06061718 Roaches

Overview - A weekend out with the gang at the Roaches. The plan was for Cheedale and Aplomb, but then there's no real climbing there beneath E1! Saturday was just bouldering / soloing, and Sunday got very interesting very quickly, when I started ticking all the 3* routes I had never tried...

Lots o' bouldering (V0-V7)

BMC guide, upper tier, pretty much all of problems 1-37, excluding 5, 6, 21, 28. Notable problems include The Nose (V5 6b, flashed), Broken Wing (V7 6b, flashed, but was it the right line?), and, naturally, Joe's Arete (V3 6a).

The Sloth (3* HVS 5a):

Led - Okay, this is actually worth all the hype. VDiff slab leds to a good rest position, from which to move up, place gear, and retreat to. Retreat I did, as the gear in the middle of the roof is brilliant (both in protection terms and method of placement), but it doesn't half take a fair amount of strength to place it! The major success for me on this route is that I've ticked another of the great Whillans routes, without a single jam - a wonderful horizontal eygptian gets you passed the tricky bit. Correctly graded and starred. Cathy seconded (jamming and removing all the skin from her right hand), as did Mr Prady.

Elegy (3* E2 5c):

Did not finish - The next 3* route on the list was to return to Valkyrie, 3 years after backing off it, but it was never to be. The Bulger, which everyone claims is horrible, is great providing you stay as far out of the crack as possible! Good gear straight in front of you, then pass the nose... This is technical crux by far, and perhaps hard 5b, dependent on personal style. Fairly easy, I think. However, I then started looking at the upper slab, and proceed to pysc myself out more and more with each move, culmintating in needing to be rescued off the upper slab, and ending up at the bottom a gibbering wreck. Oh well, better luck next time ;-). Grades seem about right, which is a bit of a blow to the ego...