17th July 2015
Matchless – E1 5b – Lead
According to my DNA listing I am roughly 5% Irish, 2% Iberian, 2% North African, 46% Western European, 20% Anglo Saxon and 25% Viking or Pink as the boys put it. I prefer the analogy with hairy arsed, ax wielding, pillaging fellas from up north personally.
Mind you, being part viking would help on a day like this, where the walk in was equally as terrifying as the climb. Teetering pile of choss is a good description for the area around Oldwalls Point. Looking at the huge fin of rock I wonder how long it can survive. I’m glad I got on it now.
After a sketchy traverse onto the ridge above the wall/slab you are faced with an abseil down a grassy gully and down to the beach. Pete, using his particular branch of warped logic felt that extending the gully out onto the wall might create a fun situation. It duly obliged, launching him into an arc across the face resulting in ‘resistable force meets very immoveable object’. Hence Pete spent the rest of the day bleeding over the beach and anything else that came close to him.
Chris and I set up for matchless, which was … well ‘matchless’. Its quite unique in the climbs I’ve done, with a full on wall experience which makes mincemeat of your toes. The crux is fairly low down ( I always hate that) with a series of difficult moves past a rusting old peg. The committing part is starting off past the peg. Tiny holds and smeary foot placements get you into slightly better territory, but not enough to set and place gear, so I had to push on a ways until a nice thank god hold appears allowing for everything to calm down.
From there it just keeps coming at you, consistently good climbing with pretty good gear up to the pancake. The next dilema is ‘push on through the veritable forest’ or take the clean unprotected arete. I took the arete which is fairly easy but needs to be treated with real care.
All in all, a fantastic route which Chris smiled his way up, with a few cheek puffing moments. I think this one suits both our techniques which is why we were so chuffed with the route.
Meanwhile Joe was fighting his way up More than a match, the E3 next to Matchless. It looks to be in a similar vein except for some grunty moves at the bottom. It does have a 5c move so one to consider for the future maybe. Thats if I can be pursuaded to clamber back across the nightmare that is the walk in and out.
Pete, Chris and I exited off the beach, saving the most dubious climbing until the end with Chris nearly getting stuch in a pile of shale and Pete threading his way up through a boulder field and remarking on how one particular boulder the size of a Mini was loose. It happeded to be right above me and thankfully he treated it with kid gloves.
Now the most scary part. Explaining Pete’s injuries to Melis!!!