Stonestar Crag and The Manor Arms

April 30, 2008

Tuesdays weather forecast was for sunny intervals, so it was a little dissapointing to see dark clouds and spots of rain at 5pm. We decided to head for Stonestar Crag anyway, and see what the weather was like when we got there. The drive over wasn’t encouraging as black clouds hung over the Duddon Valley and Black Combe.

When we got to the parking place below the crag, it wasn’t raining (sometimes you just have to turn up to find out) so we hiked up the hill to the crag itself.

After gearing up, Jaysen set off to lead Venezuela (24m HVS 5a), Sue followed, and then it was my turn. My fingers sometimes get very cold and I found myself on the crux trying to gauge the usefulness of a small pocket, but unable to feel whether I had a decent grip on it. I had to stop for a minute or two to warm my fingers up, before finishing the climb.

At the top, we rigged up the gear and absailed down with the intention of toproping The Breech (27m E2 5c)  Frank and Tony arrived and geared up next to us at the bottom of Columbia (27m E1 5b) whilst Lesley and Keith headed for the severes at the Northern End of the crag.

I belayed Jaysen up The Breech, and lowered him down,  then it was Sue’s turn. Considering that she’d never even set foot on an E1, she coped remarkably well and climbed well. Now for my turn and the pressure’s on, my first look at an E2. It was thin, and difficult to get my feet as high as they needed to be, and sustained, but I managed it with some grunts and rests – superb.

We came down around 9pm and headed for the manor Arms in Broughton for a pint. Excellent range of real ales and a great pub.

Sometimes you just have to show up, even when it looks like it’s going to rain …