VIDEO: Blackstone Edge, more E5 headpoints

Author: Stanley Hunter


I haven't done every route at Blackstone Edge but Tryche (E5 6a) felt like the final of the most obvious, quality lines up there I hadn't ticked. Surprisingly for a crag of such small stature, never more than 12m in height and home to only 30 routes (some of them very squeezed in) it still feels like an intimidating place. Dark gritstone, dirty a lot of the year and getting the brunt of any weather coming in, its really has an atmosphere.

E2 and E5 are THE grades here, there's easier but E2 is really when it comes into its own. No Sign of Three and Little Miss Id are the classics of the crag, brilliant and  very safe. Little Miss Id takes a harder than it looks blunt arete and No Sign of Three requires standing on two pebbles and a foot hand match (at least the way I did it) at the crux, all that at only E2.

For E5 there's Digitos et Digitos, my recent own addition. A tough boulder problem in the air on the left side of the crag and then in totally opposing style, the blank looking wall of Tryche. Delicate slab climbing past a single, perfect cam slot before the hardest and final move to get the lip (being tall helps, neither me or Will are). With the cam just below your feet the fall would be safe, if not particularly pleasant. They're probably opposite ends of the grade, with a couple of mats Tryche is reasonably safe, even with the tough final move it's low E5.

Couldn't find my helmet that morning so grabbed my bike helmet instead knowing it was only needed for impact from a fall, not loose rock. In the end neither of us had the moves totally dialed before we went for it but were fine up to the gear, which is so bomber that it was just down to commitment. Will struggled a bit on the move coming across left after you step in the pocket but cruised the move to the lip. I was the opposite, feeling fine on the stretch left then almost coming off right at the end, thinking i was about to fall for all the final moves, non of the feet quite as solid as I expected. I only just hit the lip and not well at that, having to readjust to stay on.

Thanks to Rory for filming