Mel and I had planned to go to Limekilns on Friday but got rained off so we went along today as the forecast was better, at last! This is the 1st time I've rock climbed since I went to Kirrie with Mel so was really looking forward to it, if not a bit nervous.
I wanted to lead Red Flag first as it's a VS I've done before, then Humbug as I'd seconded it before. Then I wanted to do Two Ringer at VS too and as an onsight. I was determined to get back to leading VS. Unfortunately it would seem that both Red Flag and Humbug have been downgraded to HS and I didn't end up having time to lead Two Ringer.
Red Flag was steeper than I remember it and I couldn't for the life of me remember how I started it. I had memories of jamming a foot in somewhere and a hand and it being quite strenuous. Mel recommended a different way and that seemed loads easier! It didn't take long to get past the crux and then cruise the rest of the route. Hurrah, my 1st trad lead in AGES!
Mel had wanted to onsight her 1st E1 here, Dead Ringer. It looked desperate to me! And climbed desperately too! But I knew Mel could do it having climbed with her several times before and seen how strong she is and how calmly she climbs. It took her a wee minute to commit to moving off a ledge and getting on to the meat of the route, but once she went for it there was no stopping her. I could tell it was strenuous and thought needed, but she made it, without resorting to holding onto either of the big metal rings sticking out the wall (where the route name comes for) Nice!
I was nervous about making an utter twat of myself on this route. Having not climbed for 7 weeks I'm not sure that I was up to getting up a 5b. It was a struggle! As soon as you get onto the face, it's very sustained with no proper rests at all. The holds are mostly good though, but I had to get Mel to point a fair few of them out. And there was one section where the hold was TINY and I remember thinking, 'how the hell am I gonna hold that!?' I came off here, slumped onto the rope, pumped beyond belief and annoyed as I was only 2moves from the top!
After shaking out, I remembered that Mel had gone more rightwards and sure enough, looking right there was a better hold and up I went again to be met with a nice jug at the top. This turned out to be loose! But it held okay thankfully and I was up, after much grunting! Phew!
I was gearing up to climb Two Ringer when an accident occured and help was needed and ambulance called. All this took up the rest of the afternoon really. I wasn't really sure I wanted to climb after that, but decided my head needed to get back on the horse as it were.
Someone was toproping Two Ringer so I went and led Humbug. This route looked loads slabbier compared to the other VS's and looked loads easier than I remember it! When I seconded it years ago, I remember tiny holds and crimps, but other than one wee thin section, the holds are huge! I can see why it's been downgraded. But I still found it quite tiring on my arms.
That was it for the day. Time was swiftly getting on, I was happy with my 2 'VS's' and Mel with her E1, so we called it a day. I was really happy with how my neck and arms coped today. My neck got a bit sore belaying Mel, but I was so intent on what she was doing that I was more focused on that. My legs were very tight and a wee bit crampy but nothing that I couldn't climb through.
Good day, great to be out again. No photos though.