Once every few years the stars align and we get the magical combination of sunny weather and bank holiday and the early May long weekend this year was just such a weekend. Kirsty and I had decided on a couple of days in the peaks, stopping over at North Lees campsite, but before we headed off there was some serious business to attend to, getting our skates on to celebrate Chris’s 30th birthday, ‘80s roller disco style.
The man, the legend
We awoke on Sunday morning a little groggy, with worrying flashbacks of multi-coloured lycra and posing pouches, and made a later than planned start up the M1. We stopped in at the campsite first and got our home for the night set up before heading up to Stanage just after lunchtime. Kirsty wasn’t really feeling the climbing vibe but it takes more than that to deter me so I stuck my rack and rope in the bag and I got some training by lugging it with me. We walked the length of the edge all the way down to Stanage End and back to High Neb where we got a couple of routes in before the evening.
Kirsty heading up High Neb Buttress
First up was High Neb Buttress, one of the classics of the edge and a climb I’d looked forward to for a while. Pat had climbed it recently and thought it disappointing and I’d have to agree. With such a range of climbs to choose from in Eastern Grit I was very surprised this made the top 50 list, I’d personally not even give it three stars. We got a few other easier routes done before Kirsty suggested I had a go at Jeepers Creepers. Feeling a little wiped out and not really up for it I wasn’t surprised to get spat out so I added it to my steadily growing list of roof cracks that I’ve been spanked by and escaped off onto the juggy severe finish instead. We escaped off to the pub in Hope for some dinner and a beer before settling down for the night back in the tent.
Some evening Stanage soloing
The following day I felt refreshed and we decided to head up to Bamford fairly early in an effort to beat the bank holiday crowds. We started up on Wrinkled Wall then moved onto my second ever E1, the Crease. As extreme ticks go, this is one of the easier ones, getting the grade due to the run out top section rather than the climbing difficulties. I arranged a handful of small gear and sprinted for the top then Kirsty made easy work on second to record her first ever E1 climb, a great start to the day.
Beautiful weather on Wrinkled Wall
Next up we move to the lower tier to take a look at Quien Sabe. There was already a route on Brown’s Crack which shares the start so, feeling psyched from the Crease, I opted to have a go at Nemme Pas Harry, a tougher E1 with a long 5b move to a shallow pocket. The climb went smoothly and I had my second E1 tick of the day (and third ever). Kirsty needed a little more help on this one but did an awesome job making short work of some of the tougher moves.
Glad to be alive on the Crease. Spot the long run out.
Once the route had cleared we nipped up Quien Sabe and I soloed some easier routes before heading back towards the car. On the way back I couldn’t help getting one more route in and jumped on Gunpowder Crack a VS with an acrobatic 5b move to get off the ground. Kirsty didn’t fancy it so I abseiled in to grab the gear and we wandered back down to the road before heading back south. Zooming down the M1 eating ice lollies and nursing a sunny glow, I couldn’t help wishing that all weekends worked out so well.