Lad Stones: Man Power & Axis Powers
Written by Greg Chapman Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:42
The in vogue Lad Stones has seen much attention of late, as its small but increasing fan base grows. Ben Freeman finally saw reward for 3 to 4 sessions worth of effort, with a prized ascent of the excellent Traci Lords (8A/V11), whilst also mopping up pretty much everything else at the crag. As well as the fevered attention paid to the existing lines, there doesn’t seem to be a visit goes by without one or more of the team adding further new additions to this great venue.
Image: Man Power 7C+/V10.
Most recently, Ben and myself but some effort into an obvious project on the right side of the Warstarter Face of the Panorama Stone, originally cleaned, and briefly tried, by Dan Varian. This involves an extremely strenuous pull on via a fairly unusual LH side pull/claw hold and a small but incut flake-crimp. From here the crux is latching a reasonable but tilted edge up to the right, via a really cool barn door deadpoint move. The thinness of the holds and steepness of the wall means you only really get a handful of good goes, before your skin surrenders, making it a line where focus and precision are paramount. Once you’ve latched the tilted edge a tricky rock-over to good holds is followed by a straightforward but high finish past the big central ledge.
Last Sunday provided some good conditions and with Traci put to bed, Ben joined me in some concerted effort to open up this excellent project. After a few goes we were both getting close and Ben had actually latched the edge for a fraction of a second before being dumped unceremoniously back on the pads. Fully motivated now, I gave it everything and latched the hold! Feet back on I rocked to the good hold just right of the big ledge and began to reach through to glory - it’s easy 5a from here. “Just put a pad on that rock lads, this hold’s a little bit suspect” I muttered, seconds before it shattered and sent me back down to the pads below, showered in a rain of rhyolite and despair. Robbed. As I considered what might have been and waited for the feeling to return to my fingertips, young Freeman steps up, cool as a cucumber and obviously inspired by the old man's efforts the silent assassin pulls on with nonchalant ease. Boom! He despatches the deadpoint crux, smoothly reins in his feet, slowly rocks up to the good hold and before we know it he's at the ledge. The day belonged to B-Free and I simply packed my bag and headed for the nearest bowling green.... but not before grabbing the second ascent on my next try. This is Man Power (7C+/V10).
In less dramatic fashion, Jon Freeman linked the excellent Battlyst into his brothers recent creation, Axis, in good style to provide a grand left to right sweep of this superb face. This is Axis Powers, which also weighs in at around the 7C+/V10 mark.