I'd figured that as a lot of the slab climbs there are unprotected it wouldn't make any difference if I was soloing them or leading them so I might as well go climbing on my own whilst I was in the area.When I got to the rock the flaws in my plan quickly became apparent. For starters the rock looked steeper than I remembered, and the holds smaller. As a warm up I climbed Sunset Slab a route I'd previously lead easily, but without the benefit of even a psychological runner I did not feel at all happy and I wasn't moving well. And rather unhelpfully the song Freefall had started going through my head. Thanks brain! Next I had a very brief look at Sundowner, but quickly bottled it and scuttled right to escape up Sunset Crack.
Things were not going as I'd hoped but the weather was stubornly staying good so I had no excuse to bail out. I wandered on to the Three Pebble Slab area to look at a couple of routes I'd lead before, but again they seemed to have got taller and steeper since I'd last seen them and didn't look appealing. Then I remembered there was a route on the right, not listed in the guidebook I had with me.
Nanoq Slab had an easy start and a large and comforting ledge at half way. Though the holds in the trickey top half were modest in size there seemed to be enough of them to make an ascent possible so despite my earlier poltroonery I went for it. It was delicate climbing but a couple of pebbles embeded in the slab proved the key to the crux and as soon I could stretched and slapped for the top, and had another E point to add to my tally. In fact worried it might have been down graded I later had a quick shufti at the new definitive guide and saw it had in fact been upgraded to E2 so I'm claiming that.
I did wander on a bit more after that but nothing took my fancy so I decided to quit whilst I was ahead.
All that was left to round off my trip was a return to Yorkshire to stock up on pork pies. Though the unitiated may be happy with something grey from Melton Mowbray for the true acolyte only a pink pie from a Yorkshire pork butcher will do. I'd got a tip from @thornbridgematt on where to get supplies:
@TheBeerFather kempka's butchers on Abbeydale rd.So my journey home had a short detour and vital supplies were obtained. Praise the lard!
— matthew clark (@thornbridgematt) March 11, 2014