061009 Stanage End

Overview - Nick wanted a few folks to climb at Stanage End for photos (apparantly there might be a new Stanage BMC guide out at some point). Well, I needed a partner, it was a nice day, and I've never been to Stanage End. All good. Why I let Nick talk me into a jamming crack almost straight off, as, obviously, I found it a horrible battle. Thereafter we headed over to Marble Wall, which is just stunning.

Blinkers (VS 5b):

Solo - Like a number of the shorter slabs on grit, you defintely need blinkers to keep to this line. Not totally worth-while, and not long enough for a decent warm-up, but a good start...

Twin Cracks (1* VD):

Solo - Mostly done as the down-climb from other things, but also used as an escape when Quiver became a little too committing without a bouldering mat.

Valediction (1* HVS 5a):

Lead - Again, why do I get talked into climbing routes that have things like "overhangs on jams" in the description. Bottom section has some nice lay-backing, but from the inverted-pyramid cave is requires so strenuous jams. I ended up using the ledge on the left, much to scarcastic comments from Nick, but a bit of a struggle later, the edge on the upper ledge is thankfully positive. Grade/stars seems right. Cara-lyn followed.

Old Salt (2* HVS 5a):

Lead - Now that's better. Start up the lower slab with good moves and a bit of gear, then swing around the left onto flakes. From there, heel hooks and leaning rightwards give wonderful movement and photographic positions to the top. Might have to go back and try the direct finish. The argument about it possibly being VS seems to be less heated than most, but the correct grade does lie somewhere between the two. Cara-lyn seconded.

February Crack (1* HS 4b)

Solo - Wandered up to, then up this one without really thinking about it. Great corner route, bridging all the way, and with a slightly exciting exit at the top.

Marble Arete (2* HS 4c)

Solo - I held Cara's ropes, then decided it would just be easier to second it solo. Nice arete, though not quite what I would call an arete route. A few longer moves between breaks higher up, and a nice view. Good easier route.

Richard's Sister (1* HS 4b)

Solo - I don't know whether it was the afternoon sun, the end of the day, or the polish, but this route just felt hard for the grade. I think perhaps awkward might be more accurate, but it made it a bit more exciting than I would usual count an HS. Could be that it's just very well protected...

First Sister (2* VS 4c)

Solo - Another awkward end-of-the-day route up the overlapping corner. Actually, this didn't feel any harder than the HS, but that's probably because the crux is at the bottom, and the upper stuff feels about as tenuous. Oh well, another tick on my way to finishing off Stanange...

Pacemaker (1* HVS 5b)

Solo - I have no idea how you'd lead this one, but the solo's brilliant. Bridge up the ever-widening gulley, then hop/stretch over to the right-hand side (looking in). Easy up to the top, but that's where the crux is!