Great Wanny – Great Connies (not!)

More chilly weather (about 10C) and a howling northwesterly meant that a north facing crag was hardly the ideal option. However, Great Wanny is “perhaps the most impressive crag in Northumberland” according to the guide, and has a couple of “must do” routes, so we allowed Jake’s enthusiasm to get the better of our pragmatism.

Don’t be fooled by the blue sky – it was absolutely freezing! Thermal, tshirt, fleece, belay jacket, duvet and cag… and still chilled to the bone. Here’s Helen trying to at least soak up some rays

On the plus side, the rock on the classic routes we did was pretty clean and dry, and it’s certainly an impressive spot.

Here’s Jake on Great Wall (gets HVS 5b and it’s no pushover at the grade – probably not helped by the conditions or number of layers, but there’d be a couple of stiff pulls and long reaches even on a balmy summer evening).

A bit further right, Northumberland Wall at E2 5c is probably more representative of the grade, and offers a lot of very good climbing packed into only 15m or so. Tricky fingery work gets you established in a cracky groove and then a step right leads to a hard pull over a bulge

that lands you in an exposed spot on the headwall.

From here, more fingery climbing without great footholds takes you out rightwards to where a “thank God” hold allows a mantle onto the top. A very fine route, and a good lead in the connies!

Happy to save further exploration for a sun-kissed summer evening, we headed for the pub.

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