Ilam Rock, Dovedale

A brief lull in the monsoon and Jake was keen to get out in The Peak. His suggestion was Ilam Rock, Dovedale, partly motivated by an Extreme Rock tick (Easter Island, E2) and also wanting to “have a look at” Eye of the Tiger, something of a different proposition at E7.

Dovedale was bright but breezy, and there were plenty of walkers enjoying the brief summer interlude as we wandered down the Dale. No sign of any other climbers, so we were pretty surprised to find a team on Ilam Rock,

…. and even more so when we realised they had a rope down Eye of the Tiger.

Great minds, and all that, but I’d NEVER seen anyone on it in all my previous visits. Anyway, it worked out well as Nick and his mate were happy to generously swap beta and top rope attempts with Jake which made for a convivial and convenient afternoon.

We warmed up on the classic Easter Island (now shown in the BMC guide as taking what was apparently the original line up the leaning face at the top, and upped to E2 accordingly)

Jake had a couple of good attempts at EotT on a top rope, getting the crux sussed, but decided it was one to come back to for a lead attempt (more English 6c than 6b and perhaps 7c+ as a French grade). Meanwhile, Nick had a decent effort on lead – looking very composed until perhaps not quite moving through the crux fast enough.

We finished off with Gladiator, E4, which takes the arete and crack left of EotT. The guidebook description: “Expect a fight!” says it all! Good lead by Jake and nothing that any amount of pocket pulling or indoor bouldering is going to prepare you for!

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