Archive for the ‘Crags’ Category

Summer Langdale

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The club's July meet was in Langdale at the Robertson Lamb Hut. Currently undergoing some renovations this huts in a great location for lots of accessible climbing, scrambling and walking and should be even better when the renovations are completed.

The walkers in the party Andrew and Karen, Pete and Oifie, Donal and Dave D all headed out in good time on Saturday morning to complete their various excursions.


With lots of rain overnight most of the climbers opted for a later start on Saturday, eventually we all headed for Scout crags. Simon and Carmen headed straight for the upper crags and ticked a handful of the routes on there. The rest of the group made the most of the lower crags, Peri, Jayne and even Anni climbed Cubs Groove and Cub’s Crack, .Ana, Adam, Jamie and myself ticked off Cubs Arete, Cubs Crack and The Slab.

In the afternoon the four of us headed to White Ghyll and left the others to do some abseil practice. Quite a few of the routes still looked pretty damp but we managed to climb The Slabs Route 1 and 2 and Haste Not which has an awesome traverse, not hard but exposed and pretty exciting. Some of the guys headed to the Pub for a quick one then we settled down to another legendary YAC meal.

Sunday was forecast to be dry, which it was but quite windy. Pete, Aoife, Jayne and Anni opted for a walk and scramble on Bowfell via the climbers traverse and easy slabs to the top. Then on to crinkle crags where they encountered near whiteout conditions in the low cloud and had to put their navigation practice to good use.

All the climbers headed for White Ghyll this time which turned out to be a good option with the low cloud and strong winds high up. Simon and Carmen climbed The Slabs this time, Peri and Dave D climbed Slip Not, Jamie and Adam did Hollin Groove while Ana and myself tackled Laugh Not. Great name, wasn’t much laughing from me just a lot of huffing and puffing. We abbed off then Ana led slip Knot which has an excellent first pitch, better than the second pitch I thought which is over too soon.

On the way down we spotted Carmen and Simon climbing the classic VD Route 1 on upper Scout Crag so decided to follow them up. Ana led both pitches on this one, the second pitch been the main event with some great climbing as you step round onto the arete. We were soon at the top then descended and headed for the hut just as the rain started and only half an hour later than planned, time to head back home.

Given the dodgy forecast can’t complain with pretty much two full days climbing, still need to get up to Gimmer at some point though.

A Cold Bank Holiday

Saturday, May 11th, 2019
On Beinn a Chaisteil, with Beinn Dorain behind

We were supposed to be spending the early May Bank Holiday weekend in the Arrochar Alps, climbing on the Cobbler, but the weather had other ideas.

Forecast temperatures on the crag were due to be a few degrees below zero, so a new plan was needed! For most, that plan involved staying at home. Rob and Mike climbed on Llanberis slate, but Carmen and I stuck with the original destination, and spent a few chilly days in the southern Highlands.

Beinn nam Fuaran

Saturday was cold but sunny, perfect walking weather, so we decided on the group of 5 Corbetts south east of the Bridge of Orchy. Not a hugely long day (around 15 miles), but being Corbetts there's a lot of ascent between each, the total for the day being over 2000m.

Eagle

The walk was excellent with some superb views, but the highlight of the day was a chance encounter with a golden eagle, feeding on a sheep carcass only 10m or so below us. It soon caught sight of us of course, and was off, but I've never been this close to a wild eagle before, and am never likely to be again.

Mill Bay

Sunday's forecast was for the best weather was near the coast. So we drove for 2 hours towards Knapdale on the northern end of the Mull of Kintyre, for some esoteric cragging at Mill Bay. Good rather than great climbing, and freezing cold despite being only 10m above sea level, but in a superb setting. Well worth a visit if in the area.

Snowtastic

The next day the plan was to climb Meall an Fhudair, another Corbett across the valley. The summit area is a complex mix of knolls and lochans, so we wanted a clear day for it. As we sat in the car at the campsite, the rain was coming down steadily and the cloud lowering so we almost bailed, but luckily it had stopped by the time we parked the car.


Meall an Fhudair from
Beinn Damhain

We almost turned back on the initial ascent, as the cloud came down again and it start to rain, soon turning to snow. But again, before the decision point had been reached it cleared, and the rest of the day stayed dry and sunny. So much so that we added on an extra summit at the end, the rocky Graham of Beinn Damhain. Another good day, and a fine little hill for practising navigation, with great views over the Arrochar Alps, Loch Fyne, and the Ben Lui range.

All in all, a great weekend, and despite the bank holiday crowds on the West Highland Way and no doubt the nearby Munros, we only met 3 other pairs on the hills all weekend.

Bank Holiday Snowdonia Tick Frenzy

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
looning about

Not the nasty little buggers wot bite ya legs (which are out in force) but those climbs that have been on your list for a while… in my case nearly 30 years !

 

When the club has been in Scotland for the last 2 BH weekends I've been at Helyg the historic Climber Club hut in Ogwen valley, first with Pete B and latterly with Mike Shaw. The hut was hosting only a couple of other people both times (in fact the same couple!) which was great.


Pete and I enjoyed four days of wall to wall sunshine and we made the most of it, avoiding the crowds as much as we could and ticking stuff on my list (oml ). Friday was Tryfan – Munich Climb (HVS 5a** oml ) via Gashed Crag (VD***) and a some random lovely bubbly pitch to finish. Enroute to the car we bagged a S 4a route on Tryfan Bach in the evening sun. On Saturday we headed to Craig Lloer on the opposite side of the valley and a pleasant, if busy, hours walk-in brought us solitude (for a while). Catching the sun this south facing crag has only a few worthwhile routes, and a few more dirty ones. Our target was Kirkus Route (VS 5a ***oml ) The interest in this route comes on the second pitch, a 8m off-width crack soloed by Kirkus (nutter). Graded 5a it's not that hard (nowhere near Brimham standards) not really off-width and protectable with a large (Friend 4/5) cams. It is however really intimidating and excellent climbing. We did a pair of routes on the crag, Central Ridge (VS 4b) closer to 5b and The Rib (S 4a), a really lovely route with exposed, steady climbing up a clean rib/nose. Highly recommended, take lots of slings (but don't fall off ).

Pete on P3 Kirkus route Cwm Silyn

Kirkus's Route P3 Cwm Silyn

Monday we eventually arrived at Cwm Silyn (sat-nag … hmmm) the scene of an inglorious retreat in the pissing rain a few years back. Our target was another Kirkus's Route (VS 5a oml) as it was for the other teams there, so we scampered up ordinary route (D**) instead of waiting in the fall line. It was a good move as the sun was fully on this excellent route that tackles the centre of the Great Slab. After P1 + P2 (Rockfax update has a good topo) the route heads up blank looking slabs in a joyous sequence of hidden incut pockets. Really good and not hard, if you can do P1 you will cruise the rest with a smile on your face.


Bochlwyd Buttress

BH Monday we again avoided the crowds and headed down to Clogwyn y Bustach, home of Lockwood's Chimney a traditional route, (the tradition being get 11 other people, wait for it to rain, all get drunk and leave it till dark to set off). But we had designs on Gallop Step (HVS 5a ** oml) mainly because it starts on the ground (best place) climbs up for a pitch then down for a pitch to finish 70m away on the ground again! You start from a platform (and pete throws your shoes roughly in the direction of the bags and nettles) and traverse under a roof on jugs and copious wire placements cleaning out the grass, dandelions and prickles as you go. P2 carries on and then heads down, making seconding a tad exciting. I thought both pitches worthy of 4c but P1 is a *** experience. Not quite satisfied we had a a spot of lunch in Helyg we ran up a couple of quality Severes at Bochlywd Butress which catches the evening sun. Lovely climbing and only one other team there. That was our lot, more tea at Helyg and we were on our way home.

This May BH we bailed on the camping in Arrochar option (due to snow!) and Mike and I went to play on the Llanberis slate. We figured we could keep out of the cold wind and catch whatever sunshine was available, and so we did. Mike has never climbed on slate before, but it suits his style dynamic moves off tiny but positive holds – mostly.

Starting at Bus Stop we did Solstice (HVS 5a**) and Fools Gold (E1 5c ** oml) (both led and never 5c) and then headed to Australia, a huge quarry with many levels. We wandered to Looning the Tube (E1 5a *** oml) and there was a team just finishing, fun climbing with minimal kit needed and not very hard. Mike took a fancy to the route next door, one of Andy Swann's, Goose Creature E3 6a. The E3 bits is odd, it has 2 bolts but the first is high. The 6a (UK not Fr) is cos it's fecking hard. Mike on-sighted it on lead, I took a few goes at the crux on 2nd. Mikes 4th route on slate and his hardest ever lead! We wandered up past the crowds at the siding to Zippy level, where I led a reasonable HVS 5a that brought us to the Skyline buttress, a new one for me. Its huge and great and I am definitely going back. Mike led the VS 4b, which he didn't rate, i thought it was quite good. Back at the car we nipped ino Bus Stop again this time to catch the evening sun and did Gnat Attack (E1 5c ** oml). More than a tad run out but the hard moves are safe, we both led it in wonderful weather.

Sunday was colder an we headed down into the quarries above the power station to the Rainbow Slab area – somewhere I'd never been- WOW. My target was Bela Lugosi is Dead E1 5b ** oml, a long crack line with lots of gear (mostly). After both leading that we did the excellent sport route next to it Horse Latitudes 6a+ oml, which is quite sustained but never desperate. Mike now fancied a look at Pull My Daisy E2 5c ***, a wonderful route to second. Technically hard climbing (good gear plus a skyhook!) up a crack leads to a pipe sticking out the wall. Place all your gear and now quest off for the top the crag (20m away) without worrying about runners. Luckily the climbing is much easier but not trivial. Great lead by Mike, quite a good intro to slate!

So that was the end for us, forecast was poor for BH Monday so we came back to York and went to work and ticked off all those routes on UKC. Of course Snowdonia is so well endowed with high quality routes that I've filled up my Wishlist again – roll on some more good weather.

Sumer is a-cumen in

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

No cuckoos yet, loude or otherwise, but the skylarks were singing their hearts out on Sunday as 6 of us drove down to Stanage for the day.

Warmer than most summer's days, it was great to be out climbing (and occasionally failing to climb) in the sun. Various routes were led, a few were backed off, Karl surprised himself by leading an HS before collapsing in a heap, Mike led some hard and bold things, and we all had a great time!

Back to normal next weekend, with wind, rain, and snow on the tops forecast…

Carmen on Wall End Crack, Karl on Wall End Holly Tree Crack
Sarah on Ladder Cracks
Simon on Ladder Corner
Mike on
Death and Night and Blood

Costa de Langdale

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Langdale in November, pack your waterproofs and hope for the best. Except we should have packed our shorts and vests cos this was incredible weather.

Staying at the Wayfarers excellent Hut (for the last time before they became a mixed club) we were 20 odd people over the weekend. The oddness level varied as people came and went at different times

On Sat 4 teams headed for the ever reliable Raven Crag, south facing low lying and crammed with good routes (and other people) Rob and Pete B did a bunch of routes that Rob thought he hadn't done before (he had!) Peri, Adam and Andrew ticked some classics (Revelation HS & Bilberry Buttress VS) and Mike and Paul were encouraged to tackle Pluto (an excellent HVS 5a traverse) amongst others. Dave W climbed with a new recruit Daniel and Simon and Carmen were hoovering up routes at minor crags and most of us met up at the Far east single pitch venue as the sun was going down.

Retreating to the ODG for a beer we met up with the walking team ( Jayne, Karl, Donal, Toasty, Richards H &P, Ann … ) who'd been up to Jack's Rake and beyond, and Pete W who'd tagged a run on the end of the valley.

Abandoning the drinkers a few of us headed back and commenced a Roast Ham and ten veg for 20 people, which was a tad late but worth the wait. Suitably stuffed we retired for the evening of gentle banter then not so gentle snoring.

Next day 3 teams headed for Pavey Ark, Pete B and Rob did Coati (VS) followed by Crescent Slabs while Mike S and Andrew did the slabs then got on Golden Slipper (HVS *** with a queue to math and still on my list to lead). Peri and Adam also tackled Coati, starting a little later and finishing well late (after we had all gone back to York!)

Simon & Carmen went climbing easy stuff on Harrison Stickle in the chilly wind and managed three fairly long routes

Another large walking team headed out to the end of the valley to the Crinkle Crag, Bowfell area in stunning weather. A scramble was tackled and great fun had, sorry no pix as yet…

We all (bar Peri and Adam) made it back before dark and headed home – quality weekend in a great place

More Photos: so many great ones …..

Newlands Valley August Bank Holiday

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

For the August bank holiday we headed to the Newlands valley (Stair) to avoid the crowds in the Lakes.  Good turnout for the trip – 15 of us present at some point over the weekend.

Saturday – Simon & myself walked from the hut up towards the head of Newlands Valley to climb Direct route with bolt finish (allegedly S **)  on waterfall buttress and then grey slab (VS 4b **) on grey buttress.  The first route wasn't worth any stars (damp/wet, mossy & vegetated) second one was though (clean, solid rock, variety of moves).
Mike & Rob  set off just before us and were a little further up the valley on Miners crag – words from Rob.  "Miners Grooves, horrible approach pitch, pretty good P2 & P3,  Jezebel , terrible P1 and start or P2, with 10m of good climbing  and Tahulah – great clean climb on good rock !  I actually quite liked the crag (remote, quiet, easy to get to, sunny after 11)  but the starts of these ** routes are wet, mossy, sh!te.  I will certainly be more circumspect about belaying well out of fall line with this sort of route.. obvious in retrospect but maybe a reminder for others".  I hope Rob's foot improves soon!
Meanwhile Natalie and Russ went for the classis of Troutdale pinnacle on black crag followed by Little Chamonix at Shepherds- somehow managing to time things right and avoid queuing.   Peri, Adam and Andrew also went to black crag in the hope it would be dry enough to do The Shroud and The Mortician. Arriving there they found The Shroud was absolutely soaking. The Mortician looked as if it might be dry after the first pitch so we started up that, but bailed when they found the second pitch was a river. So like everyone else on the crag they defaulted to Troutdale Pinnacle which was lovely.  "A really enjoyable day out even if we had to change our plans".  Annie and Donal went for a mountain bike ride  around Blencathra and Skiddaw – which they seemed to enjoy a lot.  Dave D having reclaimed his car keys from M&S (don't ask!) arrived at the hut after a walk up Helvellyn (apparently that's where the crowds were).  Unfortunately Saturday turned out to be by far the best day.  Sunday and Mon am were wet.  There were 2 walking groups up Newlands valley on Sunday – taking in Cat bells and the ridge along Newland valley.  Natalie extended the walk somewhat by running back to Keswick and meeting Emma for a session at the wall.  Meanwhile Simon, myself and Alan took part in the 3rd race of the Kong mini-mountain marathon series, which started off from the outskirts of Ambleside – cloud was down in places, windy in places and rather wet, especially when wading through bracken – all good fun. Monday am most people left decided to leave the Lakes as it was still wet.  But some stopped somewhere en route for a bit of exercise – Annie did a walk from Arnside, Donal cycled round Dalby forest, Natalie, Russ and Mike went bouldering sans mat at Roundhill, Simon & I stayed in the Lakes for a trip to Leighton Moss.  C3 and Karl were heading to the Keswick show – but opted for Netflix instead.
Good weekend – despite the weather, good curries and cake.

 

Beating the heat at Raven's Scar

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Given the forecast was for more hot weather and it had been dry for weeks we decided to hit Raven’s Scar for a bit of north facing action. There were four of us: Simon, Paul G, Paul D and Adam, a new member. The weather was perfect, hot but enough breeze to keep the midges at bay, even when they came out at sunset. The evening was a round of the classics, Airlift, Forest Fact, Harlots Grove, Waterslide (not as bad as it looks apparently), Ahab and Grooves-ology. The rock was in good nick, dry and the dirty bits brushed away easily. There was talk of the pub but it being 10:40 when we got back to the car put a stop to that suggestion. Never mind we managed a last route instead.

Sun Baked Cats

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

Herding cats must be easier than sorting out a venue sometimes. Eventually, on the hottest day of the year (31 C in places) we headed for a south facing full in the sun crag with black rocks!

Wharncliffe is a long but easy drive and one we usually visit around this time to get the most of the daylight. No change there, arriving at about 6.30 we climbed until nearly 10.

I climbed with Jamie, Mike with Peri and Dave D and Tall Paul, all getting a few routes in when not being roasted by the radiation.

I did a new to me Putrell route Imaginary Boulder give HS 4c – which i fell off twice with hands sliming off really good holds! Started from the ground and did it but felt so hard. In contrast, Jamie and I did Railway Wall which we both felt to be great fun and soft with loads of cams, forget wires, probably just VS 4b. Jamie then led Great buttress in golden light and slightly cooler condition adding as many traverses as he could manage.

It was popular with Leeds MC there and a few other. Great fun but jeeeze it was hot.

Cooked-Rise

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

Mike and I headed to Crookrise (via the A59 diversion) on what turned out to be a glorious day, Jamie joined us after a leisurely breakfast or two. Free parking, easy approach and a huge collection of quality routes on a new crag for Mike had made the decision.

We played on the initial slab before meandering along, alternates leads and a few solos and admiring the views. By about 4 or 5 it felt like a solar oven and was quite draining. We left about 6 after a marked slow down.

Mike and I headed back via the northern route (past Brimham) which may be a tad longer but was pretty and we kept moving.

Whitestone sans guide

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Mike met Jamie and I at Whitestone Cliff after work -and he picked up a speeding ticket 🙁

As usual, we were alone and the nettles had not started in anger nor the midges. The sun was warm but the trees kept it cool at the base.

Mike smashed out Countdown Direct (HVS 5a) a couple of tricky moves with good gear (threads) but steep and pumpy on good rock. That wall does have the best rock at the crag and the routes are all good.

We then had a look at a couple of cracks, not having a guidebook we sent Jamie up the first just to the right of the descent gully (looking at the crag). Turned out to be another good route on good rock (once past the first 6ft) with excellent gear. No sun though and wouldn't want to get midged here. The route was Domino VS 4c, no stars, but I'd suggest * at least.

We sensibly called it a day after that, we could maybe have squeezed another in but the sun was falling and we'd had a great time.