Am loving this spell of weather. I can't actually remember the last weekend on which it properly rained. We had a brief shower on Saturday morning, but that was a mere blip in another, otherwise stunning weekend of running, climbing and having a lot of fun. Am feeling the worse for wear today after doing battle with Cave Crack at Froggatt yesterday. Inspired by a few mates who'd been to climb Strapiombo on a nearby buttress I warmed up on that, then followed Chris up Cave Wall - despite being virtually exactly the same height he proceeded to ignore all my beta and did it his own way without looking unduly worried. Cave Crack is one of those routes that can gather a crowd of people who presumably look at it with horror. Personally I get my kicks out of routes just like it (Sentinel Crack, The Vice, Ramshaw Crack and Right Eliminate being particular favourites!). Don't ask me why, but I do. A few years ago I remember bouldering out the moves to the start of the route, deciding that everything felt fine, and subsequently soloing the route. Yesterday was a different affair altogether. I'd opted to try on Chris's cheating gloves - a kind of open handed glove with a padded rubber backing to protect the back of the hand and give more friction whilst jamming. A bad move. I'm not dissing the gloves, but this wasn't the route to try them on! Mid crux I had to remove them with my teeth and spit them to the floor. Now thoroughly knackered it was all I could do to cut my feet loose and swing out to the lip of the roof, grunt, squirm and drag myself around the lip, and limp to the top, bruised hands and bloody knees (serve me right for climbing such a route in shorts!).
I sat at the top of the route, thoroughly spent, but incredibly happy that I have such routes so close to my own back door. I think I will be making a few more visits to this incredible crag over te coming months and years :-)