Burbage, Birchen and Owler

Burbage, Birchen and Owler

I had a bit of a break after the last few mad climbing sessions, not going out at all until Thursday night. Andy and I met up after work and headed to Burbage North to meet up with Rich and Jen. They were climbing on “Holly Bush Wall” which turned out not to be named as such in my guidebook! We decided that that must be near a climb of similar name, but found them just about to start on Knight’s Move, a 3 star HVS and allegedly the best thing on Burbage North. While Rich made short work of it, ticking his first HVS on grit, I made my way up Still Orange which was ok, even though I almost didn’t complete it due to not actually checking it’s route in my guidebook.. Doh!

Once off that, Rich convinced me to try Knight’s Move. Urk. I started it nervously, eventually finding some momentum up to the crux and then kinda stopped. I’ve never fell on, or even sat on trad gear in the 2 years I’ve been going outside. As a result, I’ve never really developed the trust I need for a move like that! After what seemed like an eternity of faff, I sat on the my cam for a few minutes to sort my head out. Sitting on the gear and seeing it happily holding me meant I could just get on with it and make the move. Even so, it was pretty tough; a rock over onto a highish left foot while palming down on my right hand and reaching for a distant ledge with my left hand. Urk! I eventually completed it after some more faff a bit later as I drifted a bit far left, making the last gear placement difficult but by then it was getting dark! Andy followed quickly with head torch. I think I envied him for the second: I think it would be an even more fun climb following!

Saturday I went with Kiri on a Foundry outdoor session. We hit Birchen Edge at about 9:30, and top roped all day. It was actually quite good. I spend the whole time on VS’s, most of which would have definitely given me pause on lead. Really good for building up confidence and some technique. Highlights were the brilliant Topsail and the really quite difficult Mast Gully Buttress. It seems that my “technical grade” limit is 5a, which seems to match up based on my logbook.

This morning I took Jo and Ian out to Over Owler Tor to introduce them to bouldering outdoors for the first time. They went over all the problems we did in June. The weather was a little windy and chilly, but I think they enjoyed it. I’m left with very sore hands today, complete with a missing chunk of skin on my thumb.

I think I need to sleep now… shattered!

(Image of Still Orange from Antgirl’s Photostream)

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