Slate Day’s

Dave Rudkin eyeing up the finishing Jugs on Horse Latitudes

Well the plan had been to go to Gogarth, as it is the ‘glorious 1st’ afterall, the day the Bird Bans are lifted and a whole new world of hurt, suffering and fear are opened up to us until again. The seasonal restrictions make climbing on places like Red Wall extra special. However today the weather started foul, it was lashing down with rain in the village until about 9.30, and I had also lost my climbing partner to babysitting duties.

I had anticipated the problem, so went out drinking last night, on my first proper friday night session in a long while. So when I got the last Bus back from Nant Peris I knew I was going to be unwell the next morning. At lunchtime though I got a call to see if I wanted to head out to the slate, for a little rainbow walls action, with Dave and Dave.

Dave Rudkin loving the Slate

It really was a laugh a minute with these guys, both extremely talented climbers, they mused at the end of the day that is was nice to have an ‘easy’ day out to recover from teaching on the kids climbing courses. Our easy day was to include Horse latitudes, Over the Rainbow and Over Taken by department C.

Horse lats is an awesome warm up, and it was one up all up. I have to say that on lead I felt rusty on the slate. i can usually pull it out the bag on Slate, but my feet seemed detached from my legs. Probably the booze to be honest. We then climbed Over the Rainbow, sending Dave Evans up to try not to pull the first pitch down on us. It tries to climb the greenstone pillar, however the start is neither slate nor greenstone but the shit non rock/dust that inhabits the realm between one and the other.

Dave Evans thankful for good wires on the loose initial section of Over the Rainbow
Arriving at the first gear Dave apologised for the delay, however having since spoken to the first ascentionist he was off route climbing a bold direct start, rather than following the obvious easy ramp that lead in from the left. He also avoid pulling on what we dubbed the fin of death. A reasonable size fin that looks and sounds detached, and also appears to be the only thing hold the first pillar up. When I seconded I pulled and jump on it and it didn’t seem to move.

The second pitch was other Dave’s, it was like rolling out our very own rope gun. Dave’s tick list from this weeks after work cragging alone is a reasonable selection of extreme climbing challenges. Having climbed the Disillusioned Screw Machine (E6) on the Ormes and The Dark Half (F8a) in the quarries. He flew up the most amazingly positioned top arete of the route, recently re-bolted by the first ascentionist and extra bolts reduces the grade to E4, but the climbing and position are incredible.

Dave Passing the Fin of Death on Over the Rainbow

Accumulating at the top we looked across at a newly bolted route called Over Taken By Department C, with none of us having climbed it we scrambled round to it and all had a go. The route is one of the best newer routes in the quarries, it follows a slender dolerite intrusion, over steep and bulging terrain, yet the climbing is all in balance and the climbing just F5+. Whats more the route looks like it needed virtually no cleaning due to the solid nature of the rock. None of the clean till you make a route of the grade you want, instead a pleasant little route.

Dave Rudkin Launching his way Over the Rainbow

Over Taken By Department C

The Special One!!!

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