A Stunning day at the Roaches

What better way to open a blog than with an account of a stunning day at the beautiful Roaches.

Yesterday was an early start, alarm was set for 5.40 am. That can only mean one thing, climbing mission on. A rushed bit of packing saw Giles’ car rammed with everything needed for the day, including boulder mats, trad racks galore, a pile of climbing shoes and Bruce’s box of recycling!

On arriving at the roaches we were met with the greatest climbing day, weather wise I have seen this year! Amazing clear sky, cloud inversion, cold crisp temps and absolutely no wind.

Cloud inversion over Leek Photo Giles Cranston

The climbing started with a few easy solos of some classics routes and a team ascent of Via Delorosa. Giles and Bruce climbed The Sloth and I soloed next to them with the camera to snap a few shots.

Giles displaying composure on The Sloth

After The Sloth I was tempted with an onsight attempt of Paralogism E7 6c a notoriously hard roof in a pretty committing position. After guessing at a sequence I tied on feeling that the rope was more of a hindrance than a help as there is no gear of much use where the climbing is hard. I pulled on, the moves were tough straight off the deck, blocky pinches and small edges led to the crux, a blind slap for what looked like nothing of a hold, I looked down, bad mistake. The landing is a jumble of spiky ledges and boulders, I am psyched out, down climb to preserve the ethics of the onsight.

Holding the swing on Paralogism E7 6c photo Giles Cranston

I try again… and again… and again, the sun is too hot now, the holds are greasy, the landing is horrible and I don’t want to go home in an ambulance tonight. 1-0 to Paralogism. Don’t rest on your laurels Paralogism, I will be back!

Paralogism Photo Giles Cranston

Bruce climbed his first grit E1. The route ended with a huge reach and mantle in a lovely exposed position. Nice one Bruce!

I wanted to try Against the grain E6 7a.The route starts with an easy crack, maybe HVS, climb this, stuff the top of the crack with gear then get your microscope and your fingernails out. If there are any holds on this wall I couldn’t find them so took the whipper.

Holds please? Against the grain E6 7a photo Giles Cranston

Up next… Thing on a spring, also E6 7a. Climb the same easy crack as Against the grain balance out across a foot “ledge” then jump for the slopey break. Fall off, thank your belayer. Repeat!

Off Thing on a spring E6 7a photo Giles Cranston

I never did trust the little red one photo Giles Cranston

Giles finished the day off with a romp up Comander energy as the sun set.

Two cans of Old English in the car on the way home finished my day of nicely. All in all I climbed  to the top of very little but I left thinking does that really matter? I had a great day and have many projects to look forward too!

Peace!

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