Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Yorkshire Trip Trippin

Last week we headed up to Yorkshire for a few days, camping at the brilliant little campsite at the mouth of Gordale. I've not been to Malham in about 2 years so I was mega keen to get back there and change things up a bit. It turned out to be one of the best weeks camping we've ever had. The weather was incredible! Waking up to clear blue skies and bright sunshine every morning gets you really psyched and sets you up good for the day ahead. Nothing is worse than hearing the rain hammering down on your tent as you wake up!

Waking up to this every morning!

I wanted to try and get to as many crags as possible and seek out some of the classics I've never done. So first up was Raindogs at Malham, a must do and probably the most popular and sort after 8a in the UK? Definitely in Yorkshire anyway. We were at the crag for about 8.00am, in a bid to beat the heat, which was building by the minute, and the dreaded midges!
 It was a bit of a race as the sun was moving around fast and our window was small but fortunately it went down without too much trouble and it was time to bail and find some shade!

It may surprise some people but I've only ever been to Kilnsey once, about 3/4 years ago for a very brief visit. It is incredibly impressive and I'm still amazed at its length and size. We spent an afternoon here ticking our way through a few of the classic lines including , Comedy, Pantomime and Tragedy. Then it was back to chill in Gordale and eat a tonne of food ready for more the next day.

I'd heard a lot about Giggleswick and one of its sectors in particular caught my eye flicking through the guidebook. The Hollywood Bowl. Its a very unusual sort of crag for the UK, and something you'd more expect to find on the continent somewhere. Its dripping in tufa's of all shapes and sizes. Big, fat, thin it seems to have them all. While its nothing compared to places like The Loup it made a huge changed from boning down on rat crimps. Along with this and the warm breeze you could easily lose yourself for a second and think you were chillin' at some crag in the South of France.

 The Hollywood Bowl

There are a lot of hard routes here with many a FA from Steve Dunning and recently Jordan Buys, that tackle the tufa on the lower walls and then launch through the big roof above. Kleptomania stood out to me, as I'm sure it does to many. An extremely short route that is more like an extended boulder problem up a perfectly formed thin tufa. Apparently some kind of knee bar makes this easier....? I found it to be pretty dam tough and clipping the belay felt like the absolute living end! Anyone who jumps to the chain on this is a douchebag!
I'd love to come back to this awesome crag soon to get on more of the routes here. There is a hella lot to do!
Tufa heaven! 

After this I decided to go search out the famous G-Spot sector. Home to probably one of the hardest routes in the world. John Gaskins unrepeated 9a+ Violent New Breed. While I'd already decided to save this one for laters the line to the right, Militia, is a popular 8a+ and after wandering around searching for the crag, which is probably the smallest crag I've ever been to, we eventually stumbled upon it. As soon as I saw it I was syked immediately and quickly set to work brushing the holds and figuring out a sequence. From a distance it looks super short, which in reality it is, but then you realise it starts way down in the cave at the bottom and actually packs quite a few moves in. It suited my style perfectly. Steep, small edges, big moves and even some sneaky toe hooks that unlocked the starting moves. A slight change of foot beta through the crux proved the difference and I was yarding my way to the top on my 3rd try. It must be one of the few sport crags around that you can actually top out on.  I'd highly recommend this rig to anyone, go check it out. It is class!

 Post send Creme Egg

It was a perfect finish to a brilliant few days of hanging out with my Dad, chillin in the sun and getting a bunch of cool ticks. Looking forward to heading back up very soon!



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