An Accidental Trad Bender

My last year has been abit void of Trad with just the odd route here and there being done. I had an awesome day last Spring, where Giles Cranston and I climbed three 4 pitch E5’s at Wintours Leap in a day which was pretty epic but other than that there has been very little.

With a visit from Nick G on the cards the only option was to climb Trad so we headed to Spion Kop. Spion Kop is a great little crag in the forest of Dean which I had not visited before. The best routes are on the amazing central tower but we started on the brillient but dirty “The arch of time” E3. Lovely route with plenty of crack. The hightlight of the day was an onsight of Labour of Love E6 and the discovery of a very exciting new project! I will be back. I highly recommend Spion Kop to anyone who fancies some great trad routes.

Labour of Love E6

We then spent a day on the amazing ramp at Avon gorge, climbing many of the classic routes from E3 to E6, there were plenty of E points racked up that day.

Huntshams has always been a crag which I have visitied a few times but not with much enthusiasm, until now. Ben Norman and I headed up to Huntshams with a big pile of pads and enjoyed the highball ethic. The best bits were an onsight of Appointment with Beer and a quick send of Claim 2 Fame. This route was first climbed by Rich Simpson and graded E7 6c,I climbed it above a pile of pads and would grade it very highball Font 7a, this could well have been the second ascent. Video to follow. We continued the highball extravaganza with a visit to Coppet Hill where we bashed out many routes ground up, the main excitment of the day came when Mike Goldthorp took the 6 meter fall from the top of Under the rainbow.

On what seemed like the coldest day of the year I dragged everyone to Symonds Yat. I had a specific route in mind, On The Lip of Insanity E7 6b. After trying to warm up but realisticly cooling down I gave it a slightly un optimistic go. This resulted in copious amounts of flash pump so I down climbed. I repeated this three times. On the third go I clipped the first gear and fell off! oops. After cooling down some more I gave it another go but I felt so cold I was not too hopefull. Several minutes later I found myself battling with with the horendously easy topout with no feeling from the shoulders down. I really had to fight! I believe the temperatures that day did not rise above minus 6 all day! Sorry Guys, Thanks for enduring the cold for me!

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