070221 Stanage Popular

Overview - We've got a glimse of sun, albeit with a good dash of wind thrown in, so let's tackle some roofs on Stanage. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Luke and I only got going about midday due to dampness in the morning, but with a few rays hitting our faces, we set off, still not really having a feel for what grade we should be trying, but willing to give anything a go... Oh well!

Wedge Rib (VS 5a):

Solo - The usual few boulder-problem VSs to warm up, and this shouldn't have been a natural first choice. Great route, beautiful moves off the sharp arete (take it on the left ignoring the crack!), but just a little too high and scary for the first route of the day. I don't understand the comment "almost deserves a star" - it completely does deserve one, though as a boulder problem. Luke also soloed.

The Wedge (VS 5a):

Solo - Not sure exactly where this one starts, but taking the arete and crack seems about right. Stepping up and on to the upper slab then takes about 5 minutes simply to spot all the holds, but good moves at the right grade. Nothing special...

Beech Tree Wall (HS 4b):

Solo - Gets VS in some guides, but HS feels about right. The first section's easy, but once on the big ledge the next bit's a bit tricky. Thereafter the flake and breaks provide some nice moves, and probably makes a serious lead at HS. Luke also soloed.

Goodbye Toulouse (2* E1 5b):

Led - Well, that's a good roof! "A mildly wild" ??? Seems a bit wilder than I remember Flying Buttress Direct being... Anyway, gain the top of the slab, big gear in above you, then a high heel helps a hand reach the ledge. Invert in two dimensions, and haul yourself onto the lip. The final step isn't a walk, but the real hard stuff's over. I'm not sure it's as much harder than FBD, but then my memory of that's a little rusty, and FBD is really an E1, isn't it... A bit thuggy-er but a bit longer, so I'm not sure it doesn't deserve the third star. Luke seconded.

Tippler Direct (3* E3 6a):

Failed Lead - I knew I'd probably up-and-down this a while before committing to the roof, but I wouldn't have expected to fall off it >6 times over the course of 2 hours! Getting to and crossing the roof's easy. Turning the first lip is fine, if you know where to look for the hold. The following reach is huge. Something to go back for, because the gear's good, and it just needs a little conviction to pop for the break under the upper roof. Totally spent after that...