Archive for gritstone

First blood

Posted in Climbing with tags , , on June 28, 2011 by bridbeast

On Sunday I took my first trad fall for, ooh, at least ten years.

The last couple of weekends out trad climbing have been fun but I’ve not been feeling confident or smooth. Placing too much gear and generally gibbering about have been the order of the day. Of course I’m taunted by memories of when I could climb reasonably well, which makes the process of slowly pushing myself that bit more frustrating. So I figured a trip to the grit and some short, sharp, safe routes would be ideal. The plan: try something hard, either get up it and get the tick, or take the fall. Either way, a confidence boost.

Gardoms was suitably sweaty and hot on Sunday, and my mates suitably hung over and chilled. I didn’t care! I had my mission. After a warm up it was time for, Nowanda, a classic HVS jamming crack. It was greasy, a fight to get the jams in, and of course I put too much gear in, being a coward. I went for it, fell off – and everything held! Happy bunny. A short sleep in the grass gave hay fever, so instead of a snooze I got back on the route.

“Andy, do you mind just standing to the side, I think it’s best for the rope?”

Andy obliged, I turned around, swung my foot up to the first brake and kicked him sqaure in the jaw. Poor lad, it was his birthday too. After my perfect roundhouse the route was straightforward.

The E1 next door, Landsick, was next. Up, too much gear, rest, try again, go for the crux, fall off the sweaty slopers and a bit more airtime, my TCU holding perfectly. Looking at the pictures now it looks pretty insignificant. But it was pretty intense for me.

climbing gardom's peak district

Going for it on Landsick, Gardoms

climbing fall peak district

Taking the fall.