Thursday, 29 March 2012

High Noon - Charlotte Telfer

high noon cropped

I can remember exactly where I was the first time I ever heard of this Caley classic. I was talking to my friend in Wildtrak four years ago, just before I moved to Leeds, and he suggested I try it. When I finally saw the route it became an obsession.

I spoke to lots of people trying to find out who had done it and what the climbing was like. But every time I mentioned the route I was
met with the same response...

Its very scary/hard
I know X who fell off the crux
I fell off the crux
broken bones
keep away

These comments are not what you want to hear while psyching yourself up for a bold trad route.

Finally I persuaded my Dad to belay me. He first did it ground up 30 years ago about the age I am now.

We decided to give it a few top ropes first to make sure I could do the moves reducing the possibility of a nasty fall.

I first top roped the route back in October 2010. However, if you have ever been to Caley you will know the rock can be quite green. The top half of the route (the crux) is almost always in good condition,but the bottom half is often wet and there is only one point for gear at half height.

So I have waited a year and a half for my route to be in condition. It started to drive me mad I would dream about it day and night desperate to get the tick. But a year and a half is a long time to wait! I was starting to think it was a sign, the amount of times I warmed up, put my harness
on and it started to rain or snow or turned up to find the route in poor condition (working full time doesn’t help either).

Finally the day came; it was perfect. Warm enough to feel my fingers, cool enough for grit and dry.

I put my harness on and tie in. A few slow deep breaths, keep calm! I start my assent and cruise the start, clip the gear phew. Ok now for the real climbing. It’s a bit of a blur I was fully focused on the route and had blocked everything else out. A vague feeling of nerves as I pulled through
the crux then, YES! my hands move into the sun as I pull over the top.

I felt such a rush of emotions, excitement at having done my route and a sense of relief that I didn’t fall! Now for my next obsession..........?

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