Sunday, 23 March 2014

Trad in Millstone

The forecast was uncertain but hey.. it’s England right, forecasts are always uncertain. So after setting the wrong address to Bruno’s address and Alex forgetting his food at his place he finally arrived at the Peak late at night. We went camp close to Millstone, way deep into the woods to avoid any trouble. It was cold and damp but I still had an amazing sleep. Woke up very early with Alex rushing not too take too long to start climbing only to realise the rock was too cold :-)

I manage a bad style accent of Embankment 2, VS 4c (1st pitch only since the 2nd was wet). Crack climbing is not my thing although I do enjoy it. I had to stop every once in a while to try to get some feedback from my cold hands. Polar wind coming up my trousers...

On my way up Embankment 2, VS 4c

After this pre-warm up Alex decided to give a go at Shaftesbury Avenue, HVS 5b. That bit was already in the sun, the rock was not as cold but the wind was still merciless. I followed but took a while to figure out the right way to pass through the overhang.

The joys of crack climbing, Shaftesbury Avenue, HVS 5b

After that what was cold got colder and it started raining. We hid under an old construction drinking coffee and waiting to see what’s going to be. It would normally take up to an hour for the rock to "dry", we would gear up, get ready and it would start rain again.. Two times this happen, we were reaching the end of the afternoon but Alex still wanted more.

Bruno was fed up with the weather and went to the car. We stay put. At some point another break in the weather and he went for Embankment 3, E1 5b (1st pitch) which although was “sort of dry”, still looked wet. Great lead specially considering the dark clouds that were now defiantly heading our way. He got stuck in the crux but after a bit of motivation - "Alex dude, you either get it done or come down coz the rain is fucking coming now" - he finish in style just when the fat drippings started.

By the time we coil the ropes it was proper rain all the way. After a pub lunch we headed back to the woods only to be surprised by a cops car checking our car by the road. Yeah.. cannot camp in private land, nowhere to go, no b&b's with space so ... by 1am we were all back to London.

A short but intense great effort :-)

23/03/14 Embankment 2, VS 4c (1st pitch, lead OS, No rests)
23/03/14 Shaftesbury Avenue, HVS 5b (followed, with rests)

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