Sunday, 28 October 2012

It begins...


The past few weeks have seen the ushering in of the grit season, leaves falling, thermostats dropping and grip increasing. This is my favourite time of the year, and despite the weather not being perfect I've managed a few great days out on the grit of late.

Through early October I spent most of time completing bouldering projects from last year. Its always a nice feeling when things feel much easier, and retrospectively I'm happy that I spent most of my summer in the cave at Raven Tor getting stronger. Theres a quick video below of some of the classic gritstone blocs I finished recently including my major nemesis The Terrace and the neo classic Mossatrocity.

Video of Grit Boulders -

Since then Ive decided to focus on my trad. My main regret from last winter was wasting too much time sieging boulders when i could've been out on grit routes. Ive been trying Simbas Pride of late and I'm keen to get back to Burbage South and finish that off soon. Otherwise, I had a great day at Ramshaw where I headpointed the Simon Nadin Classic, Dangerous Crocodile Snogging. This routes has some superb and unique moves and covers a stunning line. It shares the buttress with the arguably even more impressive Clippety Clop, I will have to go back for that one.

Finally, yesterday I made an ascent of Gaia at Black Rocks. Id tried this route once before last year but was unable to do certain moves due to temperature/general punting. But on Friday the weather was great; cold wind, cloudy, 4c, gritstone perfection! The lead went without a hitch and as I left the top groove I had no fear of doing a Jean Minh style swing into the arete below! I find it hard to comprehend the mental toughness and confidence that the people who've flashed this route must have, they are the true heroes without doubt.

Theres a video of these ascents here -

Onwards and upwards,

Ciao, Leeroy.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Quick Update

Despite this record summer of dankness its been a good one. Sometimes its good to not be able to climb at the crags you want to, it reminds you not to take days of dry weather for granted and means that when you finally get to them you're even more up for stuff. Good things are worth waiting for, unfortunatley for the cornice-ites that means next june.....

On a personal level this summer has been ok. I haven't spent anywhere near as much time on lime as I expected and I haven't been able to makes the visits to Yorkshire that I hoped I would. On the other hand its been a bumper moorland summer. Ive spent several days on Kinder and other moorland crags repeating stunning lines like Highball That You Bastards and more recently Bloodrush at Shining Clough. Aswell as these, me and others have been developing the bouldering potential around Kinder. On both the Northern and Southern edges we've found some stunning boulders and I'm currently working on a video that will document the best that Kinder has to offer bouldering wise.

One of the Kinder gems, Info available soon.

Aside from this I've spent a few days in both North Wales and the Lakes (video of random problems soon.)

Currently looking forward to the cold winds to arrive, Im determined this winter is going to be a big one.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Best of Ness

When I first visited Nesscliffe two years ago it blew me away. The hardest thing I did was an E1 solo and a 6b boulder, at that time it was a great day. I've been back twice since and both times I've felt that familiar euphoria whilst staring up at the collossal lines.

Having done the classic Dixon arete, My Piano last time this trip was to be focused on more volume. We got straight on the unique corner of Tombola and after a few goes on TR me and dad both led it smoothly. I may post a bad video of this ascent at some point, keep posted on Vimeo...

We again met up with the Nesscliffe locals Patricia Novelli and Jonathon Cain who had rigged ropes above several routes. I noticed a rope above another potential target, Gathering Sun. This route climbs an immaculate wall of sandstone on adequate gear with a hard 6b crux at the very top. After doing it on a rope and finding enough gear I led it, but not without several shakey moments, including jumping to the top of the crag! The route used to be E8 but has now settled at E7 and along with Tombola and My Piano it provides yet another three star experience!

Another Nesscliffe local Phil Black filmed my ascent and the video is here-

Too finish the day I made a shakey flash of the E5 Cones and Currents and Dad onsighted Trouble in ToyTown.

Personally this day was up there with the best, Nesscliffe is my perfect crag.

Boothy's mega route Local Rite, Une Jeune and perhaps a look at Nick's E9 will make sure I return soon!

Lee, Ciao.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Highball That!

The new BMC Over The Moors guidebook must be the best climbing guide I've ever seen, chocked full of new inspiration that makes the oft long walk-ins breeze by!
After spending a great day highballing on Kinder South last week we got another day planned out and quickly made the hour and half hike up to the north side of Kinder. Whilst flicking through the guide on the way there I noticed a superb looking line with a name to match. The photo blew me away and I knew I would have to at least take a look at it that day.

We warmed up soloing on Legacy a superb HVS and I did the very reach dependant Big Brother E2. After this we headed along the edge to take a look at the line. Straight off it looked very intimidating with a steep bouldery landing and no obvious good holds. On ab inspection I found some positive but rather snappy looking holds. After a few hours work and convincing myself the holds were solid I led the route. Pulling through the crux the exposure felt great and I quickly made my way to the top. The route weighs in at E7 6b and I think it was the the 2nd ascent of this Tetler (legend) testpiece. Its well worth the walk and its up there with the best routes I've ever done! Highball That You Bastards! The challenge remains!

Theres a video here -

More moorland days to come I hope.....

In other news I made a quick redpoint of Little Boots at the Tor this morning. This cool little 7c has some nice moves on small holds and is well worth trying!

Leeroy, X.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

It Never Rains, It Pours

Unless you've been living under a rock or in a quiet corner of the works (best bet at the moment) then youll have realised that this summer has been a total washout. Cornice never dry, pools under Rubicon and Garage Buttress busier than ever with people desperatly trying to find dry bolts to clipstick. This lack of venues has led me to find solace in the arms of the mighty Raven Tor, which middle routes are almost perma-dry.

After climbing a couple of the middle 7c's (Obscene Gesture / Toilet) I turned my attention to the 8a, The Call Of Nature. Oli G had done this a few months before and had said it was a good first 8a. After a session failing to get anywhere I'd written it off really, but getting back on it in cool conditions it felt fine and I managed it next session. One more step to the three eights now!

Other standout days for the summer so far include an awesome day on Kinder doing some highballs and a couple of first ascents on the boulders. Video Below.

Anyways, good long term forecast so hopefully I'll get a few good sessions over the next few weeks on the limestone and the moorland grit!

Keep up to date with activities on the Logbook!

Ciao, Lee.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Recent Developments

A fair bit has happened in the last month or so. A few firsts for myself including first 7c+ sport route and first font 7c on lime. Its been very much lime season of late with the temperatures topping 26c, however before this period a had a few good days on the grit.

Here are some videos from the last few weeks.

Candy Kaned

Houndkirk Tor Bouldering

More recently I've spent a few nice evenings down at the newly rebolted Moat Buttress in Water Cum Jolly Dale. Its been great climbing in a new location in the peak on lovely non-polished rock. The stand out routes were Moat People 7b+ and Let the Tripe Increase 7c. Props to Kris Clemmow for putting the time into retrobolting the area!

Off to the Tarn Gorge tonight with the family, will report back soonish.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Stag in Font

Last Thursday. Another day spent indoors as the rain lashed the Peak. Cabin fever strating to set in and a look at the forecast only compounded my misery. That was until I recieved an unexpected offer from a friend to join him on a trip to Font. Someone had dropped out of a stag week and they needed somebody to fill in on short notice. Although the weather forecast for Font looked poor I quickly agreed to join them. The next week was a great experience, the weather was patchy yet we managed to climb 6 days of 7.

Best bits of the trip were seeing Steve flash just about every 7a he tried, Carl climb the legendary Marie Rose, Lee conquer Onde De Choc, Guy go a-muerte on Egoiste and of course Tom's legendary top out of Le Coeur. It was also a great personal trip, especially on the volume of problems, 18 of 7a-7b+.

Here are some pics taken on the trip. Thanks to Guy, Joe and Nick for most of these.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Day After Day

Recently I've been very busy climbing wise. The weather (although now woeful) has been superb over the past few weeks and its enabled many long and fun days out on the rock. The best ticks of this purple patch include finishing off two old projects in the form off Genocide and Ben's Wall on the Southern Grit and soloing the in-vogue Churnet highball, The Pride.

Despite these ticks the most encouarging day I had of late was at Black Rocks. Its been a goal of mine for a while to try and climb an E9 and the Hard Grit classic Meshuga is top of the list. This day was the first time I'd tried it and I was pleasantly suprised by the difficulty and the size of the holds (Id built them up to be tiny and slopey in my head). I managed all the moves quickly and more or less climbed it in two halves. It feels like fitness is holding me back on this one but that is ok, I'll only get fitter spending the summer on steep peak limestone. Although shelved for now I feel like this route will be a possibility for next winter!

More recently the weather has been fairly patchy with the April Showers setting in. Despite this I've still managed some cool days out. The esoteric Shining Cliff provided the perfect location in the showery weather, where Me and Dad made short work of the classic E5 Lazy Day. This is a bizarre route that follows a perfect quarried grit arete, not sound so strange? well, the catch is that it can be protected by an old ladder of bolts to the left, making it an odd F6b+. Dad did it with, and sunsequently without, the suspect bolts and I made a nervy flash without.

Such a shame the weather has gone to shit now, getting cabin fever sitting in the house for days on end. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, off to the popular Anston Stones on Friday. Psyched for this.

Lee, Ciao.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

All over the place...

The great weather recently has meant the return of the limestone; Chee Dale pretty much all dry, cornice withstanding, the tor looking good and blackwell all dry. This has meant some great days out, trying things that were well out of my reach before the winter.

Firstly, me and dad headed down to Willersley, a steep, mainly trad, lime crag near Matlock. We finished off some old business in the form of Hallowed Be My Name 7c, and also ticked the rather good Blessed Are The Weak 7a+. The morning after it was also a case of trying to tick off old projects as I visited the always pleasant Squirrel Buttress in Millers Dale. Again I tried and failed to finish off the esoteric classic, Candy Kaned 7C. Theres a video of Ethan Doing it here -

After a belay day on Curbar, where Dad GU'ed The Fall E6 6b, it was back to Chee Dale for the first session this year. Needless to say it was packed with people keen for the lime, I wonder whether they'll still be keen come July, I know i won't.... Anyways, we got on the classic Moffat testpiece Orange Sunshine 7c+ and worked out the moves pretty quickly, however I fell repeatedly on the last hard move. It will go next time and considering I've never climbed 7c+ it felt perfectly ok.

After April Fools day it seemed the weather was playing us for fools again, this time the forecast reading a staggering 15c drop. Taking advantage of this change me and Steve hit up the bitter Burbage South in order to try the horrific Simbas Pride E8 6b. After a few hours of work Steve had it dialled and will probably go solo next time. I had alot of work to do on the top moves before a solo was attempted. After this we popped into the Secret Garden and ticked the classic Dick Williams 7B+.

Looking cold for the next few days which is great as I'm not ready for full lime immersion yet. Hoping to head to Black Rocks with Steve on Thursday, with Gaia and Meshuga on the menu.


Heres a photo of Eddie Barbour on the dyno move, Simbas Pride.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Times a' changing

After realising I'd only done about 5 routes all winter and also that the grit season may be coming to a close, I've spent the last few days frantically trying to finish off various targets from over the winter.

After a good day on Burbage, Me and Steve headed to the esoteric Hall Moor Quarry near Matlock to try the classic underrated arete, Speak The Truth E7 6b. After doing the route in a few goes on a rope we waited for the sun to move round (conditions were poor) and then both soloed it. The route is top draw however the landing leaves alot to be desired, essentially being a pit of brambles intospersed with jagged boulders.

Theres a video of that route and Masters of the Universe here -

Yesterday I planned to hit up another target from over the winter, Appointment with Fear at Wimberry. Unfortunatley it was unpleasantly warm for grit and the lead felt along way away. Instead we just chilled out on the boulders and did the rather nice Fish Arete SS 7b+.

Getting to hot for grit :'( so i guess its lime from now on with the occasional grit day. Psyched for sport in the gorge du chee though, and I guess my fitness levels can only get better.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Some more E numbers

Been a great last few days on the grit, new partners up for bold trad, lots on psyche and great weather.

Its been along time coming but on saturday me and dad finally headed down for our second trip to Nesscliffe (on my first one 18 months ago I was only leading e1) We immediately set up shop on the classcic E8 My Piano. After a few goes on a rope we both dispatched it, stunning route and climbing. Rest of the day was spent pottering on the bouldering.

Video of My Piano here

After a cool few days ticking on the boulders, best tick being the awesome Giza at Burbage North, I arranged to head out with Ethan Walker to try some stuff at Burbage South. Conditions wearn't great but Ethan managed a smooth flash of the E6/7 Masters of the Universe in the quarries. I headpointed it having top roped it last year with dad. Definately keen for more ticking up there, Simbas Pride, Braille Trail, Silent Scream....the list goes on and on.

Anyways heading out with Steve tomorrow so should get some more ticking before the weather turns again.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Bad and the Beautiful

This classic Mark Leach frightener had been on my list for a while now, but with a lack of partners willing to do bold trad I had never investigated it. But today, after responding to Steve's plea for a belayer on Facebook, we headed up to take a look. The route, although only being 10 metres or so high, sits in a very exposed position directly above The Masters Edge and Edge Lane, with a slim chance that you might bounce off the ledge if you fell. The famous line is always ringing through your head "you can fall but you must not bounce".

After a few goes on a rope we had it dialled and both cruised up it. Its a great route which deserves more ascents and would possibly make a good highball to those with many pads and spotters.

No video as there wasn't a good place :/ heres a guy doing it a bit ago.

We finished off the day by doing a top 7a in the Froggatt woods called Glass Slipper. Well psyched to get back in there for the trad stuff.

Off to Nesscliffe at the weekend, My Piano top of the list. Wish me luck.....


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

New Blog

Here's my new blog. Its pretty simple but I'll try and keep it nice and up to date.

Here is a video of the weekends exploits at Gardoms. A nice day out with a lucky coincidence; meeting Steve Ramsden who was intent on trying Charlotte Rampling, the route me and dad had planned to get on. With an extra pad and team psyche, three smooth ascents soon followed, a good day.

Enjoy (and go and try Charlotte Rampling, its excellent.)