Saturday, 19 September 2009

More Classic Rock on Friday

Second day of my trip to the Lakes and Jane and I had our first day together without Sandy since he was born (14 months ago). We walked into the Napes for another Classic Rock tick- Tophet wall. This felt much more ‘Scottish’ than yesterday. The sky was grey, there was moss and water streaks on the crag and the wall was dark and brooding. It’s a great route though! I led the first 2 pitches and the first was a rude awakening – steep but positive with a little loose rock. The second didn’t disappoint either with a lack of gear for the first few metres before a delightful corner crack leading to a capacious belay. Jane has only led once in the last 18 months but was itching to get on the sharp end for the hand traverse pitch (which she waltzed across grinning from ear to ear). That left me the last pitch where I’ll admit to looking up at and getting intimidated. A steep crack and quotes from Classic Rock about ‘gritstone technique’ – ‘Oh god am I going to have to jam?’ (Scottish climbers are notoriously poor at jamming). But I needn’t have worried; small but neat footholds, positive edges and excellent gear all in a superbly exposed pitch led me laughing to the rock ledge atop the crack. A quick race down the scree and back to Keswick to celebrate out 4th wedding anniversary (ok it was yesterday – but close enough).

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