Sandbagging Yourself

I went out for a climb back on Tuesday or wednesday evening with the Evans, as ever it was a bit of a hunt to find a route that we wanted to do and potentially neither of us had done before. The route also had to be close to the road as I had been on a 4 hour topo shot around the quarries retaking many topos for the rockfax guide to make the design and layout look much better.

We eventually slumped for Twisted Sister a variation around Erosion Groove Direct, I had heard bad things about the top pitch of Erosion Groove Direct, our route had to climb this so I opt to lead the first 5c pitch. Progress was good and then I got to the steep bit and made steady progress to near the point of no return. I committed too quitely to this point and the gear was rather poor and backing it was very fiddly. After an age I got some kit in but I was already in the red and after making an effort to move straight up off undercuts I looked left and saw my mistake. I was meant to swing left here, unfortunately by not reading the guide very thoroughly I sandbagged myself so head down and had to rest.

I carried on up some alarming wastad rock that seemed to be held in place by teh Van de waals force. As there was no other reason for it not having fallen down. I worrying traverse got me to the belay and Dave’s pitch. When Dave arrive I think I just looked at him and the amazing valley around us and said, ‘Our Live’s are Shit’. After all I have had about two weeks of work and play in a sunny Snowdonia, a place where I can nip into teh hills for an evening, afternoon or even a whole day.

Dave struggled up the crux of Erosion groove direct, although I suspect everyone who has ever done it will also exhibit some form of distress flicking their arse round into the groove. To his right now across the wall is a steep hand crack. The rock to get there is poor as is some of the rock around the crack. But with hands buried to the wrist in the crack it is like moving from belay to belay. The top out though was somewhat alarming, tottering pile of something that used to resemble a crag.

The moral of the story is to look at the guidebook before I climb, and of course next time choose a route that isn’t a one star piece of esoteric on the Wastad.

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