Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scratching around in the UK

Although i'll be back in Chamonix in a week or so, where you wouldn't give a three star scottish mixed route a second glance (well........maybe), i couldn't resist taking advantage of the wintery lake district that i'd found myself in. So early on boxing day morning Chris and myself were skidding along in the dark towards Wasdale head on our way to Pillar rock.
        Pillar is perhaps our most remote crag here in Cumbria and is a very interesting cliff. It has many aspects varying from clean slabs to steep turfy cracklines and although it hosts some brilliant rock routes, you could argue it has more winter potential than summer.
             We ended up climbing the first couple pitches of "Electron" HVS 5a. The first long corner which is the summer 5a pitch was excellent, as good as anything of that style i've climbed in scotland. The next couple pitches were scrappy. I then tried to climb a variation to pitch three as we didn't have a single piece of gear suitable to protect the 4c crack. It wasn't to be and after some tenous ballancing above a tied peg i traversed in to the top pitch of a VS called Electron which provided an excellent finish, similar to the Gargoyle Wall cracks on the Ben.
The meat of the route was this nice corner.
I gave it VII.

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