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Thursday 16th 10 2008 12:00:00 AM

Pictures and words by Andy Main


This month has been the month of the county, a pilgrimage to the famous sand stone and sunny climbs of Northumbria.

Our first trip brought a much needed return to Back Bowden. Unfortunately not looking quite as magical as it once did; The much talked about tree felling has happened and although it has destroyed the atmosphere of the crag the routes are already looking dryer. I'm sure by spring time when things start growing it wont look quite as ravished.

It was on! The weather was ace and everything we fancied last time (we sat on mats in caves, eating and hiding from the rain!) was looking climbable.

Tim was raring to go and geared up for "The Wizard" with no warm up, he'd previously bouldered the bottom and thought the pull on to the slab would be alright, but no joy, despite getting to within one move or so of the easy bit.

Sean wasted no time and being a face climbing kina guy with a dislike for udgeing got on "The Arches", perhaps one of the most awkward route I've ever climbed! However he made a grand effort and grunted and growled his way along the traverse. Good effort lad, Sorry for my uncontrollable laughter as the fear in your eyes pushed you through the crux.


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My turn next and after spying "The Duke of York" last time stepped up, another supremely awkward and weird traverse route. So started marching up and got my self squashed onto the ledge and into a very strange position, especially for establishing on the next section the lovely hand traverse. Anyway I wont revel the beta, but the hand traverse was awesome and pumpy as hell, I was just about off a few times but saved myself by throwing in a heel/toe hock every now and again and getting a sneaky Jam in at half way.

Go do this route!!!!!!

So Tim's lead but unfortunately he has been turned by the dark side and was off bouldering and sending some hardcore problems... Sean was loving the look of "The Magic Flute" and had a go, cursing the first bit he got onto the ledge of the slab. However the scary committing slab with no gear, the potential of a fall and smacking into the ledge spooked him and after much dancing and pondering he requested a top rope and walked up the finished moves. Ah well good effort Sean.

I was keen so I had a go at the lead as well and can confirm that its a scary route... until I got a $%")( in the flutings, it now felt like an E1...

The day was rounded of nicely with a spot of bouldering, me and Sean got "Serotine" done and Tim sent several hard crimpy things. Well good.

So three more trips followed But I can't be bother writing anymore..

Warren Grring at "Canada Crack" Bowden Doors.

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Sean and Tim sending "Crucifix Traverse", Kyloe in the woods. A lovely problem, I'll be back!

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Wee Mark Loving "Devils edge", Kyloe Out.

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