Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: The Perils of Adventure Trad

In starting this Blog I'm concious of the fact that not all it's readers will be climbers or even interested in climbing and therefore I should perhaps heed the words of super Alpinist Andy Kirkpatrick in that: "climbing is like masturbation: a lot of fun when your doing it but nobody else wants to see you do it or here you talk about it". I will therfore attempt to keep the geekdom to a minimum.

Adventure trad is big routes on big mountains, with lots of pitches, route finding problems, and high potential for epics. It is however a bit like Russian Roulette as exemplified by today's escapade in the Lakes.

The Good

Corvus a classic route was great, everything I look for in a mountain route, big views, easy route finding, good exposure, nice easy gymnastic moves, and belays from which you can take it all in.

The hand traverse on Corvus
The Bad

Crystal Slab was a bit of a shocker. Wet, hard, not nice moves, and quite run out. Masa however was equal to it and again proved he has some secret magic bag capable of holding everything ever created by mankind, producing from nowhere a couple of skyhooks just when they were needed and nothing else would do. Not quite as good as when he produced 50 meters of assorted lace, slings, string, and cord from said bag allowing us do do a 50 meter retrievable abseil on one rope a couple of winters ago but close.

The Ugly

From the top of Crystal Slab we attempted to find Slab Route and got lost. Masa hears my manic laughter as I round a corner and am confronted with something out of the Lost World. A grotty choss filled gully where a flame thrower would make a useful addition to my standard gear.

Amazing views though.

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