Well this was to be our first day of “British Rock” and David decided to take us out to the North York Moorlands for some bouldering at Wainstones Boulders. This was East Coast Bouldering at it finest and we had not climbed much at all in the last couple of months. We were starting out with……….a bouldering session?!?!?!
The grading system used here is the French bouldering system or “Fontainebleau System” (F). It is not the same as the French sports climbing grading system. It is distinctly different.
We warmed up on a 5+ called “Offbeat”. This took a couple of shots to solve and it was no give away. The body was saying “I am going to hurt you if you keep doing this”. We all got the problem solved in the end. David, Karine and I were off to a good start.
Following a couple of warm up laps we jumped on a problem called “The Palmist” 6a. This was the start of the real pain. It took me four attempts to get this one solved. Fontainebleau 6’s! What a hard welcome back to climbing after a long period away from the vertical.
After a bite to eat we wandered up to the top of the Wainstones and our friend David says “Lets do this! It’s a 5+ standing and a 6b starting from a seated position. I got the standing start version, but I couldn’t even get the first move off the ground, oh god I just kept falling off. David got it rather easily and we trundled off.
We walked around the boulder field and stared at the incredible view from the top of the escarpment down onto the plain and across Middlesborough to the North Sea. Absolutely stunning! It was a beautiful day, it was hot and the wind was just enough to take the edge off. We decided to try “The Shelf” a sit start 6b+ on the “B Boulder” as its known.
I put the pads down and Karine sat and leaned against rock in a very natural looking armchair position with her camera. I slipped my shoes on and looked up. I eyed a small dimple in the rock for my right foot and as I pulled on I realised instantly it was going to be a hard fight. I popped up to the next rail and off I came.
David managed to get his feet sorted well and then moved up to the “shelf” and pulled through and up over the top. He said it was a nice battle. I got back on and found the foot hold I was looking for and sent the problem. Happy with now being warmed up I did another couple of laps of it until the body needed rest. Karine headed off down the dale to send her second Moorlands hill of the trip and take some photos.
David and I tried another few problems and realised that our feet were now very sore and our hands were loosing asking very rapidly on the course and sloppey sandstone. We had been bouldering pretty constantly for about three and half hours and we were shot. David wandered off and soloed a very cruisy 6a to complete his day and when he finished Karine reappeared from her walk to the hill across the dale.
We headed home for a beer and dinner with some friends of David and Nicks and we were introduced to Nicks daughter Rosie for the first time. A lovely evening all round and I knew I was going to sleep well.