Lucy Creamer Starts to Headpoint – Janus E7 6b

by Mick Ryan click to enlarge Janus at Curbar in the Peak District is one of the best lines on gritstone. Climbed by Johnny Dawes in 1986 it takes the leaning groove left of Elder Crack, small wires protect. What a route to make your entry into the world of gritstone headpointing. For those who don´t know, headpointing is usually done on very bold and technical routes and involves top roping the climb and checking out the gear (sometimes pre-placing it) before you eventually go for the lead. Lucy Creamer is known for her hard redpoints and onsights of sport routes, competition success, hard mixed ice climbs and her bouldering, but now she has focussed her gaze on god´s own rock. Lucy gives us a first hand account, “The last few weeks I´ve been really enjoying getting out on grit. For some reason a switch has gone off in my tiny brain that all these routes I´ve been saving for ground ups, ain´t gonna happen. I´ve had too many accidents and scares on grit to risk life and limb in that way. So some may say toproping is not brill ethically but having always been a hard core onsighter, I have to say it´s very relaxing and enjoyable!” Lucy kicked off by doing the uber gritstone classic at Curbar, The Profit of Doom an E4 6b established by another gritstone god John Allen in 1975. Then….. “Janus has always been on my list and it´s next door to Profit, so when Katherine (Schirrmacher) coincidentally turned up to top rope it, I had a play on her rope. I had two goes on it and got very psyched. It felt pretty tricky climbing but I could see it would feel easier with practice. Had a day off then went back out on Friday which turned out to be the hottest day for about two months, it was ridiculous.Anyway, I certainly hadn´t gone out with the intention of leading it but toproped it clean on my second go. Then I sorted out the gear and how to put it in. Then the only option left was to lead it.   Even though it was baking I was pretty psyched (and nervous), so decided to go for it. Having never headpointed anything before I was surprised at the feelings of trepidation I had – maybe if I´d worked it for longer those feelings would´ve lessened. So, obviously I managed to climb it fine placing all the gear on lead, which was important to me from an ethical point of view.   I found I felt very differently on this ascent than on any other style of climbing I´ve done- even now I can get a new buzz from climbing, fantastic.” Lucy Creamer is sponsored by Marmot, Scarpa and Grivel.