Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
|What got you started?
||23-Oct-2007 At 11:24:23 AM
|I recall, at a young age, attempting various stunning lines available to me in my local environment. My
first ascent was the North East Ridge of my parentís house.
The route required a long approach and was best attempted after a big glass of cordie. A long rising
traverse on the screen fence led to a delicate mantle to palm up on the guttering to establish the stance
on the top of the fence followed by a committing move to gain the summit ridge, ensuring that I didnít
dislodge the guttering (just in case Dad found out!).
The South East Ridge was next. A shorter approach but no way to avoid using the guttering. I only ever
made one ascent of this route due to the friable nature of the guttering in the region..
I then set my sights on the unclimbed South Face. A route of mythical proportions that did not yield itself
willingly. This was the Eiger Nordwand of Stafford Heights. Looking back, I can see that Rodger Moore
would play me, and Brad Pitt my neighbour, in a re-enactment of this bold and protracted siege.
There were 3 distinct cruxís which got progressively harder the higher you go. A boulder problem start
involving a series of small crimps on some wood panel detail on the garage doors, up to a thin horizontal
crack necessitating painfully stuffing your tips into it. High step on the top panel, rock over and reach for
the good 1st knuckle art deco cement render detail strip, feet up and go again for the angled brick window
ledge. A short traverse right to lay away on the brick edge of the window to bring your feet up onto the
cement. A delicate step up onto the sloping brick, palm up on the top of the window, sets you for the final
hard, scary and committing move.
From the palm up position, an intermediate right foot hold on the window hinge give you the momentum to
get your left hand onto the guttering, a quick snatch with the right hand out right to where the nearby
corner guttering changes angle and can stand a little more of a load, cut loose and heel hook, reach and
shove you thumb under a n overlap of tile and pinch, then pull and match on the tile and walrus as much
weight onto the first row of tiles ASAP before the guttering gave way. Now youíre on the exposed slab
that you take direct to join the South West Ridge, which is then followed to the top. Descent is down the
North East Ridge.
The only thing Iíve ever attempted that has come close to matching this would be Midnight Lightning.
I could never make any significant headway on the remaining two lines, the west facing corner on the
North Face, and the big daddy West Face, deciding to leave these two impressive lines for future
generations. Iím prepared to go out on a limb and say the West Face will never see a hammerless free
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