A Windy Weekend

June 9th, 2015 by Simon C

Lunch time at KinderWith westerly gales forecast we decided to head for something east facing, and after much reading of guidebooks decided on the northern edges of Kinder – specifically, Chinese Wall. A beautiful walk in up the valley led to the crag. Unfortunately, although it was out of the worst of the wind, some of it was channelled round the sides of the crag, so it wasn't quite the sheltered spot we'd hoped for.

Still, we'd come this far, so stuck it out! I started with Communist Route (VD), Carmen followed with Nationalist Route (S 4b – nails for the grade, I've done easier VSs), and I then led Mandarin Arete (S 4b, VD in the old guide, I thought more like VS 4b – maybe we were having an off day!).

G.P. AreteAfter this we fancied something easier, so headed towards Misty Wall on the other side of the valley. This is a classic VS 4c, so not easier at all, but we've done it before so had an excuse to walk on by. We finally settled on G.P. Arete, an obscure HVD. This turned out to be a great little route, and at last one that wasn't undergraded!

Then, with a pathetic 4 routes done, we headed home. A great location though, we'll be back when it's warmer! We'd probably have done better heading somewhere lower, and joining the others at Rivelin.

White WallOn Sunday, the one requirement was for a crag without any jamming, as the rough moorland grit had left its painful mark on our hands. So we decided on a complete change, and went to Oxenber, a limestone crag in the Yorkshire Dales. We'd been there once before, but that was 10 years ago so we'd forgot all the routes.

The forecast was for strongish winds at first, easing through the day. The first bit was right, but it actually got stronger in the afternoon, before finally dying down by the evening. At least it was west facing so got plenty of sun!

IngleboroughCarmen started with Crossroads Buttress (HS 4b), which turned out to be the sandbag of the crag! Comments on UKC suggest VS 5a may be closer to the mark. After battling for a while, she admitted defeat. I did the same without even trying. Another pair (the only other climbers we saw all weekend) tried it later, they both thought better of it as well.

After this things were more successful, and we climbed Twin Cracks (HS 4a, more like HS 4b); White Wall (S); Grandad (S, a great route); Coker (VD but with a polished 4b crux); Little Gidding (VD); Salvages (VD); and Nice (a Severe that lived up to its name).

All in all a cracking weekend.

A few more photos here

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