Split tips and freezing tits

It’s been a chilly few days in the Peak District, so naturally this was when partners appeared wanting to get a rope out and do some routes.

We ventured up to Curbar for a few hours on Friday, and despite the arctic conditions it wasn’t too bad, we ticked off a few easy routes before freezing our tits off and heading home, and the same again at Stanage Popular on Saturday in between flurries of light snow. I also threw a rope down Wall of Sound again. 2 and a half years on this feels much steadier, I could do it then, but only just and sticking the holds felt like a major effort. Heading back with more finger strength made a big difference, and I could stick the moves consistently on top rope, even when getting the sequence a little wrong. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to venture back with a willing belayer before long. The gear on the route is low but good and while it’s a little scary it’s not balls out dangerous like many grit E6s.

Today I headed up to the Eagle Stone at Baslow. I’ve run past the block a few times, but never stopped to boulder on it. Today wasn’t the ideal day, with more snow flurries and a gentle but very cold breeze. Nevertheless I had a good few hours working through the problems, until one of my tips went through.

The easy routes on the boulder are great, and the half dozen 7a/b problems will need a return visit to tick. My key aim today was to try The Beagle has Landed, a classic 7A+. It’s a great problem, on some nasty crimps. I hit the finishing hold a few times, but couldn’t get it in control and eventually the sharp crimps took their toll on my fingertips and I had to call it a day. A little more commitment on the final move might have seen me there, but I look forward to returning to finish the job and try Where Beagles Dare, the problem to the right which I had a couple of goes at.

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