Summer Days

Summer, well. So far so good.

Since finishing exams a big part of my climbing has been throwing myself at sport routes and trying to get fit again. At the forefront of this assault was Major Waddage (8b) at the ever popular Raven Tor, a 35m endurance route taking the height of the crag. A  big route for the Peak District, culminating in a wild dyno after a pumpy 8a+ puppy below. All very droppable, but fortunately I didn’t experience any heartbreakers, and topped before conditions rapidly deteriorated into the summer haze. 

Repeating Chimes of Freedom © Guy Van Greuning

Repeating Chimes of Freedom © Guy Van Greuning

The Cornice’s have also dried up again recently, and after a good bit of fun down at WCJ Cornice pre monsoon season, I decided with dry spell number 2 I would give the one beginning with the Chee some attention first. Powerplant (8a), maybe the classic of the crag, and regarded as the perhaps the best 8a in the Peak saw a cheeky ascent one evening down the dale, as did it’s neighbour Roof Warrior (8a). I’ve never managed to climb down here before, as the last few summers were crap, so it was really nice to get down and tick off some quintessential peak limestone.

When I got bored of undercutting I returned to the WCJ Cornice, the cornice which I definitely prefer. The moves are obvious, the climbing dynamic and the holds good. Here we have some of the most genuinely fun routes to climb in the peak. Brachiation Dance, Free Monster, Auctioneer and Rumble in the Jungle all sit side by side and I would wholeheartedly recommend them all, the latter 2 provide brilliant displays of dynamic movement which feel amazing on the link.

The Auctioneer (8a+)

The Auctioneer (8a+) © Guy Van Greuning

Peak Lime is a good crack, but sometimes Yorkshire just does it better. I have recently ventured up north a few times, paying the classic big 3 a visit. I definitely have a favourite. You walk round that corner, and are hit with 50m of dark and intimidating gorge sides, and if conditions are good gale force winds whistle through as well. Tourists mill about in the bottom like ants. This is Gordale, not Rubicon. Aesthetically, the line of the crag has to be the Fawcett classic, Cave Route Right. A striking crack straight up the centre of the dark face, even the tourists notice this one. It may be almost completely bolted but the laybacking, fingerlocking nature of this climb makes it feel very traddy. So very very good, and another favourite from these summer days.

Cave Route Right © Mark Rankine

Cave Route Right © Mark Rankine

Mr Lee loving the lime. © Guy Van Greuning

Mr Lee loving the lime. © Guy Van Greuning

Midginhell © Liam Postlewaite

Midginhell © Liam Postlewaite

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