Finding my feet

On the back of an unseasonable dose of flu, the first run that followed was predictably painful. Only at the end, following the walled tracks back to the hamlet of Wharfe did I find my feet, the ascent of Ingleborough and more unusually, much of the descent having simply felt like hard work. The vagaries of form. It's something I've come to recognise in all activities - sometimes things just don't gel. The boat feels heavy, the bike unbalanced or the legs just lack life, the footwork clumsy. Sometimes it's possible just to have a word, put a bit of effort in, and it comes good. At others, it seems best simply to quit while you're ahead. But a week that culminated with a mild dose of cabin fever put pay to any notions of turning back. Not that I saw anything throughout the upper half of the route, the clag being equally determined. Still, a good afternoon...
...that started by crossing Austwick Beck, Crummackdale Crag - marked as Studrigg Scar on the OS - where I have climbed every route once within my grade and scrabbled up a couple above it, visible in the right hand corner of the frame. It is an idyllic crag, that offers brilliant climbing mostly within the HVS to E2 grades although like many such places, a cautious approach is unlikely to succeed, the gear sparse and the routes bold. It is also a crag to which I added a line of my own, though it was never claimed in an official fashion, at the end of a long hot summer's day, one of the best days on Yorkshire Limestone I was lucky enough to experience.
Seen from a distance and at this angle, the crag appears broken with little in the way of clean rock. In fact it is probably one of the best single pitch crags in the area. But certainly one to choose when on form.
Looking across the limestone pavement above Moughton Scar - that crag also providing some adventurous climbing of a more friable nature. On form or not, care is required and it was not a crag with which I ever developed more than a passing acquaintance.
Finally, into my stride dropping back towards Wharfe, Ingleborough a gratifyingly distant lump, still hidden in the clag that felt a long way behind.

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