Walked into Trowbarrow just as Matus was topping out on Jean Jeanie [from Jean Genie and Jean Genet – look it up]. I happily tied in and pulled onto the steep wall knowing there would be little respite in the next 100ft. I haven’t climbed here for 15 years, on that occasion I led this route for Dor who desperately wanted to do it as possibly her last climb. I didn’t mention the polish or loose holds. She climbed it without a rest, was knackered at the top but still able to celebrate in the beer garden of The New Inn.
Then that was a hot summer’s afternoon, now today was cooler with a strong wind threatening to blow you off the wall. Bowie was “walkin’ on snow white” [a different chalk!] but for today we are climbing on fossils. The whole face is a bed of limestone encrusted with worm-like fossils which has been tilted 90 degrees to the vertical. You have to trust your feet on the protruding fossils to make good progress.
Jean Jeanie – classic track – classic route.
Despite Alan and I wanting a quick snack Matus was ready for another route, Harijan. Farther right on this main wall is another crack system, but this time its base is barred by an overhung blocky niche. [Any further right and you are under the most unstable looking roofs – climb at your peril. See photos, though nothing much has fallen down recently.] Awkward climbing leads up to the roof from where a shuffle left takes you out onto the front face and up into the crack where easier progress is made to the top, again making good use of fossils for your feet.