E5 First ascent ‘Credit crunch’ at ‘Credit quarry’

Having completed my last project ‘General Lee’ I was left full of psyche for the weekend to check out another new route.

It is in the ‘Upper Matlock Quarries’ in a section called ‘Credit quarry’.
I first found out about the route when I was going through the guide book and it said ‘the front face of the tower is an obvious project’ so I thought I would have a look.
It’s not to hard to find just a little further along from the ‘Bank’ section.

Anyway, I went there on Sunday and when I saw it, it did look cool :). A slightly overhanging wall that kind of twists as it goes up … weird. I abseiled down the line to clean it and found that there where some holds though quite spaced out.
Joe met me there shortly after and I soon had a sequence up the thing, I wanted to lead it there and then but unfortunately didn’t have any gear small enough to fit.

Dieing to get on the lead I contacted Pete Whittaker to see if he was available to give me a belay and if he wanted to do the second ascent.
Luckily he was keen to get out on Monday evening after work.

Well, tied in at the bottom of the route I look up, I’m exited šŸ™‚ I love the nervous feeling before committing to a route, and knowing that if I’m successful it will be a first ascent.
I start and feel good, strong. I climb the face on crimps with sneaky footwork to get off the floor and get up to the good hold (flake undercut) so far, so good, place the micro cam behind the flake and prepare for the tenuous rock over move that is to follow. Reaching out at the full length of my span I find the hidden hold and commit to the rock over, find my balance and it is really off balance, all the pressure on the left foot pushing my right hip into the wall.
In ‘balance’ I slowly get the next micro cam place it by my feet, stand up slightly, place a nut blindly in a crack to my left. Is it in right? I don’t know.
Can I do anything about it? No. So I choose to chalk up before the top slapping side pull section. Heel hook … hand to my back … balance lost and grab the crack, glad I grabbed the crack .. could have come off.

Lets go … I make the slaps up the side pulls, not knowing until I watched the video later that I was talking myself up the whole top section.
‘Right edge, toe hook, good hold, YES’.
I make the off balance slaps with my right hand, slap ‘YES’ slap again ‘YES’ lock a good heel in on the left hand side, grab the top and mantle out (carefully).
There is only about a hand width of rock at the top straight into an ivy mud slope, it would be easy to fall if you got complacent and rushed it.
A well done from Pete, an abseil down to retrieve the gear and it’s his go.

He decided to go for the flash, for those of you who don’t know what I mean he did it with no top rope inspection. The only knowledge he has is from what he has seen me do.
Doesn’t help him at all as I am alot taller than he is.

That having been said and knowing the space between the holds it was awesome watching his flash of the route.
He chose to skip the first piece of gear to use the cam next to the nut higher up meaning he did the tenuous rock over move completely unprotected.
He also chose due to his reach (too small) and in typical Whittaker fashion to get his heel onto the same hold he was holding on the upper crux to reach the next side pull. It was an impressive move.
Topping it out he gave it the grade of E5 6b.

I struggled to think of a name and my friend ‘Jon Ryall’ offered ‘credit crunch’ as the crag being credit quarry has a theme.
Deciding the name was a good one I adopted it. Thanks Jon šŸ™‚

Although I checked and could find no access issues I fear that access is debatable.
The next door neighbour told us that it is in her neighbours garden and we are not allowed to climb there.
Though there is a boundary line separating the crag from the gardens I would advise anyone wishing to climb here to find out if the land is actually owned by the people who live close by and if they will allow you to climb there.

Anyway I’ve ranted enough for today :S


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