040724 Windgather

Overview: Wonderful small-ish crag. Staffordshire guide claims it has something like 70 routes Diff-VS, but only has four HVSs and one E1... So Paul and I had to go and do those. Rather strange, as the entire crag is polished from the result of some bizarre weathering.

Center (1* HVD 3c):

Solo (in trainers) - Straight up the middle of the slab right in front of you as you enter the crag. Staffordshire grit claimed there's no route there, but heck, got half way up checking out the polish on the rock, and just kept going...

Route 1 Direct (HVS 5b):

Seconded, Paul led - The direct finish from the step out of the corner feels rather steep, and, as Paul found, chalk REALLY comes in handy for the polish.

South Buttress Arete Direct (E1 5b):

Led - Incredible. I think this has to one of the stupidest routes I've done. A "tombstone landing" beneath an overhang, on which the only sensible thing to do is campus up the small ledges! I can't wait to see the photos, though... Paul seconded.

Portfolio (1* HVS 5b):

Seconded, Paul led - An interesting route. Considered a "local test piece"... although I have to think that that is only because it's the hardest route in keeping with the style of the rest of the crag (all the other HVS / Es are overhangs). Nicely protected, quite strong top crux move.

Traditional (1* HS 4a):

Solo - Um, initial bulge is NOT 4a, but is a "fun" pull for beginners, whereas the rest is straight forward. Nothing more can really be said!