Overview - We've been to Froggatt so many times almost all the routes up to E1 have already been ticked. Well, with the Power Team of Damo and Alun, we could do better than that. The great slab area is always enticing, but also always seemed that slight bit too serious to try. After a good few days at the Roaches / Harborough, and egged on by Alun's enthusiasm, we set off takling the mid-grade extremes of Froggatt.
Solo - I still consider this one of the easiest E3s in the world, but having thought back to 5b Wall and 5b Groove on Avon gorge's Sea Wall, I can't say it's actually easy in comparison. A single 5c move gains better holds, which still feel tenuous for another two moves, but then jugs take you to the top. Falling off any of the moves up to the jug would cause seriously damage, meaning the final 5b move prior to the jugs would almost classify the route as E3 by itself. Other than that, it's good fun, but perhaps not the best one to pick as a warm-up route!
Solo - The list of superlatives usually attached to the routes I've enjoyed doesn't seem enough for this gem. You end up standing in the middle of this huge wave of a slab of grit, without too much trouble, and without really reaslising how high off the ground you're getting. Once there, taking a moment to look around seems sensible, looking at all the other gorgeous-looking harder lines on the slab, but a quick look down suddenly snaps you back to reality.
A hop, skip, and perhaps a jump later, I'd recommend taking a breather... I can easily see jubulent people launching up the finale and getting a nasty shock! Standing at the top is just one of those great feelings.
Flashed - The absolute direct line to the scoop won't quite go, and we're doing something seriously wrong on the arete!
Seconded Damian - I don't care how many times seconding / leading I stand on that arete, it's still makes this climb one of the best ever. Alun decided that it's just lost it's place as best climb at Froggatt, and coincidentally the Peak, to Great Slab, but it'll still have a place in our hearts!
Failed - I let the success of Great Slab go to my head, and was thrown off the crux. Damn. Ah well, a challenge to finish off before the end of summer?
Led - Although, not quite the right line, though the one we took was by far the most obvious. The route is supposed to swing out before manteling the boulder in the chimney, rather than stepping up, then around the corner, making it a bit of a reachy E1 5b. Alun had gone first, so I led on his gear, and Damo seconded.
Led - The obvious fall claimed it's next victim, as Damo added to his, relatively few, air miles. After a bit of a half-hearted second attempt (can't blame him, I did exactly the same), it seemed incredibly easy to race up it on Damo's gear. I arrived at the top wanting it to go on a bit further! Alun seconded.