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Flying Buttress Direct (various attempts)

Ever since seeing Flying Buttress Direct at Stanage on my beginner’s weekend with the IMC, I’ve wanted to have a go at it.  I wasn’t brave enough then – it looked too intimidating – but I have seconded/top-roped it since then (in 2013 with Bob Butcher)

This year I wanted to go for lead and was unsuccessful on my first try (on the Friday before the beginner’s weekend in May with Martin Hore).  But in the second attempt I got a bit closer as you can see below.

In July I was heading off to a weekend in Snowdonia with Josh and on the way up we stopped with Adam Gosling in Sheffield.  The next day we spent the morning at Stanage with Adam before heading to Wales.  After a few climbs we ended up at Flying Buttress.  We’d just seen a couple of German climbers climb it as their first climb of the day, which was impressive, even more impressive was that the lead climber reversed the crux whilst trying to find the right line!

We had a chat with them and then I had a go at leading it.

Attempt 1

On my first attempt, I got my finger into the crack on the crux but obviously not well enough as they slipped out pretty quickly.

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Working my way up the slab

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Placing gear before the crux

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The crux (at least for me) move – unfortunately I didn’t last long in this position !

Attempt 2

This time I managed to last long enough at the crux to get some gear in and then get above it, but unfortunately I then struggled above and so ended up sinking back on the gear 🙁

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Crux gear

Attempt 3

I left the gear in the crux, which made this attempt easier, and I managed to then complete the route

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Just before swinging my legs up

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Almost there

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And up!

Next . . .

There is still some unfinished business, as I want to lead it cleanly – so maybe this year . . .