A classic graunch; well protected and quite bizarre though not too difficult for those used to gritstone weirdness.
1) 5b, 14m. Traverse the lowest break to a vertical slot and wriggle up this with difficulty. Shuffle out to the arete (harassing for the short) to a fine stance and awkward belays.
2) 5b, 14m. Roll off the ledge and use a tiny pocket to lunge for the spike. Continue left then pull up onto a short ramp back to the cliff top. This is the original line. The break in the north wall is sometimes followed all the way to the gully by mistake.
FA. Peter Harding 1945
'Roll off the ledge and use a tiny pocket to lunge for the spike.'
This is possibly worse for the second as there is no overhead belay when setting off on the 2nd pitch, and the spike appears to be a long way off. This is gritstone climbing at it's best and should either be on your tick list or be something to aspire to. I think I will always lead the 2nd pitch now, and that's not down to the awkward 1st pitch which is well protected with big cams.
craig h - 22/Feb/05
As the previous poster implies, this is a classic route, as much of an expedition as you can get on a crag of this size.
The start of the first pitch has great gear and jams and is quite delicate for your feet. Making your way up to the nose however is awkward; you just have to discard your dignity and ignore that insecure "I'm going to roll off this rounded break and by the way where have all the hand holds gone?" feeling.
The belay at the stance wasn't particularly awkward although sorting out the ropes so my parner could lead through meant him untying and then retying.
The second pitch looked gripping to get to the spike, we couldn't find any clever gear placement before it and were a bit worried a fall would mean a big swing that would take you all the way around the nose.
It's quite gripping on second too, getting your right hand on the tiny finger pocket is the crux and then it's a couple of easier moves to the safety of the spike.
After the spike the problems ease and although it's not all over, if you've got that far you'll soon be at the top (or round the side or whatever the term is for an unpwards trending traverse!)
MeMeMe - 22/Aug/05
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