107-161 Runnelstone

Sun 02 Aug 2015

It had rained all night and was still raining, but not too heavy, so we were optimistic that it might be dry enough to get to 161. Due to a lack of gear, we derigged some non-essential hangers on the way in and made quicker time to the Runnelstone (2 hrs 40) despite spending a while in China looking for the Smooth Sandy Bottom rope.

This time didn't go far down the pitch from station 56, but Wookey rigged across into Wellypopper. Lots of possibilities for going up (where Wookey thought the draft went). Noticed that the easiest way was to climb up the Wellypopper climb then traverse back across towards the Runnelstone. Wookey worked his way across this quickly using a mixture of bolts and quality naturals while trying to avoid the worst of the loose choss. This is called Quality Belays. Happily all the belays survived despite me crossing several times to get gear and to check that we weren't just going to reappear in the Runnelstone. At the top of the traverse was a short bit of passage, then some big space. Wookey started to bolt down this while I went to derig the rope from Fastest Bolt in the West. I left 1 hanger and a short bit of thick blue dynamic rope to make a revisit easier. Got back up to discover my handjammer was no longer attached to my safety cord, fortunately I didn't drop it. Went back to the top of the rope and derigged back to leave only the little traverse rope to Wellypopper. Caught up Wookey who had bolted down one pitch to get to a rock ledge looking out over a big rift that was deeper than we had rope for, so he traversed across the ledge to drop down (via a couple of belays, including another quality natural).

Guessed that we were near to the bit of 161 we were aiming for, but it would be wet to go further down from here

Surveyed out, left everything rigged and headed out. It was much nicer (and faster) not carrying the drill out, though Wookey still caught me up on the entrance pitch. Was thankfully much drier at Too Bold on the way out.