Ascent: 12th May 2019

During my enforced ‘off period’ due to my bad elbow in winter 2018, I decided to take a visit to Cam Crag. It remains the only crag that I failed to actually get to on my first attempt and vowed never to attempt it again!

When I did finally attempt the approach on a ‘fair’ weather day, (Easter weekend 2019) I was on my own and spent an afternoon brushing the lichen off HSOEH. The climbing looked fantastic and I was keen to return as soon as possible with a belayer.

Placing the crucial wire (with arms getting cold in the shade).

The big challenge on the route and the crag in general is the updraft that blows up the scree from Wastwater. It can be 5-10°C colder in the gully wall than it is away from the crag and this makes conditions really difficult. When I led it I actually set off in my down jacket, but then thought this is ridiculous, your going to be on the route for about 5 minutes and rather than carry the extra weight of the down jacket, I should get stripped down to ‘fighting weight’ and blast up it. There was 2 problems with that: 1) Those who have seen my climbing know that I don’t ‘blast’ anywhere. 2) The wind chilled my forearms just at the redpoint crux – meaning I had to lurch through the last moves and was much closer to peeling off than I should have been. I then spent the next 10 minutes trying to warm up in the 1 spot of sunshine on the route before attempting the upper groove.

Warming up in the sunshine!



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