The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Humphrey Head

Woody & I headed out to Humphrey Head last night. It’s a quiet roadside spot on a remote headland which pokes out into the vast tidal sand flats of Morecambe Bay. The three limestone crags that make up Humphrey Head all face west, dry quickly & get a fair amount of afternoon & evening sun.

Although we didn’t see much of the sun as it was quickly fading down over the horizon, a cold wind was blowing straight onto the crag & there was seepage in the middle section of our route making some crucial foot & hand holds damp!

You couldn’t feel your fingers on the initial small crimps & two finger pockets & the good edges, flakes & larger pockets just felt like razors. But after a few false starts & constant hand blowing, hand & thigh slapping & verbal heckling from his belayer, Woody placed a few nuts, clipped the bolt & rusty peg, missed the second peg which had snapped & placed a wire above it covering the main handhold but still managed the high step & run out to the finishing razor pocket & lower off at the top.
Good effort, as by now I was struggling to see him in the dark. Woody shouted down whether I wanted to lead it or not! He’s having a bloody laugh, I couldn’t feel my fingers from standing there belaying for the past 40mins & it was dark!

It’s ok he said, ‘I’ll shout up where the hand & foot holds are’

No thanks mate, another time I shouted back I’ll top rope it & strip the gear.

I was glad I did, as it felt stiff for E3 with numb fingers & no light. The razors felt like they were cutting my fingers & hands to shreds, the damp section in the middle felt pretty sketchy & the massive cold pump I got pulling up to the final razor pocket only went once back in the car with the heaters on!

But as Woody said as we were coiling the ropes & fighting our way through the brambles to get back to the cars ‘if you can climb E3 in these conditions you can get up E4’s!’

Fair enough I thought, as we chucked the kit in the cars & headed to the Fly Cave for a monster session. It helps massively training with others as you get a competitive edge that you wouldn’t get so much if you were there on your own – well I do anyway! We pulled of some circuits which we hadn’t managed to do before & I’m feeling it today.

We just need this good weather to hold out as the crags are drying nicely & there’s some warmth in the sun at the moment.

Spent tonight thumbing through a few guidebooks & the phones been buzzing. There’s a few really inspired folk around at the moment, which is really motivating.

Enjoy the adventure


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