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Welcome to Burbage North

I love days spent in The Peak. It's always such a refreshing place to be away from all that man-made stuff! As with most crags in The Peak, Burbage North wasn't going to disappoint at all and here's why:

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Heading through the jungle

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A cloudy day in The Peak

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Welcome to Long Tall Sally Area

We decided the day before heading to Burbage North that we'd like a 'crack training' day and this area seemed spot on for our needs. Barrie woulda been crowded crack champion of the day, if we had a crown to hand and you'll see why later on ;)

 

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Amazon Crack (HS 4b)

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Andy cruising up on second

I'm not renowned for my crack climbing abilities, but i'm hella keen to learn and get scared in the process, it will only make me better right? :D

To get the day started I jumped on Amazon Crack. It begins with perfect fist jams, but then soon shallowed to the point were jams were in-between hand and fist. These sorta jams 'cause me to feel quite insecure, so I ended up reaching out for one of those lovely gritstone slopers for a move or two. After sneaking my way through that section and I went back into the crack for sinker hand jams all the to top. As weird as it sounds, i'm happy on jams when they're sinker, but those not so sinker ones definitely need some practice! :)

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Andy on Green Crack (VS 4b) - adequately named don't you think?

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Barrie going for top points on Obscenity (VS 4c)

I wasn't actually sure if Barrie meant it went he said he was keen for Obscenity, but i'm well glad he did mean it! As much as I like delicate slabs, i'll give it all a try and this little wide number is no freebie. It wants to be a chimney, but can be climbed more like an off-width if your willing to go deep, like I did ;)

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Getting a solid crotch jam on Obscenity

It's a weird style of climbing that I'd say is mostly avoided at all costs nowadays and I can understand why, but it certainly teaches you a thing or two ;) As crazy as it might sound, generally moving up a few inches at a time is great progress on an off-width and as you may imagine, can take some time! I found the full body approach felt pretty secure on this route and at one point me and Barrie had super solid knee bars that didn't feel like they were gonna come out!

 

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A wet Long Tall Sally (Top 50 E1 5b)

After getting brutalised on the jams and topping up on mosquito repellent for the 19th time, I still had my sights set on giving Long Tall Sally a whirl. It most certainly wasn't super inviting with the extremely wet boulder problem start, but I was too enticed to say no!

After gearing up, I worked out a sequence in my head that I thought would work for me to get the boulder problem done and whipped down the required footholds with a good ol' rag. This gave me about 10 seconds at most to get the starting sequence done before they were soaked again.

Now stood below the buldge of the route my head went into a weird place: It was telling me that I shouldn't be on the route or that I wasn't ready for it. I think this was because I felt pretty insecure after the wet start and still didn't have anything in to stop me hitting the deck. I knew I wasn't high up though. After getting in some solid gear placements, I took a moment with myself to get back into a good place and then felt much better to move up.

Sometimes you've just gotta take a moment on-route to remind yourself that your in control and that you need to relax, which is definitely easier said then done and will most likely depend on the circumstances your in. It takes practice and doesn't always work, but it is a good tool to have in the back of your mind. I generally find these moments quite memorable when your able to 'take back control' :)

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High up on Sally

This is supposedly most peoples first E1 and gives many aspiring E1 leaders their first fall too! I can totally see why it would, but the protection is all there so long as you have some micro gear. I don't think many peoples have them on their racks, but I found a corker of a Peenut placement. I felt pretty confident to do the crux with one of those beauties placed. The crux itself is very precarious and requires a good head, balance and faith in friction - everything I like from a route!  Well chuffed with this one and my first E1 on natural grit too :D Highly recommended!

 

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Knight's Move (Top 50 HVS 5a)

 

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The Sentinel (E2 5b) stands tall overseeing all who come to Burbage North

There's loads to go at in Burbage North with around 100-150 routes between VDiff-HVS, then maybe around 50 routes that are E1-E4 and above. Two more routes that caught my attention for the next visit were: Knight's Move and The Sentinel.

I was very tempted to jump on The Sentinel, but the protection above the overhang isn't obvious and i've only done a couple of E2s. I think it's good to work up the ranks before jumping in the deep end too soon. Therefore, I took a step back and added it to the 'wish-list'. Not a bad thing though, I always like scouting out a crag and storing some routes in the memory bank for another visit.

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Andy the vampire crack climber

Crackin' day out, quite literally. Suppose it's time to rest up, get some skin built back up, restore the blood flow and get ready for the next crack training day!

In the meantime, I have now developed Tennis Elbow from overuse! Should of seen that coming really - D'oh. I'm trying to look at it positively though, it's giving me time to catch up on reading, writing, yoga and most importantly: gathering some some inspiration for my next adventures to come and appreciate them all the more :D

Happy climbing peeps. Stay safe and don't over-do it like a numpty (like me!) :)

N.

Published by Naf Climbing