Fourth day of the trip - 3rd day on grit. Skin was feeling a little worse for wear to say the least. Quarried grit is definitely kinder on the skin than natural. I have never climbed at Millstone, and in my fragile state I didn't want to go there and have a half-hearted day - if I go there I want to have a crushing day! So decided to head to Frogatt for some bold slab action. Artless and Heartless Hare (both E5) both went down, before laying siege to a ground-up padded ascent of Narcissus (E6), tricky! But once the sequence was sussed it went nicely (if a little slappy...). It's quite hard though, probably a very highball V5 crux (I jumped off from the bottom of the crux fine, but any higher could be a bit uncomfortable). On the way back along the crag I stood and oggled at Beau Geste and Soul Doubt, inspired for them!
On previous visits to the Peak I have only ever been to Curbar, Frogatt, Stanage and Lawrencefield before, so I had not yet explored new territory on this trip. I'd become sated with bold onsighting for the trip, so decided to go to Headpoint somethin, possibly quite hard... With the warm sun still shining Steve suggested Burbage South to get some cool conditions. What a crag! Hard route after hard route, all superb-looking lines and a really atmospheric aura to go with the seriousness of the routes. Steve had errands to run, so he dropped me off equipped with shunt and a couple of pads. Simba's Pride is a route that has inspired me since I saw Ben Cossey slap his way to victory on Committed, and stood underneath it only multiplied my awe. The moves are amazing - hugging the prow on pockets and slopers, with the top 2 moves making the wild slappy crux. But I'm not ready. The moves feel too close to my limit to even consider on solo. One for the back-burner I guess. For the days tick a nice solitary solo of the Knock (E4) finished off an incredible send-fest on the grit, ready to rest up for the CWIF qualifiers the next day.
What amazed me about this week, something Steve noted too, is that nobody else seem to DO anything! 4 days of perfect weather; dry & cool (a bit on the sunny side but you cant complain) and we barely saw anyone else out, just the odd partnership jangling around up some lower-grade classics. It makes me glad to not live in the Peak; so I'm staying hungry and making the most of my time and energy, and trying to keep that ethic in mind when I'm in North Wales, or wherever I am for that matter.