21st April 2016
Slippery Slab – VS 5a – Lead
On Your Marks – HVS 5a – Alt Lead
That was basically what I was thinking as we left Sennen after a great but fairly gruelling days climbing. My body felt like it had been hit by a train – sore arms and shoulders, cuts everywhere and feeling drained.
But what a day….
Everything I’d read about Slippery Slab suggested it was great, but being self descriptive I had wanted to ensure it was in condition. So what better than a dampish day, with puddles indicating the remnants fo the previous days showers. What could possibly go wrong.
Dave, after moving off the bottom ledge and finishing the perplexing traverse.
Well route finding for a start. Dave and I both initially looked at the wrong line. The clue is the description of the high nut. The guide books are vague at best but basically do the following:-
Climb up onto the big slightly sloping ledge. Move to its back in the large V Groove and place some high gear. Then return to the bottom edge of the ledge and move right (facing in) into a much smaller hanging groove and pull up onto the slab. It takes some working out, but the holds are there as well as a camny hidden protection slot. Keep looking and you’ll find it.
One of the great moves on Slippery Slab
I managed to blow the move up. I worked out the hard moves, got up and placed a good nut and then slid off the wet hold my left hand was perched on. So it was lower off and do it again, this time with no incidents. The rising crack is fantastic. Well protected and with loads of great moves.
Dave nearing the top of Slippery Slab
Dave suffered from the same symptoms as I had, spending a while working out the moves, but eventually getting it. Warning beta! There is a jug at the end of the difficult moves so dont give up.
Having spanked ourselves on SS the obvious decision was to go looking for something even more strenuous and with a harder crux. Why not? It was Dave’s idea anyway.
The line of On Your Marks
So I set up for the bottom pitch of On Your Marks and proceeded to completely run out of gas and make a feeble attempt at the opening cracks (which wernt actually that bad). So Dave stepped up, announced that “Your feeble. Watch how a man does it!” and cleaned the cracks in one go. I managed to get up them on the second, thanks to Dave, so we were left with a dilema.
The second pitch had an overhang. I thought it looked technical but not too hard. Dave figured it was nails. Dave was right, but in my usual inherent stupidity I grabbed the lead and set out on an epic.
Half an hour later, with my hands and legs bleeding, my shoulders dislocated and not enough strength to hold the ropes I ended up on the ledge above the overhang. It wasnt easy, it was friggin difficult. I actually nearly made it. Pulled out of the cosy recess, pulled up into the main event and even got my foot on the rim and pulled partially over. But then I didnt spot the jug hold and that was the end of it. 4 tries later I woosed out and went left to a treacherous finish that way.
Hayloft area – On Your Marks
Dave then rubbed humiliation into my wound by cleaning the overhang, albeit with the red-est face I’ve seen him pull yet. Good job it was and Dave can tick another HVS lead and a good one at that.
And so ended a brilliant day, with yet more adventures ticked. The ride home was fairly quiet compared to normal. Probably because we’d both emptied the tank, but what a great feeling. I think I may have to try that overhang again 🙂