Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Hunters Moon-Alex Moore


I sat in my harness, swinging gently from the slightly overhung, near blank rock. In a befuddled voice I asked again, "A Dyno, really? from here to there?"
Alex Moore on the second ascent of
 Hunters Moon  E7 6b/c
"Yep, maybe use a crimp to help?"

Maybe not, I thought as a felt the small ripples in the wall, that I only wish I could hold. I gave the move just one more go before getting lowered to the ground so Tom could work it out.

On his first attempt Tom was only inches from the hold, on his second he had hit it dead on, although unable to stick it, The move is not really far (although too far to reach), its just made hard by being unable to get much force off the holds your going from. He then tried with the use of a crimp, using it as an intermediate and getting his feet high in the break, he was able to stick the move, almost static. He moved on to the top section, which isn't a push over either, involving a hand jam and a long reach to a crimp, more delicate moves follow. 

After top-roping a couple of times we were ready to try the route on lead, Tom went first, climbing quickly through the first section and taking a fair rest in the good holds of the break. Then the moved in to position for the crux, feet high and long reach to the crimp, then a quick jerk to the poor hold, shouting as he did so, which echoed in the Gully, adding to the already tense atmosphere. A few moves later Tom could rest on two hand jams in the break before committing to the the last hard moves of the route. And he'd done it, Found the route, put the stakes in so we could get to it and climbed it.           
Tom Bunn on the first ascent of
Hunters Moon E7 6b/c
After eating a bit of bagel, we went back down to the base of the route so I could give it a go. I felt dubious from placing the first gear to only reaching half way between the crimp and the ledge... The fall passed me by in my frustration, I came close the the base of the route, but the fall was safe and the gear was good. 

I pulled up the rope to the break and from there down climbed the crack taking gear out as I went. Back on the floor I thought it through in my head, I was more confident in a way, no longer scared for the fall. 

       
  I started up the route again, placing gear just as I did before. I took a sort rest at the break, moved on to the ledges and got my feet high, Made the long reach to the crimp and by twisting my knee further in I inched up the face, moving weight onto the crimp. Finally I lurched forward catching the ledge. More high feet and more big moves saw me to the next crux, almost too pumped to place gear I pulled over the top of the route. Celebrations were in order, and I still had half a bagel for such an occasion. 

A fantastic route for sure, the grade really does sit on a knife edge between 6b and 6c. We left the crag as a massive orange moon loomed overhead, hence the name, Hunters Moon.                   



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