An awesome week on Cloggy – George Ullrich

Previously I have not seen anyone on any of the E7′s and E8 on the pinnacle. It’s cool to see, after a week of pristine weather, three of the E7′s and E8 Margins of the Mind have been climbed.

I went up to Cloggy on Tuesday with James Majot and sole intention of climbing Authentic Desire. I previously attempted setting off up it a couple of years ago, but later discovered that I was trying to climb up the wrong side if the arête. Doh! I was now eager to go and do it, route description to hand and get rid of the niggling feeling which had been eating away at me since getting turned away.

James started us off by making a fine ascent of The Axe. We then scrambled around to find Callum Musket, Ed Booth and James Mcaffee. Callum had already climbed Authentic Desire and Caff was now stuck into ‘Margins of the Mind’.

I set off up AD, feeling a little bit daunted at first but quickly got into the swing of things. The route just seemed to flow from start to finish with high smears, big layaways and airy moves up the arête with nothing more than small rp’s for protection. An almost improbable looking line which climbed seamlessly.

Having now had a taste for this part of the cliff I returned on Thursday with belay bitch Caff. We warmed up on Octo and headed back down to attempt ‘shaft of a dead man’. I started climbing, trying to hide the doubt which was creeping into me from my tired arms. Caff seemed to radiate nothing but upwards optimism, so I carried on. I continued up into a strenuous position to arrange some ok gear (small rp’s and a lil cam) which would protect the crux moves out left. By now I was way to pumped to continue, I reversed down for a breather and a good tug on the gear which I was now convincing myself that it would hold a fall. Back up again, I got through the crux with the skin on my teeth. So pumped, stretched out and feet everywhere a few more moves up to a hollow flake I was convinced my fingers were going to peel away. Without thinking I stupidly placed a small cam behind it and quickly changed it to a skyhook in fear of pushing the flack off from the wall if I fell. The next section looked nails and I told myself I couldn’t carry on if I couldn’t find anymore gear. Eventually I found a small rp slot in solid rock which I think I could trust. I then spent what felt like an hour of shaking out, going up and down, up and down before eventually figuring out how to do the next bit which felt just as hard as the crux section again. Now totally worked I didn’t want to blow it, mainly because I had put so much effort in and party because I didn’t want to have to test out my gear. More tough moves, I eventually pulled my way to the top. Totally exhausted.

Next day I came back with Caff to return the belay favour. He wanted to finish off Margins of the Mind. This time he climbed it successfully to the top, despite the glaring hot sun which was in the way of all the holds. Even with what I already knew about the reputation of the route, seconding I was still horrified at how crap the gear was on the whole route. I would be surprised if any of it would hold a fall.

Now wanting to tick off all the E7′s on the wall I returned again yesterday and climbed ‘it will be alright on the night’.

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