Over the past few years I have not had much luck with Church Door Buttress. Whenever I go up there is seems to be wet. However, a couple of weeks ago I finally manged to get it right. The secret is to climb there in the evening. When we arrived at the crag things were looking quite damp. However, as soon as the sun hit the wall at about 4 or 5pm the wet streaks quickly disappeared. When dry, the rock up there is fantastic.
Yet again Iain had been out cleaning and abseiling. He had a new line in mind. I was to get the first pitch. After a bit of faffing due to dampness I climbed the crux of the classic E3 Kingpin to the first poor belay of that route. The grooves split at this point, and Kingpin heads up the right hand one. I headed up the left hand groove and, where that faded, the wall above. This provided some fantastic climbing. I step backed right to the belay at the top of the second pitch of Kingpin.
Iain headed up the groove on the left and disappeared from sight. The black wall above provided some bold wall climbing to a bit of a rest before the final roof where he reappeared. Hard and exposed moves through the roof above provided the crux of the route. These moves were quite blind, and when I came to seconded I was glad that Iain was belayed not too far above to tell me where they were hiding.
Wall of the Evening Light 90 m E6 **
1. 40m 6a. Climb Kingpin to the groove junction. Climb the left hand groove and wall above to step right to the belay at the top of the second pitch of Kingpin.
2. 50m 6b. Climb the groove on the left to step back right to a slopey ledge (possible belay). Climb directly up the black wall above (bold) to below the centre of the capping roof. Pull through this with difficulty and up a short wall into a small niche. Belay on the ledge above.
The line of Wall of the Evening Light with the belay marked. Iain on the snow patch about to get some fresh tracks.
Myself on the first pitch about to step up and right to the belay which is hard to make out in this picture.
Iain starting up the second pitch.
Pulling through the roof at the top of the second pitch was the crux. Iain looking casual as he does this.
Heading home, not a bad spot to have spent the evening.