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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Roaches! Tuesday 7th

An area fully of climbing history and myth, the Roches lie to the North of the town of Leek. I'd never climbed here before though I was no stranger to grit.

After spending a damp night in a empty campsite the day broke dully and windy and I was begining to think we hand made a mistake. After breakfast we decided to head to Buxton for more breakfast and to see if it cleared up.

At Midday we finally headed up to the crag in lovely sunshine. Below shows Hen cloud crag which the campsite was below.

Much of the lower and upper tier was looking green and uninviting. Nesting birds put the classic Sloth out of bounds. The smaller skyline area appealed most. I stepped up to the challenge of Safety net, E1 5b (below). Solid 5b from the ground up with the crux being a friction move with a poor cam as the last piece of gear!
John rose to the challenge and was keen to do one better showing off his grit climbing skills by on sighting Short comings, E1 5c (below). Very technical climbing made sure john took his time on this one, hot aches came and went!

The classic Valkyrie is a must do for any visitor to the crag. John and i set off on this great grit line. First pitch (below) proved harder than it would appear, putting my jamming ability to the test.

The second (crux) pitch was delicate and airy. A traverse over the great roof (below) with good jamming and balance needed to proceed. This one is as exciting for the second as it is for the leader, a fall for the second would result in a massive swing over the roof!

On the way back we passed the memorial hut to the legend of Don Whillans. An man of great myth who developed much of the cragging here in the 50's.

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