Monday, 29 April 2013


 Messiah, Burbage South | E7 6c

Here's a blog I wrote before we flew out to Germany. Unfortunately we had to cut our trip short but we all still managed to get some really cool routes done and see a bit more of what Franken has to offer. I'll post up a report on what went down when I get chance.


Well everybody has been having fun in the snow over this last couple weeks and taking advantage of some of the hugeeeeee drifts that have formed under many of the harder routes up on the edges. Meaning some of these routes have finally had a second ascent after goodness knows how long and other lines have seen a constant stream of traffic.

I kinda missed out on the last round of snowballing, whenever that was, 2010 maybe...? But made sure we got in there while it was still fresh this time. I've managed to get most of the classics done that include, Three Blind Mice, Corrida, Shine On and a flash of Cemetery Waits. It is pretty cool the way that people have been rallying together on all these hard grit lines and its been nice to see so many guys and gals out and sending these old time routes.

Three Blind Mice | Burbage North
Samwise riding the stunning fin of Clippity Clop, Ramshaw | E7 6c

Its not been a case of packing the ropes and trad rack away though as we've all been out to take advantage of the dry and sunny conditions that have been left behind in the aftermath of the snow dump.

First up was Sam's ascent of Clippity Clop in some of the most baltic and windy conditions everrrr! Hardly what you need on a precarious arete, but he dispatched it in his usual smooth style although I know he was pretty relieved to grab that top jug. 
Then Ed and myself both got a quick tick of another perfectly formed arete, this time at Burbage South. I've wanted to do Messiah for a long time and being able to climb it under clear blue skies surrounded by snow made it all the better. Si tres belle!

Ulysses or bust, E5 6b

Finally, a few weeks ago I had made a short ticklist of routes I'd really like to get done before we head off to Germany. Right at the top of this list was Simbas Pride, E8 6b. I know I go on and on about all these amazing lines all the time, but this one is special. An incredible over hanging arete with an awesome sequence of moves from start to finish.

 Simbas Pride

Hitting the top on this with all that space below you and your body thriving off that feeling of being in total control was mind blowing and something hard to explain, but I was stoked out of my head! Dave went next with a very impressive flash and then Pete quickly followed. A brilliant way to finish off the season right before we leave.

Take a look at the video below for some footage from the day!

So now our thoughts turn to and focus in on the Jura! I can't wait to return to this place and we're all immensely looking forward to a month of pocket pulling in the forests. We'll all be blogging out there so be sure to keep checking back for updates on whats going down! Auf Gehts!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Return of the Jedi

Since climbing The Power of the Darkside earlier in the season, I've been super psyched to get back to Bank Quarry and try its bigger and harder sibling, Return of the Jedi. I remember reading about Pearson climbing this a couple years back and being pretty impressed with the line and how cool the climbing looked. At the time it was another world really and I never had any thoughts about ever trying it.

Heres a link to the UKC news story they ran at the time. 

The bottom half of the route and the bulk of the climbing is completely unprotected and features some very WILD moves up the arete. I guess this could just about be classed as a highball... but its definitely getting pretty close to what you might start to consider a route and not just a boulder problem. Once through this though its still not over and after stashing some rotten cracks with slightly suspect gear you have one final tricky move between you and the top. At this point it is 110% NOT a highball!
So with all this in mind I can totally see why it was never given a 'proper' grade and instead the unknown tag of HXS 7a. Whatever that means... Personally I felt the climbing to be somewhere in the region of F7c+/8a as a whole, maybe slightly easier...

Since being first done its had just two? ascents that I know of, from Ryan Pasquill and Dan Varian. They both did the route ground up which required some serious commitment and balls, so massive respect to those guys!

We all decided to check it out on a rope first and see how it was feeling. Ed had persuaded Dave Mason to make the trip over to try as well and he was looking strong and fired up. The crux revolves around a crazy dynamic move to a good flatty and once we had this dialed I knew it was game on.
I stuck this move on the lead but then missed the next tag in move and took the long flight down to the deck, missing the pads and just being caught by Ed! Annoyed but buzzing at the same time that it had been that close! After a breather I went again and this time didn't mess up, stuck the move, feet up and powered to the jug. Total relief!
Big props to Dave sending as well, proving he's not too shabby at climbing with a rope on either! Here is a cool video he put together of the ascent, which includes some big air time!

Putting aside all the talk about how hard it is etc, its just an fantastic line, with some truly great climbing. I really enjoyed the process with this one and again its cool to see the progression and to keep moving forward. Cheers to Ed, Dave and Gracie for all the support!

Thanks for reading