Summer arrives at Stanage

Fresh back from “Rocking Around the World”, this time the less-explored crags and coast of North West Scotland, it’s always a bit tricky to find the motivation to visit more familiar haunts closer to home. The big yellow sun symbol on my numerous weather apps helps fire the enthusiasm and Jim and Dave are recruited for a short afternoon visit to The Peak. Where else but Stanage?

Glorious blue skies as we wander up through the Plantation and not another soul on the crag (though quite a few on the boulders). Great quick hit with half a dozen routes in perfect condition (apart from belaying on the top which was freezing!)

If nothing else, the day served as a reminder of how random and arbitrary grades are:

Tower Face, HVS but quite committing pulling on a creaking flake.

Overhanging Crack, HVS – the clue’s in the name. Proper traditional thrutch to get into the squeeze or a l-ooo-ng reach to avoid it.

Seesaw, VS – you’re having a laugh, we all shuffled around the first bulge!

Comet, E3 – I don’t usually lead E3 on natural grit, but the crux initial wall on pockets climbs more like limestone and with the permitted (according to Rockfax) side runner it isn’t even scary. A couple of bomber pieces further up, including a thread, and it feels pretty safe for the grade.

Paradise Arête, VS – outstanding and fair at the grade. A few pics of Jim…

Millsom’s Minion, E1 – awesome route, deserving of its Top 50 status, with a couple of places where it would hurt if you fell off!

There you go – half a dozen routes and the effort/terror quotient more or less inversely proportional to the grade. Go figure! Anyway, not a bad spot to have on your doorstep 🙂

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