Doing a VDiff at Attermire you realise how familiarity makes climbs easy. I’ve got so used to Woodhouse Scar and Heptonstall over the last few years I’m really getting their routes dialled in. I haven’t been to Attermire for a while, I haven’t tried this particular route before and its Yorkshire limestone, which means loose and vegetated (no doubt howls of protest from Yorkshire limestone fans).
Attermire is a spectacular crag from a distance, a little known wonder alongside Malham and Gordale Scar with amazing views west, south and east. Quite a few walkers below but not a single other climber.
Joy has done hardly any climbing for a few years so I had a good excuse for doing easy stuff. We started on a Moderate, Descent Route (i.e. so easy that it’s used as a descent route) and it was straightforward but still pleasant.
The Gangway is the VDiff mentioned at the start. Plenty of vegetation at the bottom and some suspect rock but it leads to a much cleaner section in the middle. The crux is high up and exposed and you need what guidebook writers often call a positive approach. The final few moves are through grass, with grass handholds. Quite a nice route, all the same. Plenty of gear, though every piece I placed seemed to put up a fight.
We were now on the catwalk between the lower and upper tiers so we moved straight onto another route with a name to do my reputation no good – Easy Man’s Way (Diff). Pleasantly clean and solid this time, the crux section at two thirds height gives very nice exposed moves on big holds but then leaves you again on vertical grass for the finish. Can’t complain really, at least it’s comfortable to sit on as I bring Joy up.
The other thing that makes climbs seem easier or harder is knowing the grade. My old limestone guide gives The Gangway VDiff, so that’s what I expected. If I’d known the UKClimbing entry now gives it Hard Severe I might not have bothered. Glad I did though.