Just has (5/9/04) an absolutely brilliant day up at Wainstones. The weather was very sunny, with little or no breeze, but this didn’t really bother us until mid afternoon when water supplies where running down and the rock was hot to the touch.
Managed to lead some lovely routes, including Wall and Ledge (Diff ***) and Jackdaw Ridge (VD *). The lovely crack at the bottom of wall and ledge very nearly ate our first piece of gear – took about 10 minutes to get a number 13 stopper a foot back up the crack and out. There was also The Slab Climb (S) which I think we actually did the VDiff variant as there is absolutely no gear until you’re about 1m from the top, which makes it certainly feel severe. So that was also practically my first VDiff solo as well then :D – go me!
There look to be some lovely HVDs, one on the right of the Sphinx (East Sphinx Climb I think its called), and one around the left hand side on the next buttress (Groove and Crack) which I intend to try next time we go, and hopefully give the slab climb another go at its proper S grade.
We also had our first experience of ‘group toproping’. Some of the other people who joined us for the day where groups out for some toproping. I couldn’t quite tell if this was a friend taking friends out for the day or if this was part of some paided experience – but if those guys got paid to do it then thats what I call easy money! They sure can take a while on a single route though, and unfortunately for us it was the Wall and Ledge climb that looked really nice and I was dying to try. We got on eventually though but ended up doing some dire stuff around the back for a while. Cantilever – which I’m not sure we did right – how are you meant to do the chockstone ‘direct’ – I ended up going under and then up the back left hand side; and Falcon Rib, a seemingly random Diff climb which had a reasonable start though.
I cannot finish this post without mentioning the flying ants. Damn they were annoying – I spent some lovely time belaying while sitting in the middle of an entire swarm, nearly drove myself mad – this was also the moment a nut decided to get stuck so Caroline’s ascent took even longer. Ended up setting up a top rope stance after the next lead just so I could belay from the bottom – took an age to get it right, extending everything so the double opposed screwgates (aren’t I good!) reached over the edge of the crag but it was fun to do (yes I’m sad, I enjoy all the rope stuff).
Point of interest: Wainstones possibly named after the Saxon verb “Wanian”, meaning to lament or grieve as its the place where a Danish Chieftain is said to have been slain.