Blog Posts in Category: Rock Climbing

Espolón Central

It isn’t often that a long easy rock route is quite as striking as the like of Espolón Central on Puig Campana. From the valley the climb follows the obvious ridge of rock up the centre of the rock face, which looks improbable at the grade of Hard Severe from the valley. We set off on a beautiful misty morning which gave us a beautiful inversion at the start of the walk. We had a bit of a navigational error at the start which meant that we had an unnecessarily hard time getting up onto the plateau, however we made good time up to the crag and found other teams in front of us on the route. By the time we had geared up the first pitch was free, and we didn’t need to queue again for the entire day. The climb started as it meant to carry on, with excellent well protected climbing which was interesting but not too difficult. The first five pitches gain the rocky spur at the base of the main ridge, then the next nine pitches headed straight up the main ridge. This section was the. Read the full article…

Lake District Classic Rock

When I booked onto the Avon Mountaineering Club’s winter Lake District trip I was very optimistically hoping for some winter climbing to be in condition, optimistically hoping for some winter walking and just hoping for some good weather. Unfortunately winter had other ideas and there was barely any sign of winter in Scotland, let alone the Lake District. However, what I was not expecting was a forecast which involved a light breeze and a cloudless sky. This forecast led to George persuading Becky and me that we wanted to go rock climbing, on a mountain crag in the Lake District in January. Initially we were unconvinced, however we did eventually relent and agreed to head up to Gimmer to climb two classic rock routes. When we woke up we were presented with a cloudless sky, beautiful sunrise and a frosty ground. We sorted our gear out in the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park, and it did feel a bit strange packing to go rock climbing in the mountains with ice on the ground. We soon warmed up on the walk up to Gimmer before cooling down again when we headed into the. Read the full article…

Soleil Trompeur, Sagnette

Having decided not to head over to Chamonix due to the weather we were keen to get to another summit and have another big mountain day out before the end of our holiday. Unfortunately due to the weather this was put back until the day we were leaving. Despite the plan to leave we were both drawn to an amazing looking route at the head of the Ailefroide valley which climbed the Sagnette. The route was 15 pitches long, well bolted and involved about 10 abseils to get back. Due to our desire not to finish in the dark, and to finish early enough to make a good indent into the journey that night we had a very early start. After a hideous alarm call we drove up the valley in the dark and discovered that even if you turn up before dawn you still have to pay the park entry fee! A hasty walk in enabled us to overtake two other parties and arrive at the route without anyone in front of us. The first few pitches were very cold in the shade, however the climbing was excellent. It. Read the full article…

Fissure d’Ailefroide

You can take a British climber out of Britain, but evidently you cannot take the British ethic out of a British Climber. While staying in Ailefroide over the summer we were surrounded by hundreds of immaculate, sunkissed granite slabs which were well bolted, after a few days on these slabs we decided to return to our routes and climb a very traditional route which was staring down on us from above the campsite. The route we headed for was the Fissure d’Ailefride and was an eight pitch chimney on a north facing wall which only briefly receives the sun in the evening. It was mostly traditionally protected, however there were bolted belays and there was the odd bolt at some of the harder sections. It had been recommended to us not to take a bag, which turned out to be very worthwhile advice! The Fissure can be seen in the above photo splitting the crag up the middle. While walking into the crag we were feeling very British, and were slightly bemused to find a French couple just starting the route ahead of us! It wasn’t long before you had to. Read the full article…