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THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012

Flashing a Vampire

Last Tuesday with a perfect weather window between the grim, wet and windy weather of recent times I headed out for a day's bouldering at Burbage South with young Nathan Lee. I did have a route I wanted to do, but had done my best to avoid it due to fear.

The local classic Nosferatu E6 6b has just perfect cam placements, but they are well above the crux (and the nasty landing). Unfortunately the combination of perfect weather and in-depth beta from Nathan left me with no excuses (I'd even forgotten to leave the rope in the van).

I finally had to go for the flash. After a couple of minutes and one slightly scary moment when i couldn't find a hold round the corner (expecting it to be a massive reach when it was right by my face) I was grinning on the top!!

Thanks very much to Nathan for beta, spotting and psyche!!

Nathan has done work experience at Outside and has recently been climbing very well indeed. Despite having only been climbing for a few years he recently made one of the youngest ever repeats of End of the Affair, watch this space for more!

James works at Outside Hathersage

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012
By James Turnbull
Director

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James Turnbull
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MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2012

Ice in the Écrins

Who says ice climbing is only for the young and brave? It’s also for the old and foolhardy! Here are some pictures of ‘foolish old men’ on some of the icefalls around l'Argentière-la Bessée in the Massif des Écrins in January. The conditions were lean due to a dry autumn with many of the big routes not formed. Many routes were in a do-able condition and the weather was cold enough for us to get on them although a local guide suggeted they were only for ‘tappers’ rather than ‘hitters’!

<i>Torrent de Gramusat</i> WI4, Fressinieres

Torrent de Gramusat WI4, Fressinieres

The crux pitch of <i>Sombre Heros</i> WI5, Ceillac

The crux pitch of Sombre Heros WI5, Ceillac

<i>Les Formes du Chaos</i> WI4, Ceillac

Les Formes du Chaos WI4, Ceillac

Dick is the owner of Outside

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2012
By Dick Turnbull
Owner of Outside

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Dick Turnbull
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MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012

Cornwalls Crumbly Culm Coast

Christmas came, I got fat, James got psyched and Scotland got warm, so with a couple of days pass out we decided to head to north Cornwall to see what the Culm coast had to offer. With tides in our favour and the weather looking reasonable we got up on Wednesday morning and marched into Lower Sharpnose. Except we actually marched straight past Lower Sharpnose (for about half an hour) until we bothered to check the guide and realised we'd gone spectacularly wrong.

We retraced our steps and much later than we'd planned arrived at the hugely impressive looking middle fin, a stunning 30m high wall of solid steep rock sticking right out of the side of Cornwall. It would have been even more impressive it it hadn't have been absolutely soaking wet. I just about managed to prevent an inconsolable James from chucking himself into the Atlantic right then and there, and instead we raced off to Compass Point where we spent the rest of the day climbing fantastic slabby routes on good rock in beautiful sunshine.

Adam climbing at Compass Point

When the sun went down, armed with the new Boulder Britain guide, we donned headtorches and sought out some of the bouldering at Northcott Mouth. Although it's in a stunning location (obviously as it was dark that is purely a guess) and nice enough, it wasn't exactly St Bees.

The next morning James (optimistically) ran into Sharpnose again to check the conditions, promptly ran back again, and we drove up to Morwenstow to go and do the Culm classic Wrecker's Slab (VS 4b). Technically straightforward but reputedly serious as hell, the route suddenly becomes visible on the approach over the cliff tops, and the first sight of the 125 metre monster ominously leaning against the adjacent cliffs and trying its hardest not to collapse onto the beach below, must have sent shivers down a few spines over the years.

Wreckers Slab takes the widest 'buttress' in the middle of the picture

It turns out that the most dangerous part was the vegetation on the approach path (I'm still picking the thorns out of my hand), and although the climb really is long, loose, and not to be underestimated, it is also pretty easy. After Wrecker's we scrambled round the headland to the next bay north and the fantastic slabs of Gull Rock, where we ticked a few really good routes which were straightforward but bold (take microwires and have faith...).

James enjoying the well protected second pitch of Wrecker's Slab

As the sun went down and the tide came in we escaped round onto the next beach and scrambled up a rather horrific mixture of shale, grass and more gorse, before wandering (ed. James Turnbull doesn't 'wander' anywhere) back along the coast path to the van, dry socks and a well earned sit down.

Adam and James work at Outside Hathersage

MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012
By James Turnbull
Director

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James Turnbull
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