|Date:||June 22, 1998|
|Climbers:||Mathias & Tim Wilkinson|
|Type of climbing:||E4 6a with a few in-situ Enviro bolts.|
|Area:||Portishead Quarry, South West England|
HIGHWAY ONE E4 6a
We arrive at Portishead around 6pm, it's warm and the conditionsare perfect. We both have an intense look at "The Highway"before I start leading up "The Brink Of Solarity" asparsely protected but otherwise straight forward HVS on the mainslab. Tim belays me nervously from below in the close presenceof the main objective.
I finish the lead, Tim seconds and we abseil down to get started on the real business - Highway One *** 140ft E4 6a. As the guide book describes: "An area classic. The remarkable scoop, which is the main feature of the red-coloured wall offers sustained, technical climbing with the bonus of copious in-situ protection."
Tim begins on the dangerous start which offers no protectionfor the first 5 meters but still has some bold moves up to thefirst nut placement. He's looking confident and I belay him withcomplete attention (Hey I always do that! :-) First crux - takeshis time - moves up, back down. Rest. Moves up again - going forit "Watch me Mathias!" - pfeww - Tim reaches a tinybut positive hold before the traverse onto the main face...
45 minutes later. Tim has reached the top - good effort, close to whipping it twice but kept in control. My turn next. I psyche up and start the route.
The route was really technical with to wild cruxes - the second one I dyno-slipped to reaching a reasonable comfortable ledge. The last bit was pretty strenuous and provided a grand finish on the previous technicalities.
Totally pumped, Tim lends me his hand and I join him on thetop near the young trees. We set up a rope and start abseilingdown to our base. Midway we stop, and I give Tim a hug and weboth burst out in tears as the golden sun sets behind the quarriedlimestone.
[only one of the paragraphs is fiction - honest!]
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