When we headed up here at the end of the winter we were unceremoniously shut down! We had high hopes of getting some of the 6A’s done and working our way up to 7’s by the end of the year (or before my second knee operation in late September).
But instead we found ourselves floundering at the bottom of 4’s cursing the rocks and dismissing the style of climbing as not really suiting us! Which to be fair is partially true as we have done much more climbing on the sharper and more cracked quarried grit of the area which requires quite a different bag of techniques and tricks…finger jamming anyone?
With our tails between our legs we headed back out to the trading scene and even had a go at some sport climbing (both use ropes, posts coming soon will further explain!!). But not to be defeated and with a defiant attitude we persisted with that pesky gritstone and began to make progress once our techniques adjusted.
Over the past couple of months weather permitting and of course in between our trips to Ireland, Slovakia and Austria we have been getting out every weekend. So far we have managed a bunch of 6A and 6A pluses alongside a couple of 6B’s… our aim for the year is to get to 7A!
One of the things we love about bouldering is that it is much more relaxed than climbing long high routes where you have to fiddle around with protection and ropes.
You get many more routes (called problems in bouldering) done in the same time and it’s a little more sociable as you aren’t perched high up on a cliff face with only yourself and the rock for company…your belayer a faint dot at the bottom of the crag!
Now we do love “proper” climbing like that too, but it’s much more of a mental challenge too and you know, sometimes you just want to climb without that stress!
The rocks around here are pretty amazing really too, some of these shapes and features are like natures own sculpture. Carved by the elements into unbelievable swirls of rock they feel like they were meant to be climbed. For all their peculiar and beautiful contours to be explored and enjoyed.
The Lancashire moors might have been taken for granted by us for the last time! We plan on making the most of these amazing boulders perched up on the famous Pennine way this year before we head out around the world! It’s certainly a great way to keep that wanderlust at bay whilst we save up!
How many of you have tried climbing? Well actually we have noticed that quite a few other travellers out there have had a taste of “Rock Climbing” and of course found it hard work…
But as tame as bouldering might look on the surface it’s actually far more likely to get you injured…and a lot bloody harder than many roped climbs we have done too as it is much more about pure climbing than the head game of higher stuff…although some of these felt high when you only have one mat below you!
Another foot note…you might have even done some bouldering indoors…but it’s a lot like learning to drive. You think you can do it and quite well, but you get out into the “real world” and you have to learn all over again! Climbing grades indoors and outdoors might often use the same grading systems but the difficulty is vastly different!
So, who is up for cutting their hands to shreds all in the name of fun!!??
Best boulder problems so far (as of 1st Oct 2015):
You can see my UKC logbook here if you are into that sort of thing!
See more photos on our facebook here:
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