Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Delights of Split Rock Quarry by Madeleine Cope:

Getting back to Bristol means getting back to dirty crimping and Split Rock Quarry offers some fine routes of this variety! Split Rock Quarry may not look like a mega classic crag but it does have some little gems. Rustic Wall and Certain Surprise (both E3 5c) are great warm-ups. Smashing of Amps (7c+) is a wonderfully technical sport route and as far from a euro endurance fest as you get. The start is tricky and requires good balance but the crux at about mid-height is very sequence dependent and involves lots of little movements. I really enjoyed climbing this route and managed to get it second go. 

The objective for this trip was Crimson Dynamo (originally E5 but now upgraded to E6 6b). Fuelled with Ollie’s mum’s cupcakes, ‘thumbs over for the South West’ Ollie, hansom Jim, Gaz and I set to work on the route. Up first were Ollie and Jim, who had tried the route previously and who gave Gaz and me an insight into the crimp fest of a crux that awaited us. The difficulties start pretty much once your feet leave the ground. The section up to the crux is quite tenuous with a long move off a poor gast up to a jug. Then the size of hand and feet holds decrease drastically in size! The crux sequence climbs really nicely and the difficulties carry on longer than you expect. It’s a long reach from the jug out to a small but positive side pull and after building your feet up onto terrible smears you have to suck in your core and throw up to a small crimp. Unfortunately, this route isn’t a one move wander and there are a few move snatches that require really precise foot placements to avoid foot slippage. The crux finishes on a glory jug and after powering up some chossy looking blocks you arrive at a baby bouncer assembly of gear. The top wall is brilliant face climbing (probably about 7a) with a bit of an airy feel to it. Ollie and Jim sent the route after a couple of goes and I climbed the route ground up second go (my first E6). Gaz was the last up, and after an impressive fight on the lower crux, boarded the send train. Success all round! 


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