Tis the season for the Grit

Tis the season for the grit!

After what seemed like a very long November, I finally got my first full weekend off in over a month. The plan was for a team to head to Northumberland for a long weekend. By the time it had come round, it turned out to just be myself and Heath who headed up. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worst in Northumberland so we headed to the Peak. After a long day route setting down in Southampton on the Thursday I didn’t have it in me to drive up that night, so we decided to go in the morning.

We arrived at Curbar around 3pm on Friday. Pretty late, I know. We met up with Kate, Adam and a small crew who were mainly up for The Climbing Works party. After running around a few warm up problems we were joined by Ryan and Caff. They were heading over to have a play on “Walk on by” 7c+. I’ve always wanted to have a go on this and having met up with a couple of wods it seemed like a good opportunity. As it was getting late we didn’t have long. I made good progress on it but no cigar, Ryan managed to repeat it just before dark.

Heath  warming up

Heath warming up

The plan wasn’t to go to the Works party but you know how it is. People can be quite persuading and plus there was a big team going and it’s always a good do. It was a great night but Heath and I managed to stay strong and headed to bed around 2am.

I woke up in the morning feeling pretty sprightly, I’m glad we stayed strong. The others on the other hand had just got back to Ryan’s as we got up. Dirty stop outs ;). Coffee and a big bowl of muesli I felt charged. We headed back to Curbar as there was something for both Heath and I to go at. I spent a bit of time spotting and taking pics of Heath while she reacquainted herself with the grit.

Heath topping out on The Prow 5+

Heath topping out on The Prow 5+

After warming up myself we headed over to Ben’s wall. I have already done this in the past but there’s a 7c just to the right called Great White which I had my eye on. Its starts up the middle of the wall, travs right on some slopey crimps, hits a poor side pull and then a big move to the top. It took me a couple of goes to get the side pull good, once I had that I dropped the last move once and then sent it next go.

Great White7c

Great White 7c

Setting up for last move, Great White 7c

Setting up for last move, Great White 7c

I was pretty psyched it went quick and also having not been on the grit in over a year it didn’t take long to get the feel of it again. Following this Heath quite fancied a go on Gorilla Warfare and I wanted to try Hurricane another 7c. There was a bit of a team on gorilla so Heath decided to sit it out. Hurricane is just to the left of gorilla warfare, you make a big move off to slopers to the lip and then a bit of a spicy mantle. I prepped the holds and pulled on. I didn’t quite give it enough on the first move and didn’t make the lip. I chalked up and gave it all this time, latched the lip, matched and pulled round for a tricky top out. I was quite surprised how easy it felt.

After sending two 7c’s and one of them 2nd go I was hungry for a 3rd. As I had made good progress on it yesterday I thought it would be rude not to go back to walk on by. Unfortunately I only managed to get a couple of goes on it before the weather came in and it started to rain. Hey ho, it would just have to wait for next time.

Heath on Pebble wall 6a

Heath on Pebble wall 6a

The next morning was quite damp. There had been a bit of rain in the night so we weren’t getting our hopes up. The general consensus was to head to Froggatt. Fortunately it was rather windy there so things were drying off reasonably quickly. After warming up and getting sand-bagged on this 7a slab we headed over to Sole Power 7c. A high ball hanging arête put up by Moffatt back in the early 80’s. I got to the crux on my first go but I think I was lacking a bit of commitment. On my second go I maned up and pulled through the crux. I got stood up on the arête and was about to slap up again when a massive gust of wind hit me. I froze for 10 seconds or so until it had passed and then pushed on to the top. It was quite scary up there and I found out after that some of the pads had blown away at that point. I’m glad I was focused on the climbing and not looking down. 😉

After going high on Sole Power Neil took us over to boulder out Mint 400 E6 6b. It’s a 9m wall that gains the break of Oedipus. He said it’s ok with a few pads. I wasn’t too sure. Anyhow I jumped on to have a look. After dropping off at half height to test the landing on my first go, I went for it on my 2nd go. I got to the last move, just before the break and bottled it. I paused for a couple of seconds to contemplate my options. (A) Do I reverse the spicy move I just pulled and then down climb some more and then jump off. or (B) Go for it and hope I don’t drop it. I chose option A. I wasn’t quite ready for committing fully yet, having only just got back on the grit. Katy Whitt on the other hand walked up it. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a local.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any photos at Froggatt, It was way to cold and windy.

A great weekend was had by all, I’m looking forward to the next session up there.



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