More top roping!

10th Oct 2007

While the UKC debate has raged on, I got out into the Peak after a dank morning. The conditions were a bit damp but seemed to improve as time went on.

Having had a very brief go on Top Loader the other day I was intrigued to pursue it. I went out on Sunday evening and abbed down it to give it a clean. It’s very close to a drainage line and is in North Bay at Millstone, so doesn’t see the sun much- it was a bit green and crusty.

I also bumped into Mike Lea at the Works on Monday and chatted to him about the route. He did the first ascent in 2001, so it was interesting chatting to him about it.

Today the route seemed totally different to the other day; I think it must’ve been really warm the other day. I could hang holds today that were impossible before.

This perked me up. My first go was ok, sussing moves and cleaning holds. Although I had an idea for a sequence on the crux that I hadn’t been able to try the other day and I managed to flash it.

My next go was great. I did it pretty much clean. Although the top really was green and damp so I couldn’t quite finish it properly.

But my next go I did it clean properly, with a modified sequence for the last move. It’s all come together pretty quick.

That first day I had the go on it, the crux seemed really complicated and very hard. Whereas today things really came together and I can totally imagine leading it.

When this route was first done, I was very interested in trying to on sight it. It feels about f7c/7c+ but I am not sport climbing fit at the mo and you definitely need to be. I think I would have had a chance of doing pretty well but the crux is at the top and without chalk would be a very tricky proposition. It’s powerful and not obvious. You would almost certainly need a friend to ab down and clean it before you tried and I can’t be bothered with all that!

So I’ve blown the on sight. Am I bothered? No, not at all. It’s a really cool route, again, one I’ve wanted to do for a while and I’m really enjoying giving it a go now.

We’ll go out on Friday; I think the forecast looks fine. It’s mainly peg protected but might need to fiddle about with the gear a bit but basically it’s all go for the lead.

Can’t wait…