A perfect blue sky day. Cold but still appealing. Even when it’s baltic, if the sun is out, you wake up and you know its going to be a good one. Up at Stanage Popular lies John Allens ‘hardcore little number’ Wall of Sound (E6 6b). Sitting on a North facing wall, behind the famous Black Slab, she goes fairly unnoticed. However it climbs via a brilliant set of moves, and is rather unusual for grit, being steep, overhanging and powerful. Oh yeah! The original route finishes rightwards up the arete, and the guide states a direct finish would improve the line. Both me and Sam did this direct finish, and it definitely adds an extra punch in at the end, perhaps another tough 6b move. The hands were very cold on the sharp end, but thankfully my frozen tips were able to hold on for the final pop at the top.
Another fantastic line we were keen for was Shine On (E7 6c). Back in the snowballing pandemics of winters 2010 and 2011, I think (?), this classic saw many ascents. Since this years snow made a poor effort in committing to a long term relationship, there was no snowballing to be had. A powerful sequence through the roof lands one with a final lurch for salvation in the break, the foot doesn’t quite feel like it’s on but it all works and you are rewarded with sinker jams as the sun sets.
Here’s a video, with a fresh mix of contrasting beats, courtesy of me.