The penultimate day of 2019 turned out to be an absolute cracker – blue skies as far as the eye could see, and a toasty 8C. Undecided between routing and bouldering, Jake and I saddled up with kit for both and headed for The Roaches. Somewhat predictably, so did droves of others – I’ve never seen it so rammed, though there weren’t many climbers in evidence. We bypassed the worst of the parking mayhem at the Popular End and pressed on to Roche End to access the Skyline.
First stop for the Giant Purple Pad was the Very Far Skyline Boulders
Slabby, not too high and blessed with good landings, it’s a friendly spot. I managed a bunch of pleasant V2s including the classic Two Pocket Slab
and the well-named Flight Exam – UKC Logbook Description
Don’t even THINK about Wings of Unreason until you’ve done this!
As it happened, that’s exactly what Jake was thinking of, so we dropped down to the hidden gem of Hard Very Far Skyline for this Grit Top 50 E4. Very tough move to gain the slab and then straightforward but unnerving to the slot and bomber cam, which you then mantle onto (this is the move you’ve just brushed up on Flight Exam). The top is now in sight, but not in reach, and you are faced with choosing a tenuous smear or athletic pop to catch it, with gear a foot beneath your feet. Jake popped and whooped (I smeared, but that’s easily done with a top rope!)
I was too busy bracing for the possible plummet to get a photo but here’s a foreshortened pic after the event…
… and one of Jake soloing Prelude to Space, the adjacent HVS.
Back to bloddering for a few more problems at the enchanting Doxey Pool, to make the most of the last of the daylight.
Fab sunset and a grand day!