Sunday, 3 June 2012

Climbing and walking in May

We had a couple of other outings in May. On Monday 21st we went to Symonds Yat for the day to do a bit of climbing. It was a beautiful, hot day and, being a Monday, it was virtually deserted, allowing us to do whatever we wanted. We went to the 'Longstone' area as the pinnacle looked very interesting. We abseiled down from the viewing area and Jackie chose an HS 4b climb called 'Breakfast in America' to start, that I found really difficult to second on a top rope - well done Jackie!
Jackie abseiling down
next was my lead and I looked at the pinnacle and a climb called Vertigo, rated Severe. Now I should be able to lead that grade easily, but it looked very intimidating and, for my first climb I couldn't face it! I chose instead another severe on the pinnacle that looked a bit more protected, called Minerva.
Jackie abseiling off the pinnacle, after I had finally led Vertigo. The route goes up exactly where she is abseiling down. I hope you agree, it looks pretty intimidating!
Minerva is round to the left in the above picture and I approached it with some trepidation, but after the first few moves I realised it was, in fact, very easy!

On Jackie's next lead she chose a VS 4c called 'Lurcher' (she's doing so well!) that I also found really difficult to second.

I had looked at a climb called 'Alpenistes', which in our old book is HVS 5a. I only considered it as it had a peg halfway up that offered good protection, but decided better of it and, instead, put up a top rope for Jackie to have a go at. She did it quite well on the rope - and then found out later it has been upgraded to E1 5b, so very well done to her. I didn't try it as it was too difficult to rearrange the ropes and time was getting on. I do think its something I might be able to lead at sometime though.....

My attention returned to the pinnacle and I finally decided to lead Vertigo. Again I set off with some trepidation, but to my disappointment I found it remarkable easy, although very exposed. We finished the day at that and soloed up a V Diff to get back out, leaving exciting climbs on the pinnacle like 'Whitt', VS 4c, 4c for some other time.
Jackie soloing up a V Diff called 'Red Rock'
As part of my training for the South Down's 100km walk in 30 hours on 14/15th July, I've been training hard during May and have been out on many brisk hill walks and reasonable length road bike routes to try to get as fit as possible. On June 9th (which is next Saturday at the time of writing this), I'm doing the Shropshire Six Peaks walk, which is 37 miles and 6000ft of ascent with Steve MacDonald and his brother in law Paul. Here's a practise walk I did with Steve and the other member of our South Down's team, Ash Chury:
Ash and Brian
All in all, coupled with a visit into Andantex at Phil's request for a bit of 'consultancy', May has been a very busy month - how did I find time to work?

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see the blog set up ready for all your world adventures! Must say that surely your heart is in your mouth when you see your beloved Jackie in some terrifying climbing positions!

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