Trad Climbing | Noodle Arms

It was BG’s birthday last weekend and that meant a trip to the Peak District for a couple of days of rock climbing. It was the first time I had properly climbed outdoors since Amphitheatre Buttress last June and a very long time since I have worked out the upper body. (There is a reason BG says I have noodles for arms.)

Since creating a logbook on UKC, it turns out that I’ve got almost 20 entries in the mere five times I have been out and they range, surprisingly, up to a VS 4b *. That was Black Slab at Burbage North at the end of my first day out. However, last weekend did not include anything harder that the S 4a *** that BG chucked us on to warm up. The easier stuff was taken so Balcony Buttress it was. Perhaps not the best climb to get warmed up and used to the rock after so long time away! Despite this and the odd wobble, and coming off near the top, it felt alright and it was on my tick list for climbs I had wanted to do.


Next up was Heaven Crack VD ***, an easier grade and a really pleasant climb but this killed the noodles off. By the last couple of moves my arms were done and I ended up sitting out Mississippi Chimney until I got the feeling back in my triceps. Heaven Crack is definitely one I want to go back and do with stronger noodles, or perhaps after not warming up on an S 4a.

After BG had flown up Orinoco Flow E2 5c (because he doesn’t have noodles, he actually has climbers’ arms) I had a little romp up Left Twin Chimney D ** which was really pleasant despite being a little cramped between the rocks at times. And having a go at bridging was really enjoyable.

BG took his friend up Dun HS 4b * and I eyed up Bee VD * while I waited. I think Bee might have been my favourite climb of the day. The noodles were well and truly done by the top of this so I sat in the sunshine and watched BG lead Robin’s Hood Cave Innominate/Harding’s Finish HVS 5a ***.


We camped at Lawrencefield with a couple of climbing friends with the aim of climbing again the next day. My noodles were not playing since I couldn’t lift them up so I offered belays and photography. Lawrencefield is a beautifully sheltered old quarry with a little silver birch forest surrounding it. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer many lower grade climbs and the ones on offer didn’t really appeal. I think it’s Burbage North and Stanage for me, for now.

BG got up Three Tree Climb HS 4b *** as a warm up, the Meringue HVS 5a * before impressively climbing Suspense E2 5c *** on second!


It was a really enjoyable weekend and I am looking forward to getting stronger so I can enjoy getting back out. Unfortunately, I haven’t worked my upper body since Insanity started giving me a body I wasn’t happy with and I went back to running, ballet and core work. Best get the weights back out!


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