Ivan dobsky & lupino lane pics
A fortnight or so ago I was fortunate enough to manage to slap my way up a nice new problem up at Ravensheugh and Mark Savage was at hand to capture it, he's compiling a book of county climbs and blocs and is really going to some effort to do the area justice. Often climbers keep busting a gut well after the good light has gone, so nowadays Mark simply busts out a special array of light emitting gubbins to be able to keep shooting unique pics, where most photographers would be forced to pack up or plunder a stupidly high iso (these pics were shot between 9 and 10.30 at night).
I reckon the problem comes in at soft 8a+ish as an initial guestimate, and it is utterly enjoyable. In a time when boulderers are beginning to settle for doing new link ups at old crags i cannot recommend enough going to that bit more effort to find proud independent new lines. With lines like Hispaniola (infact this is just 1 of many great looking problems Mark has put up in the 8's this year), Preperation H, Ironhide, Groove is in the Heart, and The Tracks all being excellent examples from the past 8 months. Its pretty hard to stay positive if the future of british bouldering lies in people driving for hours to link limestone problems up, or for me it is anyway, it's nothing other than chasing points outdoors. Boudering is almost beginning to seperate into traditional bouldering, and what used to be called training outdoors, but is now the art of writing up every single new addition/alteration to a problem without them ever being superceded. Not that any of this is a great crime, but it never hurts to check priorities once in a while.
If you don't know who Ivan Dobsky is then a bit of youtubleing should amend the fact that you missed one of the greatest cartoon series to have been on tv in previous years. Very poignant with the recent affairs near rothbury!
I also managed the 2nd (ttbomk) ascent of Nick Dixons Lupino lane which bizarrely gets 8a or E2 7b but is probably best celebrated as just how varied "climbing" can be with this one lending itself more to parkour than bouldering. you basically leg it down the hill jump on top of the 2 boulders in the picture then kick up the lower smear in the pic and onto the higher one (which has some dubious chipped texture on!!!!!) then double dyno sideways about 2m and catch opposing sidepulls, which is then the start of an E2 arete. I've mentioned it in a previous post but this pic of the go i did it from Mark does it a fair bit more justice: