As summer held on to the lower grounds I ventured up onto the Moorlands, where autumn was beginning to make an appearance. A day after returning from Portugal, Shining Clough felt positively baltic.
Mark had spotted a new route. It was no king line, but a new line it was. Had it been on Stanage it would have definitely been done by now. He got it done, as did Neil, and then myself. Lovely moves at a lovely crag. But I wanted to do a new route up here too. Where could I do a new route?
A few days later I slog up to Chinese Wall on the Kinder Northern edges with Nathan. ‘The Shock of the New’ is on the cards, and as Nathan begins to get that cleaned up I wander right to apply the same treatment to ‘Born of Frustration’. Abbing in over the prow I think to myself ‘this top out looks hard for E5’,but I get it cleaned and return to the deck. Bemused and confused I consult the guidebook, and whats this? The prow direct is unclimbed? Maybe I could call it ‘Prow of God’? Where Born of Frustration cops out right to finish up the HVS that is ‘Necrosis’, Kitty on a Plane keeps to the prow direct via an awkard mantel/ press to a pocket, before a tricky finish which is best done quickly, as momentum is your friend here. Hence it feels easy when you commit. I gave it E6 6b, but with large cams (wideboyz style) in the top break it will be closer to E5. But who cares, no one climbs the classics up here, never mind the non classics. Nathan then finished the day with a very smooth ascent of The Shock of the New (E7 6c). As I looked up to prepare my belaying skills for the bold crux moves he had already latched the finishing jugs. Very impressive Mr Lee.
The Moors are awesome, and like a second Peak District, just all at a higher level. We’ve had quite a few days out, some being very unproductive, yet inspiring. A day up at Wimberry was typical of this. No hard routes were done, but I think I abbed and inspected the moves on 6 or 7 routes between E6 and E9, one of these being the very scary ‘Appointment with Death’. For a grit E9 this has seen a lot of attention recently with ascents from Tom Randall and then Nathan Lee, and basically it was these two ascents which got me interested and inspired. I wanted to do a hard route on the moors before the summer came to end, and after an inspection and play ‘Appointment’ seemed to fit the bill.
But this story goes no further I’m afraid. The weather and midges have not played ball as we’ve tried to make return visits. Windless and humid, less than ideal. Really I missed the best time to be up here, during the heat waves of early summer was the right time, but I won’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy the sport climbing I did in those months.