Steve Pardoe's Rock Climbing Pages

13. April 2002, Stanage Edge

Revision of 17. April 2002 (link to Adrian's pics)

A select Youarsey* meeting with Adrian J, Marek P, and Tony B, on a beautiful spring day at Stanage Edge, the premier Gritstone outcrop in England's Peak District

Adrian's pictures are here, and here's a TR from Burbage North a couple of weeks previously

This was another hastily-arranged outing (so hastily that Mrs P didn't have time to bake a cake), but none the worse for that. We grouped at the Mississippi / Balcony Buttress area, which was pleasantly busy. Tony, fresh from his recent lead of Paradise Wall, decided to have go at Amazon Crack.

Tony and Adrian (belaying) at the start of Amazon Crack (S 4a **)

Tony making steady progress on Amazon Crack. Note the delicate footwork (by his belayer, I mean)

While Tony and Adrian saw off Amazon Crack in fine style, Marek and I headed for Balcony Buttress, where I managed to gibber up the eponymous classic. The new Rockfax guide gives this S 4a, which seemed fair. Marek then led Heaven Crack, every bit as delightful as expected, and justifiably popular.

Marek brings Steve up Heaven Crack

Tony seconding Louisiana Rib

Meanwhile, Adrian led Tony up The Louisiana Rib, which looked well up to its VS 4c from our viewpoint. To be neighbourly, I soloed the adjacent Mississippi Climb, a pleasant VDiff jugfest after a slightly polished start, where I was glad to have Marek spotting me.

Thus encouraged, we decided it was time for a look at the weirdly-graded Verandah Buttress, which used to be VDiff 5b, though it now gets S 5b (or even 5c, according to climbers on the adjacent Greengrocer Wall). The tech grade refers to the boulder-problem start. I made a few half-hearted attempts to get on it, finally falling back, missing my footing and giving my helmet a terrific crack on a boulder. Good thing I was wearing it, or it could have been very serious.

On the principle of getting back on a horse, we wandered back south, and I led Crack and Cave, given VDiff in the guides. This came as a nasty shock to the system, and it felt every bit as hard and exposed as Balcony Buttress. I escaped into the cave, getting a wonderful thread around the boulder that sits in there, then regretted my cowardice, as the move back out onto the face now seemed awfully intimidating. Some days you're going well; others, you're not.

Still in funk mode, I laced the the final section with Friends, nuts and slings, like a pair of Doc Martens. Lacing, as everyone knows, criss-crosses from side to side and ends in a knot, so rope drag was a major issue as I flumped over the final mantelshelf to safety. Definitely a route for two ropes.

Big thanks to Marek for his patient belaying, and to all for a great day out.


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