Monday, 21 October 2013

Isle of Man - Is it crap?

in short no.

Before I went out to the isle of man I had lots of people telling me that the climbing is rubbish, it all loose choss, nothing there. One person kept on telling me it was brilliant. Then again he lives out there.

So I booked a cheap flight and flew out to the isle of man for the weekend to climb with Nik.

When I arrived I was presented with torrential rain ... But it was friday night and the forecast was okay ish for the following day. 

Saturday morning came and we headed to the chasms. In hope of dry rock. This is what we found at the car park


We set off down to the crag in hope of dry rock .. Sadly we did not find any. So after a tour to admire all the potential that people have not developed yet. I decided to try a wet E4 on top rope with a thought of leading it later. 

The route goes up an awkward but easy slab then kicks back with difficulty. it follows a lovely groove feature.
I managed to do this pretty quickly but was limited by wet rock. I did it a few times in hope that other stuff dried out. 

It didn't so we went for cake with Nik and Dougie Hall. 

After the cake the crag was in a much better state but still pretty damp. Instead I decided to try an E3 on top rope. I did the crux clean but fell at a bit of blind climbing near the end it was too wet for a lead sadly. 
Next up I tried a E5 on top rope with poor results. After this feeling fairly beaten up from climbing hard all day I tried to lead an E2 I pumped out fast and slumped on a cam. Gutted I rested a bit and decided to lead an E1. As i set off it started to hammer it down. I topped out on some gopping flatties. lovely. 
We called it a day as the rain seemed set to stay and we were drenched. We went back for more cake.

Sunday came and the walk in was a little bit clearer to say the least.

However we were still treated with damp rock. I decided to go for the E4 so we set up a top rope to make sure the moves were still fresh in my mind and check the gear. I did the route bottom to top twice but the top out was still soaked. I decided it was not on as I could not physically top out on those conditions. 
I then tried bits of Dougies 7b+ traverse. It was nails! He was doing laps on it chatting to us as he went. 
Next up I top roped another wet E2 and went for cake. After more cake we came back and I tried an E3 on top rope thinking I should try lead it. I was right I should of lead it flew up it no worries it was dry too. 
Anyway I was knackered from all the climbing so I called it a day. 

So the climbing style at the chasms anyway is steep on positive holds. The established routes are on good solid rock. The torque test wall is a really nice quartz and fun crimpy climbing with a nice angle to climb. 

I will be going back and hopefully leading everything I blew my onsight on and to find dry rock.

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