Widdop Bouldering

Andy and Jake were both keen to get out to make the most of a chilly but bright day – just about enough foam and enthusiasm to motivate me into a spot of bouldering (it takes a lot of both!) Widdop looked to be somewhere near the epicentre of the forecasted blue skies and was equally convenient (or rather inconvenient) from either direction (how can it take 1:15hrs to go 20 miles?)

It wasn’t looking too promising as we parked up at the reservoir and headed over the dam

There was more ice on the ground than there had been on The Ben the a week earlier! https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2022/01/09/two-sides-of-scottish-winter-climbing/

Despite the chill, there was a fair amount of dry rock on the Plantation Boulders and we set about “warming up” on Boozer’s Slab (with me secretly thinking we might be bailing to the pub before too long!)

Andy and Jake both made short work of the classic highball Pickpocket’s Wall 6A+ (way too scary for me, even with a couple of pads) and then we shifted our attention to the Fight on Black boulder. The sun had put in an appearance by now, but then promptly disappeared behind the hill!

I amazed myself by doing Splashdown, 6B, 2nd try (having struggled on some of the 5+s) on the left arête…

… but the main prize is the eponymous Fight on Black, 7B, up the much thinner right arête.

Here’s Jake figuring out the best position for a heel hook before launching up for the much-chalked nothingness above.

Meanwhile, Andy and I were lured by the possibility of warmth in the sunshine across the valley on Scout Crag

What a difference!

… and what a cracking little crag – it doesn’t get much of a write up, but there are some great micro-routes and problems. Here’s Andy on Bay-sic Wall (maybe)

… and Game Pie (VS?)

… and Scout Crack…

Same bit of rock about 10 minutes later when Jake caught up with us (fresh from his triumph on Fight on Black) but he couldn’t resist The Turtle’s Head (how can that be 5+?) and also flashed Flamin Eries, 7A

Turned into a grand day in the end, and reminded me that I really ought to go bouldering more (he says, safe in the knowledge that he’s about to head off sun rocking and bolt clipping!)

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