I found the perfect use for a day's flex-time today - a day out at The Roaches!
It's a majestic place, really wild and beautiful.
To a climber, it's both an incredible adventure playground, and a daunting, intimidating fear factory. Much of the climbing isn't that hard (although much of it is absolutely nails)...but it isn't that. There's an atmosphere about the place. It's big and bold and exposed, and when the weather is doing its thing, you feel as though you're on another world.
So we headed up there today, determined to blow the stress of the week away, up in a high place.
Then we spent most of the day in the low places - bouldering! Reacquainting ourselves with gritstone slabs was great fun, despite the lack of altitude or exposure.
There is such a huge amount of climbing at The Roaches, you never know quite what you'll want to climb until you get there. Consequently, you take all your gear!
As Jezz was with us, we wanted to give him the experience of an adventurous Roaches classic. And having lugged all the gear all the way up to the crag, we might as well put it to good use by doing our first multi-pitch climb as a trio.
So we chose the low grade but fairly challenging Right Route.
|the right route?|
It's a two pitch route, and last time we climbed it, Anna led the first pitch, so this time it was my turn...and most entertaining it was!
Having one leader and two seconds presents some subtle challenges to the ropework systems, so it was a good opportunity to test the process all the way through.
Here's Jezz climbing with the blue rope, leaving the red for Anna.
|yes, the right route|
The top photo is on a ledge between the two pitches...I'm in more or less the same place on all three photo's!
As you can see, I'm not completely on top of my rope management game...but it did all work ok,..and the colours are interesting if nothing else!
Here's Anna leading the high, exposed top pitch, which finishes right at the top of one of the highest buttresses at The Roaches.
|neither left nor wrong|
I'm still in the same place - it almost seems as though I didn't do much on this climb...I definitely felt more involved at the time!
Anyway, good job, Anna!
Also, what's going on with my hat?!