E5 first ascent at ‘Dukes Seat Buttress’

Following my good weekend last weekend I have had a pretty good week this week too.

Last Sunday I popped out to one of my projects (even though it was a little warm) with my mate Joe Heeley. A pretty cool prow/arete at ‘Dukes Seat Buttress’ tucked away in the woods of Chatsworth.
Turned out to be a very productive session as I worked out a good sequence on the first top rope go … I thought ‘result ๐Ÿ™‚ this feels pretty solid, I would lead this now if I had gear with me.’
We also decided to play on the wall below the prow (a nice boulder problem) but sadly found that it was sopping wet. Trying not to be put off we attempted to work out a sequence up it anyway… but to no avail, we both got spat off.

Having had to walk away when I wanted to get on the lead was frustrating.
Luckily I had to book Thursday off for some apartment stuff which gave me the perfect chance to get out to the peak.
I call up Joe and he was psyched to get out and give me a belay and try the lower wall again.

The sequence up the prow is a fun one, fridge huggey using hidden holds, into a short balancey arete to finish it off. Would be hard to on-sight I think due to not being able to see the holds and the crux being very specific in the way it is done.
The ascent went really well, but for some reason I got nervous on the top section (sewing machine leg). Annoying as I had to stand on a small crimp to get the height needed to grab the top. A quick leg shake though, a sort of ‘oi, stop it’ allows me to stand up, top out and relax.

First ascent in the bag.

Then we look at the lower wall as a boulder problem. It’s slightly overhanging with a flat sloped top hold and various other rubbish holds dotted over it. Again we spend ages getting thrown off no matter what sequence we tried.
Being satisfied with what I had come for I was close to just watching Joe play on it. He was settling with a dyno sequence as anything else was just not working at all.
I noticed a way that I thought would work so I grabbed two holds and try the long jump and grabbed the top sloper and came off … ooooh game on, we could grab that.

Joe tries the same beta and does the same … this is now a race for who is going to latch the top first and nab the first ascent of this Font 7a+ dyno.
It got tense as we both fell off the top hold twice only just popping off each time. To make it fair we where both giving it alternate goes.

My turn, I’m aware of how close we have both been and know that a failed attempt now would hand over the first ascent to Joe.
So, I give it my all, both hands grabbing the top hold at the same time, I find that I have stuck it ๐Ÿ™‚ another one in the bag, this has been a good day.
My fears where well justified as Joe latched the top on his next go proving that it would have been his if I had fallen again.
A direct route up the center of this wall is going to be possible but very very hard and will be impressive if it is done.

I named the prow ‘General Lee’ with a grade of E5 6b.
The boulder problem is called ‘Daisys double D’ and graded Font 7a+, probably 7b for the short.
Both names are on a ‘dukes of hazard’ theme.


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