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Pinnacle Ridge: A Superb Day Out

By on Feb 5, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After months of inactivity, I finally got my arse into gear and went out to brave the fresh air again. Nothing spectacular, by beastmaker standards, just good to get out and go UP once more. Hooking up with some friends at Dunmail raise for a leisurely winter start, we just had a quiet tootle up to Grisedale Tarn and tried to pick out the easiest version of our chosen stupid approach to Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday’s crag. It’s a dead simple, classic little scramble that had the promise of a wee bit of winter plastered all over it. This is definitely the daftest way to approach Pinnacle, but Ian didn’t fancy his chances trying to get to Ullswater via Kirkstone Pass, which is why we took the odd choice. Pinnacle Ridge Approach From Grisedale Tarn Pinnacle Ridge Approach From Grisedale Tarn From Grisedale Tarn a faint path was visible through the snow cover which led...

A Lofoten Classic – Vestpillaren of Presten

By on Aug 18, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After another summer of trying to scratch a living and very little rock climbing fun, I came across this video of one of Lofoten’s classic climbs. Vestpillaren of Presten. Over the years I’ve heard a few people mention this as a classic route – one to do. Overall it appears that the grade is around E1 5b for the cruxy bits, with a few bolt belays on the first 3 or 4 pitches. In total the route is about 470m tall and goes in 12 pitches. It looks as if there is really good quality granite on the route, so that trad ropework should cover everything. Descent is via a scramble off to one side. fetching up on a beach with blueberries!! Not sure who the 2 norwegian lads are but it looks like they had a fantastic day out! 18/08/2011

Petzl Counterfeit Warning

By on May 22, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The whole counterfeit culture affecting high value consumer goods is a pretty familiar problem. There are regular items in news programmes and in the papers pointing out the problems that can cause serious difficulties for manufacturers, distributors and customers. Sadly the problem has moved into the ralm of PPE for climbers and cavers. There have been a few “outbreaks” of counterfeit cancer affecting Petzl gear over the past year, so I just thought I’d fire out a heads up for anyone who happens by this blog. In the last year, Petzl have managed to trace back to sources in China and have had destroyed, moulds and facilities that were producing fake Tikka headlights. Recently though the problem took a more serious turn with these products being discovered as counterfeits. CROLL ascender (B16) CROLL ascender (B16) ASCENSION handled ascender (B17 R) – old, blue...

First Reactions to Ratho Wall

By on Apr 2, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every spring, no matter how good my training for climbing on the indoor wall’s plastic rock climbing holds; it seems I have to learn how to rock climb all over again. After hearing about the Edinburgh International Climbing Centre at Ratho for several years I finally visited it in the aftermath of a long winter’s day on the Ben. Having trekked up Tower Ridge on the Saturday for the 4th or 5th time and suffered a long hold up at the infamous Tower Gap, my little unfit legs were knackered. I’d have been game to try something outdoors if the weather had been up to much, but a damp and warm February drizzle-sky suggested there were better things to do. So- off we trekked south and east to Edinburgh to sample the delights of the “refurbished quarry” that makes up the Edinburgh International Climbing Centre. I have to say – I was pretty gobsmacked!...

Assisted Braking Belay Devices

By on Mar 4, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The UKC newsletter popped up in the inbox today and they had an excellent review of the new generation of “smart” belay devices. For years we’ve been used to seeing the good old Grigri at climbing walls, sports crags and instructed venues. It’s quite worrying to think it’s been kicking around for the last 20 odd years. However, a few months ago I met Eddy. Eddy? Who; might you ask, is Eddy? That’d be Eddy le Rid. Edelrid have put a potentially bone breaking device on the market as well. Bone breaker… does that mean it doesn’t work? Not at all: but you wouldn’t want to drop one on a rock shoed toe! Assisted braking belay devices – UKC from UKClimbing.com TV on Vimeo. A couple of the boys at the Foundry have put together a video review of five contenders for the money in your wallet. They have reviewed – complete with...

So How Strong is a Rock Climbing Rope

By on Mar 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I came across this little video snippet explaning how strong a rock climbing rope actually is. Funny how the cousins across the pond still insist on working in pounds! There’s a nice little bit of physics tucked in here as well, which explains what those little KN labels across all your load bearing gear mean. 1033941494 In plain English, what that means is that 1KN is the force of (i.e. the weight of) 100kg of stuff. Now I only weigh around 72 Kg in my shreddies, so my weight is well less than a1 KN. A lot of load bearing climbing gear is rated at upwards of 22 KN. For instance my nice shiny new climbing rope is a beal cobra 1/03/2011

Rock Climbing Ropes – Distinguishing the Types

By on Jan 29, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Rope Management on Flying Buttress Rope Management on Flying Buttress There are lots of discussions and debates climbing on forums and blogs about the different types of dynamic climbing ropes and best practise. The main types of dynamic rope used in rock climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering are broadly divided into single, double and twin climbing ropes, with hillwalking safety ropes as a smaller by product of the industry. These days it is a simple article of good practise to check that the rock climbing rope you are buying carries the appropriate UIAA rope marking label, heat shrunk onto the end of the rope. It really couldn’t be easier to make sure you get the right rope for the job. rope end indicator Rope End Indicator Labels Explained Most frequently seen of modern rock climbing ropes, is a single rope of between 8.9 mm up to 11 mm in diameter, designed to be used on...

Testing Ice Anchors – Screws vs Threads

By on Jan 20, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I came across this video that shows a Petzl team carrying out some pretty thorough tests on screw and Abalokov ice anchors. It’s instructive. Which do you believe to be stronger; Abalakov thread anchors or a “good old” modern ice screw? The biggest problem these guys had was in finding a patch of consistent quality ice to enable a reasonable degree of “fair testing” to give their results some meaning. 20/01/2011