Sunday, 11 May 2008

Windgather Rocks

Sunday the 11th saw JeffB, Gail, Mike, AndyG and also Richard at Windgather Rocks looking for some easy climbing in the sunshine after their exertions of the previous day at Almscliff and also White Ghyll.

However, despite his claims to have led the route flawlessly just a few minutes earlier, Mike fell off while seconding Mississippi Crack sustaining a nasty looking graze to his shin(or should that be a graze to his nasty looking shin?).

Next, Jeff found himself a mission. He did some fairly run-out leads and then gave up using the rope at all. It appeared to be his intention to solo every route he could find at his grade, ticking them off in his Rockfax as he went along, plus a few that aren't even in the guide book. It was Jeff's first time at Windgather, so these were all on-sight ascents and very commendable.

After her experiences in Wales, Gail seemed to find the place a little small and uninspiring. Never the less she got some more practice at lead climbing, including placing gear and setting up belays which can be problematic in places at Windgather. Gear placements on the top of the crag can prove elusive for the inexperienced and can require a little ingenuity to use effectively.

AndyG got a bit sunburnt to add to the discomfort of his injuries from Almscliff yesterday and he experimented with the video mode on his digital camera which will hopefully result in more video action on the website in future.

Anyway, here is the video of Mike top-roping "Traditional".

Although Richard increased his tally of leads, Jeff's enthusiasm for un-roped climbing seemed to rub off on him. After it was time for the rest of us to leave, Richard stayed behind to enjoy another hour or two of bouldering in the quarry at the far end of the rocks.

And finally, here are Mike's notes on the routes climbed today:

Only 2nd time I've ever been to Windgather when sun is out - very different from last time, when ledges were iced up. Really good to climb Green Crack again, this time without the slippy white footholds. Much easier!!

Think the following summarises routes? Any errors? Good to try a few different routes as well (The Rib, The Rib Rt Hand and Traditional).

The Rib (8m, VS 5a) - Jeff led, Mike 2nd
Green Crack (10m, S 4a) - Mike led, Jeff 2nd
Chimney and Crack (10m, VDiff) - Jeff led, Mike 2nd, Richard TR
Mississippi Crack (10m, S 4a) - Mike led, Richard 2nd
Mississippi Crack (10m, S 4a) - Richard led, Mike 2nd (and fell off at
jam over bulge after having flawlessly led it a few minutes earlier!)
The Rib Right Hand (8m, VS 4c) - Mike led, Richard 2nd
Black Slab (8m, HVD) - Richard led, Mike 2nd
Traditional (8m, HS 4a) - Jeff Soloed, Richard TR, Mike TR, Andy TR
(Mike videoed - think Andy hoped I would fall off)