The truthful answer is, sometimes, when I can find an easy enough route and someone willing to hang onto the other end of the rope. Mostly, the crags we visit are above my capability spectrum, but from time to time...
Fortunately, there aren't often people around to take photos. I did, however, take a picture of the two routes I climbed at Higgar Tor.
Routes are named by the climber who claims first ascent. Some route names are ordinary. There are thousands of 'The Prow' or 'Arete Direct', and anything named 'Green Chimney' should be avoided like the plague, but sometimes routes have much more interesting names.
These two were named by Dave Gregory in 1964 (Eastern Grit 2006) and are from Shakespeare. The first route (in yellow, Very Difficult - Don't let the grade fool you) is called Hecate and the second (in red, Severe 4a - much more respectable and equalling my previous hardest grade, but still a walk in the park for my lads) is Greymalkin.
Recognise the play?
Hecate is the queen of witches in Macbeth and appears in order to ask the three witches why they have not included her in their dealings with the king. She predicts that Macbeth will believe himself safe and that this belief will lead to his downfall; which it does.
Greymalkin is named in the opening scene and is a grey cat; the familiar of the first of the three witches. The route to the left (which I didn't do - another V Diff) is called Paddock after the second witches familiar; a toad.
It was Greymalkin and Paddock which caused me to recognise the theme for the route names. As a teenager, I studied Macbeth and learned the opening scene by heart:
ACT I SCENE I A desert place. Thunder and lightning.
[Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches]
First Witch: When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch: When the hurlyburly's done,When the battle's lost and won.
Third Witch: That will be ere the set of sun.
First Witch: Where the place?
Second Witch: Upon the heath.
Third Witch: There to meet with Macbeth.
First Witch: I come, Greymalkin!
Second Witch: Paddock calls.
Third Witch: Anon!
ALL: Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Funny how some things stick in the memory :)
I'm linking this post with Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday where today's letter is 'C' for 'Climbing Crags'.