A week of climbing in the Peak District and fairly decent weather allowed me to discover some of the mythical grit sectors, especially Stanage!
The reputation of this sector is well established, the blocks are high and often difficult, the landings sometimes a little exposed and the rock, with this particular texture, requires some time to adapt and good positioning! In short, you have to be strong technically and above all mentally!
I was able to confront or observe most of the mythical and historical boulders such as Deliverance, The Storm, Silk Start, Help the Young, Crescent Arete or even Not to be Taken Away and Careless Torque, each of which has its own little particularities.
Deliverance 7b+ – a very grippy traverse that leads to THE grip of the boulder from where you have to throw to the mantle – for example, requires great confidence in the grip of your feet as well as a good mind to dare to engage in the final throw… The traverse of this boulder – Deliverance traverses 7a+ – is tough mentally but requires excellent positioning, balance and perfect confidence in your feet since there are no hands!
Crescent Arete 5+ is the classic high ball in the industry. Although affordable at first in terms of price, you will nevertheless have to work hard to reach the summit 7 meters above the ground on a light slab with plenty of grip!
Although hidden in height, behind blocks, the beautiful bow of Help the Young 7a+ catches the eye. Here again, after a technical start, you will have to keep your cool to engage in the last movement, the hardest and rather high, to access the royal exit on the plateau.
In the less high but equally interesting boulders, I was able to tackle Silk Start 7a+: a simple mantle at first sight but which requires millimeter placement and a certain holding of pebbles – these tiny pebbles that sometimes protrude – failing to hold the flats to be able to lift off the ground! The exit is not to be outdone with a precarious grip which requires the most physical sheathing!
Finally, the classic wall where The Storm 7b+ is located is lacking. A slight ramp of flats almost parallel to the saving ridge lets imagine a big blockage. It's nothing next to what to provide! Already, you have to succeed in getting into position, grip, flexibility or strength, at your choice, allow you to raise your foot and there you have to bend your arms – you don't cut at bourrinage in this block – and crawl, crawl, crawl until you reach the edge! An entire program!
In short, Stanage is a classic sector and we quickly understand why! Not all of these blocks can be tamed by force alone; it takes time to adapt to the rock and real technical qualities to overcome it. And for that the premises leave us dreaming!