[VIDEO] When the work is done: Soloing in Stanage

To some the grit is a winters day huddled around in down jackets working on a rubix cube, to others it's a summers day ticking off classic routes or seeking out obscure ones. To me it's rushing back from work and out of breath jumping in a mates car, bouncing down ringinglow road watching the trappings of city life fade away building by building, the sun looks low but you know you'll get a couple in before time is called.

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To some the grit is a winters day huddled around in down jackets working on a rubix cube, to others it's a summers day ticking off classic routes or seeking out obscure ones.To me it's rushing back from work and out of breath jumping in a mates car, bouncing down ringinglow road watching the trappings of city life fade away building by building, the sun looks low but you know you'll get a couple in before time is called.

Ah Stanage, the elongated crown running along the eastern peak's forehead, jewels and gems dotted along it's length in no particular order. The other crags around are just as accessible but something about this edge draws you in, the aspect and height mean your cobwebs are more likely to be blown away.

After a bad day at work, or even just a normal day, it becomes an antidote that makes you concentrate and forget about the forgetful stuff, if only for a short while. Re-climbing routes can bring back old memories, the shape of the holds the catalyst, or you can stick your neck out and catch a quick buzz, always in your control, your decision.

Stanage is many things to many different people but what's shared is the enjoyment and appreciation of this precious natural resource, long may it remain this way.
www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stand-up-for-stanage
www.thebmc.co.uk/stand-up-for-stanage

Routes are:

  • Heaven crack (contender for best route on stanage)
  • Hargreaves Original (feels big for such a small cliff)
  • Narrow Buttress (my first VS, couldn't afford cams so had badly placed wires which I promptly kicked out whilst topping out)
  • Jitter face (an outrageous position for such a grade, best done in the magic hour)
  • Cave arête (you'd miss it if you weren't looking, you'd miss a very fine crux, one of those moments where time itself is suspended as you stretch that ext-r-a inch)
  • Desperation (cover of the '89 guide, enough said)
  • Flying buttress direct (what heathen hath created such a gymnastic endeavour, forget subtleties for a second and get cranking)
  • Suzanne (a brilliant little pop at head height just before you wander back down to your car)
  • Heather wall (quintessential Stanage, steep with good holds and gear, polished and utterly brilliant)