Bear Hugs All Round

Got down to Bowden for a couple of days, my usual late start got me down for 3pm! Just as well as it was too windy! Must remember to bring tent pegs. Ended up slaving it out on The Crack/Craic something that I’d never really tried before. After listening to Ben Moon do it in Stick It you really wouldn’t want to would you. I was surprised that the sandiness had improved a little. I remember hearing it had been resined up to protect the stone. The erosion seemed to have be caught after a couple of years (same as Staggered). Definitely visible footholds when nothing much before, but not as bad as the rest of the crag. Look no further that Vienna, Childs Play for what 30 years erosion leads to!

With my dogging rope I tried to work out the mid crux crucifix. I managed to get here a few times from the deck. After swinging on and laybacking up off the good wee foothold you end up with the sloper in the RH and crack for LH. Now with foot out left on a smear lift RF into lower crack and rock up to arete pockmarks with RH. The crux now appears to be getting LF to stick to something!!! Then lifting RF on to the second handhold and laybacking to a positive two finger pocket. From here its easy LH pocket, get feet up the ramp, RH dish, LH 2F dink and palm down. However, the ball bearing sandstone is out to get you! My foot skidded on one link and I flew half way down attached to the rope. Still didn’t manage to link the top, find the bear hug sapping and everything slowly slides off! Funny one to grade, if it had good feet it would be easy. If your good with slopers – easy, tall/big hands/strong – easy. I didn’t find it easy. Its maybe not 8a but I’ll be taking 7c+ for it if I get it over the next few months.

Stayed down overnight hoping for a ticking day on Sat but although a beautiful blue sky day the wind was was easily 40mph and mats wouldn’t stay down. Ended up checking out Northern Territory but also thwarted by the wind. Bummer.

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