Sunday, 21 August 2011


Good times on the catwalk at Malham

On Saturday I had a wee day trip up to Malham in Yorkshire with James McHaffie, or Caff as he is known. There was a good scene at the crag, with various people from all over the country at the crag, including quite a few down from Scotland.  When we arrived the crag was seeping a bit, but with some sunshine and a good breeze it seemed to be drying out quite quickly. Despite a few wet looking holds, I decided to have a go at one of the classic 7c+,s of the crag, Mescalito. Between holding Caff’s ropes on his project I bolt to bolted it a few times to get to know the moves.

Caff using a t-shirt to dry out holds on his route of choice.

Conditions started of quite good, a bit hot perhaps. However, through the day the clouds rolled in, and it started raining. This in itself was not a major problem, as the capping roofs mean that most of the routes stay dry in the rain. However, the associated rise in humidity meant that conditions became poor, and instead of drying off the crag was starting to seep more.

As the rain started and humidity rose the seeps started to grow.

My first redpoint attempt ended at a soaking pocket at about half way up. I left the rope clipped in at my high point, and before my next attempt, I hauled up to attempt to dry the hold. I stuffed a spare t-shirt into it to absorb the worst of the moisture.  On the redpoint the t-shirt was pulled out, and although the hold was still quite damp, I was more ready for this, and kept on throwing upwards for holds.  I somehow made it though the crux bulge, and wobbled my way up the final wall to another soaking hold just before the chain. Quite a few routes at Malham finish by grabbing the chain. I am not sure if Mescalito is one of them, but with no nice finishing holds, and being very pumped with soaking wet fingers, I decided that grabbed the chain was allowed and gave myself the tick.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Pembroke parts II and III

 Pembroke part II was mainly like this......

After my successful trip to Pembroke with young Calum (see previous blog post), I was keen to get back down there. The next opportunity I had was a few weekends ago. Unfortunately the weather was less than optimal, and over the weekend I only got two routes done. However, I did get to the Range West Briefing. Much of the climbing in  Pembroke is in a military firing range, and in one area in particular (Range West), access is heavily restricted. Access is only allowed at certain times, and before you are allowed in you have to go to a military breifing, where they basically say don't touch any metal things as they might blow up and kill you.

 My ticket to the forbidden land of Range West

Anyway my next trip down was a bit better. This time I had 4 days and although the weather was quite showery and despite the fact it seemed to start raining while I was committed on hard routes, I got a fair amount done. On the best weather day, after a few delay I got my pass for Range West, and went in there did an amazing E5 called Tasmanian devil.

My helmet can just be seen bobbing around in the sea just below the far wall. 

Unfortunatley it was quite a windy day, and after doing the route while having some lunch, my helmet blew off the ledge into a deep zawn. The swell was quite big, and jumping into the sea was not really an option. However with a bit of cunning I did manage to rescue it and stay dry.

 About to start up a route in Huntsman's leap. A rather committing place to be should it start raining, and guess what, it rained both times we went down there.

Andy Scott, pumped but above the crux on another fantastic Pembroke E5 while Jon is Ace (apparently). This was another route which it started raining when I was on.