Black Crag Borrowdale. My guidebook of 2000 gives this two stars, so on a lovely midge free spring evening we set out on this five pitch VS climb. Later we found the stars had gone. The first pitch is ungraded, so I led off on thin holds on a dry mossy slab. Due to one or all of the following: arthritic knees which have lost strength when bent more than 90 deg; a worn right boot tip, pointed out later; degradation of the cerebral cortex leading to moral weakness, I came down from halfway up. We reckoned 4b. The second pitch, graded 4b, soon shows why the stars shine no longer: gorse. Not bright yellow flowery gorse, dry, dusty no-flowered gorse, which perhaps prevent your right foot from getting purchase on the steep slab on the right which should enable you to get into the groove on the left. Or maybe it was my worn boot tip. I rate it 4c. I led pitch 3, the same as Troutdale Pinnacle, very polished due to its popularity, and Ian then disappeared round a corner up on the right after a nice slab traverse. Round there more gorse has to be arched over by your right leg to purchase on the only hold for it, high up and over nothing. Awkward, falling always to your right. Ungraded in my book, 4c again. Final pitch 4a in the book, is a rock scramble for short while then a heather one for longer to a reasonable belay. Interesting climb, lovely place, awful old grading.
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