Riding the Grit Wave

Bamford is probably my favourite crag in the Eastern Peak. For it’s setting and grit which feels virgin. I headed up here on a perfect blue sky day with Guy, Nathan and Dom. It was not necessarily a day for success, but instead one which will live long in the memory

Jasmine (E6 6b) “One of Fawcett’s last great editions to his beloved grit, and a superb, daring solution to a long standing problem”, is undoubtedly a must do. I’d had my eye on it a while, was keen for the flash, and all went smoothly. It’s weird how you think about these things for some time, but when it comes down to it they are over in a matter of minutes.

Next up, down on the slabs, Dom Lee onsighted Trout (E6 6b), a very good effort. I was also keen, and after getting through the technical crux, I arrived at the mental crux- a lunge and slap to the top, a good way above the gear. After standing around for far too long I knew I had lost it. My rubber was creeping, hands sweating and head in a mess. I could almost feel in my legs the inevitable impact with the slab below. I eventually committed to the smear, but reach the top I did not, and sure enough ended up back at the bottom with Nathan. Disappointed yet also relieved.

Nathan then went on to flash the route, a fine effort especially after belaying the fall. Darkness then arrived, so I didn’t get another blast. But I didn’t mind, this was the kind of gritstone day that lives long in the mind. Because of failure not success.

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