051113 Birchen

Overview - Such a gorgeous day. Quite cool air temperature (~7C), but with a bright sun and the exercise of running up VSs for the day, Darcy, Macka, and I tired ourselves out on Copenagen wall. If you're competant at HVS and fancy having a day soloing / bouldering at the same technical grade, but far less serious, take a trip to Birchen's. 9 VSs in a few hours, mostly at 5a/b. And a few attempts at E1/2 6b... Not sure I've done more than 15 routes in a day before!

Scandiarete (VS 5c):

Solo - The best of this wall: a good slap up, then undercling your way into a right-handed layback.

Dane's Delight (HS 5b):

Solo - A dyno into the upper large pocket... But would you ever do it on lead?

Dane's Disgust (HS 5b):

Solo - Straight up the wall on the right of the upper pocket. Try not using the large pocket, and it's a very nice balancy stand-up.

Copenhagen Wall (VS 5a):

Solo - If you're going to try Great Portland Street (Millstone), try this first. It'll be good training for the first mantel.

Wonderful Copenhagen (1* VS 5a):

Solo - The best sloper pulling on the wall. This one feels tenuous just one move longer...

Mast Gulley Ridge (1* VDiff):

Solo - The lower arete can be done on either side, and quite fun either way.

Mast Gulley Buttress (2* VS 5a):

Solo - First proper gear (not in the first break!) is above all difficulties as usual here, hence this feels a little stiff for VS. Getting on to the hanging wall is probably much harder for the short.

Fo'c'sle Arete (1* VS 5b):

Solo - Very green, but terrific moves (rocking over a heel-hook) to get to the upper arete.

Broadside (E2 6a):

Failed - Rockfax shows the wrong line again... The start must be a hugely powerful lay-off the arete to the right, reaching into the small break, then rocking rightwards to the (hidden?) pocket. The obvious (!) start just to the right is an E4 7a.

Stoker's Hole (1* VS 4b):

Solo - A nice wall. Not sure how VS, given the lack of gear, but they are easy moves.

Reef Knot (1* S 4b):

Failed - Backed off the top, as it's really rounded, though I might have missed a foothold.

Bell Bottom Arete (S 4a):

Solo - Good, easy laybacking, but if I put that up as a 4a in the Castle, I'd have a lot of complaints!

Bulbous Bow (E1 5c):

Solo - 5C? Well, just about. E1? Not a chance. One hard-ish move, albeit an unprotected one, and then an easy runout. No idea what the gear nearer the top is like (forgot to look), but if there's any then this should be more HVS.

Camperdown Crawl (3* VS 4c):

Solo - The main route itself, starting up the crack, is typical for VS at Birchen (hard move getting on, cake after that), but the left-hand start adds a little 5b excitement to it, and I didn't want to commit to the 5c on the right... The 5b start seems equally as hard as the crux on the Bulbous Bow, but with gear in the original crack. All of the gradings seem about right for this one.

Visitor's Only (1* HS 4a):

Solo - Final yellow route of the crag, and felt far harder / bolder due to being the end of the day. Nice layback corner climbing on good holds with good gear.