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Monday, November 08, 2010

Just another visit to a new crag: Almscliff

Almscliff Crag in full, near Leeds (UK)
Walking into Almscliff. Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/timmymarshall/

Title says it all and unfortunately no photos to show for it! For some reason, I've noticed that while I'll happily take a camera with me on a foreign trip, I never remember at on a weekend?

Anyway, had a great day up at Almscliff just exploring the area with Brian, Sophie and Lindy. Basically a high mileage day just getting to see the area. It's an outcrop of rock up on a hill with a surprisingly high concentration of problems and routes, many of the boulder problems being steep which is a nice change from Stange and Burbage. As UKC says, 
"Over 180 climbs and even more boulder problems packed onto one tiny hillside. Classics abound......world class bouldering" 
Amusingly, I got to experience one of the 7a+'s which involves a big cross through off a 2-finger pocket. Since I'm strong on pockets, I'd say it's only about 6b-ish. Trish was talking about merits of open-handed over crimping and I definitely get impression that crimping is the way to go here in the UK, but that it also means that many of the climbers aren't very strong on pockets!

I got a great tour anyway, and am definitely psyched for a trip up again, some of the harder lines actually look really appealing here. I had a short two hours yesterday out at the Plantations yesterday also - tried the old classics Brad Pitt and The Storm. Amazingly improbable problems (heels at head height and somehow let go a hand without pinging off), they're so much more about movement than actual raw strength so I feel I'm going to learn quite a bit from them. Having said that, I'm keen to find some power/strength-based problems soon, something that I'll be able to use and transfer onto sports routes after the winter is over!

Weirdly had a great session in at the Works last week, managed almost a full lap of one of the more difficult circuit in two hours. Just another sign that a week-long bouldering trip can show nice gains!