E6 First ascent ‘Geckomania’ at Curbar. Video and write up :)

Last weekend I was keen to get out to Curbar edge, there where a few things here that I wanted to look at. A couple of head-point possibilities and a potential new route.

The head-points went well but I’m not going to talk about these ones until I decide to go for the lead on them … sorry 😦

My main objective was to look at an unclimbed line behind ‘The End of the Affair’ the classic E8 6c Dawes masterpiece.
The unclimbed section is mentioned in the BMC Froggatt to Black Rocks guide book on page 131, ‘the rounded arête has been cleaned but remains unclimbed’. It’s to the left of a route called ‘Dirty Sanchez’.

It proved a little tricky finding a sequence up the thing, mainly due to wanting to go up the left side. This did not give me any joy at all, no sequence.
Now you see, I wanted to do it this side because the landing is ok. The other side however … is not.
I decide to look at the right side and found a way up the thing, standing up on the ledge is easy, the climbing off the ledge to the top is not. you rely on slopey crimps and slopers … lovely secure climbing 😛 ahaa.

Having linked the moves on a shunt and feeling good I look down and see how much I really would not like to fall from this point.
A fall from would mean hitting the ledge first, probably crumple and go off it backwards where there are more boulders to welcome you at a downward angle (this is the decent to ‘The End of the Affair’) hmmm. I go home and organise to come back on Sunday with Joe Heeley.

Sunday was the day, Joe had the cameras set up, I knew the moves.
I had spotters as we met a few guys from the climbing works, we put a few pads down (though the fall was still worrying) and I had no excuses not to go.
Man up time 🙂 … I stand on the ledge, psyche up and start the moves. Now it’s only about 7 metres high so there are (for me) only about 5 or so moves from the ledge but they are about Font 6c/7a for my height.
The climb is over before I’ve had time to think about it, short but sweet, but with a bad fall if you where to come off. There is no way of protecting this problem.

It was a toss up weather or not I gave it a high ball Font grade or a Traditional one.
I went for the traditional grade as to me it felt like a solo mindset not a ‘if I don’t like it I can jump off and be ok’ due to the nature of the fall that you would take.
Therefore E6 6b was what I graded it.

Thanks to Joe Heeley for spending the time to come and video me and edit it, I think he did a good job.


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