dirty, rounded limestone, so it feels like a right battle the whole way, but still worth doing (or that could be just me loving 3D climbing again...)

Overhanging Wall (HS 4c):

Solo - The first real routes of the crag, and good short overhang for learners. Great jugs and options for your feet to walk around leftwards, or just grunt and pull over directly.

Cracks (HVS 5b):

Solo - Possibly the hardest route on the crag. Using just the crack is really tough, mostly because of the constant desire to use the obvious small pockets from the route left on the arete. Only 2 hard moves, but still...

Jug (HVS 5a):

Solo - Best move of the crag? Halfway up the wall is the hold for which the route is named, and move up and out of it is just nice. The two moves up to it, and the top out, are all instantly forgettable...

Steeple Arete (1* VDiff):

Solo - Great climbing at the grade, and sticking to the upper arete, or even climbing the wall to the right of it, makes a good technical finish.

Creased Wall (1* HVS 5a):

Solo - As stated in the overview, I was racing along the crag with enough intent, that I barely noticed the increased grade of the VS/HVS/VS on this section. What I can remember is the group just retreating off it as I appeared, and the wonderful hidden jugs that keep appearing after about half-way up.

Trident Eliminate (1* HS 4b):

Solo - A reasonable route for HS on this crag... Just make sure you keep going left until you do find the "bounteous jugs". I very nearly decided to do a direct 5c version!

Cracked Wall (HVS 5b):

Solo - The other contender for hardest route of the crag (though that might ahve had something to do with fatigue). Head direct for the blankest section, and climb direct to huge jugs - that only help if you already know where they are!