Bouldering in the Peak District

The weather was fantastic this weekend. It was gloriously sunny on Saturday and had that beautiful low winter sunshine which makes it bloody difficult to drive, but pleased to be alive. Both me and the OH were feeling pretty ropey on the Saturday – we were supposed to be going out on the bikes, but neither of us (well, more me than him) thought it was a good idea. In the end we ran errands and generally lazed about.

On the Sunday, I was determined to get outside. The sun was still shining and I wanted to touch some rock! By the time that we got to Burbage North, the sun had stopped shining, but it was pretty warm and fairly dry. I had wanted to try Banana Finger (F6a/V2) for a while, but never had the chance to. We wandered up to the problem and there was only one person on it. It was pretty rammed in Burbage North, so I figured that I may as well have a go.

After trying the starting moves as my warm up, I got to the crux very easily. I just had to figure out which feet suited me to get to the top hold. After going up/down 3 times, I got it. It was a case of getting my left foot in the closer of the two feature holds and then smearing my right foot in a frog. I felt totally bomber and easily got the jug. After traversing across and back a couple of times, I found the down climb. I know its only a 6a, but I was pretty pleased that it took me less than 30 minutes to do.

After playing around on Banana Finger Direct (F6c), and not getting anywhere, I moved on to try All Quiet on the Eastern Front (6a+/V3). I did not know how it went! My friends (who climb way harder than me – like high up in the 7s) were very confused over it as well. None could get past the first move – a traverse out past two ‘slopey’ crimps (surely an oxymoron?). After watching them try and fall, try and fall, I got bored and went to have a look at Remergence.

I remember a Christmas Day bouldering session when others were trying Remergence and the other problems on the same part of the wall. I tried the first move of the problem and was shut down. I wanted to see if I was any closer. The area was pretty busy and full of wods. Some were on the British bouldering team and others were just very, very strong. I watched a guy link Blind Ali (I think) and he looked super strong.

Anyway, I eventually plucked up the courage to try Remergence, and could barely reach the starting hold. Luckily it was a nice deep pocket. I pressed with my right hand and had my left foot on a nice crease to my left so I could get my right foot up. After finding my balance, I could easily get the side pull and match it. Then, there was the small matter of getting my feet sorted to go out right-wards to the next hold. I didn’t get it, but I felt like I’ve definitely improved since my last attempt!

By this point it was getting dark, and we packed up to head home.

Here’s some (not great) pictures of me getting Banana Finger:

The start of Banana Finger at Burbage North. Photo: AJTC

Topping Banana Finger (6a) at Burbage North. Photo: AJTC

Looking over the valley from Burbage North. Photo: CanadianKate

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