Archive for the ‘Crags’ Category

Pothole damage

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Carmen, Dave and Donal, proving that some of us managed a whole route.

A sunny Wednesday evening found Dave W, Donal, Rob, Carmen and Me at Almscliff. Whilst Dave, Donal and Carmen went ticked off ZigZag, Crack of Doom and Fluted Columns Rob and I hit Pothole direct. I manage the first move, after several attempts, after several more attempts I had it nailed. Unfortunately by this time I lacked the strength (and skin) to go any further. Rob then lead Zig Zag, manageing to get all the way to the top.

Pothole damage.

Spring had sprung at slipstones

Friday, March 31st, 2017

With a glorious forecast Karl, Mike, Jamie, me, Peri and Crofty went to Slipstones last Saturday.  We were all overdressed (in varying degrees) for the Summer like weather and even complained it was too hot – in March!  We were not alone the red goat had gone on mass as well.

Lots of bouldering, some roped climbing & lots of sleeping by various members of the party.

Mike chose a super pumpy HVS 5b for the first climb of the day – good effort.  I backed off a VS & let Mike and Jamie take over.  Great day to be out.


Sunday it was an early start (groan) and off to the Peak District for the Edale skyline.  Simon & I were running/walking independently.  Having overtaken him on the first hill – he over took  me whilst going along the first edge.  I had almost caught up with him about 1/3 of the way around when I did a superman dive going through the forestry section – doh!  Didn't see him again until the finish.  Thanks to Gav & Justine for the support going up Mam Tor.  Glorious weather for the race. Main mission accomplished – not timed out and not last to finish!  The fall has resulted in a bicep injury which developed on Tuesday – hoping I may have enough movement to test my arm later next week.

Winter adventure talks series 2017

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

In the winter months of 2017, the club ran a monthly ‘adventure talks’ social evening at the Falcon tap pub in Micklegate, York. The idea being that we have a couple of short talks by members or visiting speakers about a trip they’ve been on, and get a chance to have a drink with friends, meet new members and find out more about what people have been up to, hopefully getting inspired for the coming year at the same time!

We’ve had some great talks this year, starting in January when Dave told us about his trekking and mountaineering trip through Peru and Bolivia, and Peter described his adventures horse riding and trekking in Kyrgyzstan.

February took us to New England with Carmen and Simon to see the fall colours and of course do some walking and climbing, and then over to Northern Sweden with Donal for a multi day hut-to-hut walk along the Kungsleden or ‘King’s trail’.

Finally, in March we got on our bikes with Chris who competed in the transcontinental cycle race from Belgium to Istanbul (everyone was exhausted just listening!), and then Rob gave an introduction to lightweight backpacking (with props!) along the Haute Route Pyrenees.

Many thanks to all the speakers for giving their time to put a talk together and present it, and to all those members who came along to support, hopefully have some fun and learn about somewhere new. Looking forward to more adventure talks next year!

Cwm Glas Mor – new meet, new hut

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

15326606_1349349478422170_3886202714005874998_nFor the first time we had a early December meet to compliment the upcoming extended Christmas trip, and held it at the CC hut in the Llanberis Pass.

As it was a first we were worried about attendance, Id been banging on about sucha meet for ages so stepped up to organise it and suggested the compact and bijou CC hut slap bang in the middle of the pass. We needn't have worried as we easily filled the 9 places and then some, relying on Peri and Karl to sleep in vans at the large hut (Ynns). The Hut is not on the road and involves a 400m or so walk from the parking at Ynns, unless you are Paul or Peri in which case add another 400m or so Brownian Motion to that. A cosy hut requires some organisation to not trip over each other but it all worked out ok, even the one shower and separate toilet block,

Despite the late three teams headed for Tremadog and grabbed a bit of sunshine (Pete B, Karl, Jamie, Peri, Mike, Dave W and I)

A smaller team (Paul, Simon, Carmen, Pete W ) walked up behind the hut to the Parson Nose scramble and onto the summit before heading down Y Gribyn ridge.

Given the time of year we were all back quite early and we had Petes Moroccan treat to look forward to but not until we had scoffed some soup (I think !) Peri produced excellent homemade mince pies and tons of cream, so we were as usual, stuffed.

Sunday was cold and windy but bright blue skies. Simon & Carmen headed along to Pen-Y-Pass and up on the glyders with fantastic views.
Paul and Jamie also headed onto the Glyders but from the Nant Peris end enjoying sunshine and views and avoiding the wind

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riverside bimble in beddgelert

The rest of us headed for a bimble around Beddgelert in lovely conditions and a cup of tea post scotch-egg-in-one for the prof.

We all somehow managed to be back at the hut at approximately the right time and after some car shuffling and hut cleaning were away home before 5.

Great little hut in a stonking position and with requests to book it again for a summer climbing trip.

Bryn Hafod Meet 2016

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

10505245_1724819451076031_5260905827964329654_oSeptember saw YAC heading to a new location, Bryn Hafod near Dinas Mawddwy in mid-Wales on the southern edge of Snowdonia. This place really is a world away from the popular tourist spots of the northern part of the national park. The hills may be less craggy and imposing but the rolling slopes and tranquil green valleys combined with the absence of crowds create a beautiful, peaceful setting. The hut is located at the head of the valley a few hundred meters walk up a track from a small car park and shares the valley with only a couple of farms. Built by members of the Mountain Club (of Stafford), the hut consists of a large kitchen and living room downstairs, and a couple of dorms upstairs (one for members only) providing space for 18. As there were only 7 YACers present, we had bags of space, even with the handful of members who came and went over the course of the weekend.20160917_175502

The local crag (Craig Cywarch) has a reputation for being rather vegetated but the hut owners have recently been fairly active at cleaning things up and provided a handy list of cleaned (or otherwise climbable) routes. The ominously named "Doom" seemed to be top of everyone's ticklist so Simon and Carmen headed off to find this on Saturday morning, Pete B and I following along behind some time later (purely to avoid the queue of course, nothing to do with our inability to get up in the morning). On arrival at the crag (a short walk from the hut) Pete and I spotted S and C warming up on one of the recently cleaned VDiffs so decided to do the same and headed for Will o' the Wisp, a classic rock tick Pete had done before but couldn't remember much about. Apart from an ill advised scramble up a steep vegetated gully, we found the route fairly easily. It proved to be pretty good, with some fantastic positions and views down the valley, only spoiled slightly by me ignoring the guidebook description and traversing past the arete with steep juggy moves up a wall in a fantastic exposed position (apparently the best bit of the route), in favour of a steep vegetated corner, with minimal holds or gear. Oops! Simon and Carmen followed us up (the conventional way) after retreating from a wet slimy slab on the crux of P1 of Doom.20160917_131706

After lunch S and C went back to tick of the rest of the VDiffs where they started while Pete and I went in search of Buzzards Balcony, a 3* Severe at the far end of the crag. However, after 1.5hrs of bashing through bracken and brambles we decided it was a bit late to start another route and headed back to the hut to make a start on dinner (via a less direct/vegetated route!). Rather a shame as the routed looked to be in good nick.

The others (Pete E, Donal and Annie) had a good day out biking, despite the cafe on route being shut so had to survive on Donal and Annie's sandwiches, Pete's pies, cake purchased from a farm on route, and a cream tea at the cafe at the end of the route. Meagre rations indeed!

Sunday we awoke in the clag so settled for a pleasant walk around the Aran's, except S and C who ran a similar route in the opposite direction.

A good trip in a nice location but must get a bit more climbing in next time.

Stair

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Combe GhyllAfter a long absence, June's hut meet returned to the Fylde MC hut at Stair, in the Newlands Valley.

The forecast was for a mixture of sunshine and showers, but we decided to risk a spot of climbing anyway and headed for Raven Crag. I was tempted by Raven Crag Gully, which has long been on my to-do list as a summer route (we've done it in winter), but it was dry and sunny so we opted for Corax (HS 4a **) instead – basically a harder variation start to Corvus.

The first pitch was excellent, the second pitch good but dirty, with no sign of any recent ascents despite its stars, which made route finding tricky – so it's possible I went off route! Felt more like VS 4b. We then moved left to finish up the last few pitches of Corvus, which was as good as ever.

We followed this with Raven Crag Buttress (VD ***) which I've done before but Carmen hadn't.  A good route but lots of grass, not really a three star classic at the moment.

Crystal SlabMeanwhile Daves W and D had arrived, and after one or two of the short single pitch routes on the left, did Crystal Slab (MVS 4b **) – an excellent bold first pitch followed by some unpleasant jungle bashing. They finished with  Raven Crag Buttress, while C and I moved further down the valley to Glaciated Slab, where we did a couple of poorly protected Severes and soloed a VDiff.

It had stayed dry all day up until that point, but made up for it with a cloudburst as we left the crag, we were all drenched in minutes.

Having left it for almost 3 months before writing this blog, I can't remember exactly what anyone else did, but I know there was climbing done at Black Crag, Shepherds Crag, and Buckstone Howe, and walking and biking in various places!

Sunday's forecast was similarly iffy, with a greater chance of rain, so we went to Shepherds – a crag I tend to avoid due to the crowds. In the event it wasn't too busy, probably many had been put off by the forecast.

ArdusWe started with Ardus (MVS 4b ***), a brilliant 3 pitch route, Carmen took the steep second pitch, I got the bold final one. Next Carmen volunteered me to lead the crux first pitch of  Brown Crag Wall (VS 4b **) – good but a bit traumatic! We finished with Brown Slabs Face (VD **), which despite being really popular somehow managed to be only marginally polished – maybe we were off route? Great little route anyway.

With impeccable timing the heavens opened as we walked out again. Most of the others had also climbed further along Shepherds, but I'm not sure exactly what!

Some more photos here

 

Highcliffe Nab

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Highcliffe CrackSomeone on UKC posted about cleaning Highcliffe Nab which was all the motivation I needed to suggest this as a venue. Despite my last couple of suggests, who’ll forget Wainstones in the clag after getting most of the club to drive through sunny country side to get there, people joined me.

Heart Throb CrackFrom a distance the crag look green (luminous), closer inspection was more promising. There are plenty of routes to go at across all grades, Paul G and myself did Highcliffe Crack (S4a — and a rock fax top 50), Flake Crack (VS4c — and a rock fax star), Heart Throb Crack (HS 4a — and a star also) and North West Route (VDiff — guest what, this also has a star), Simon and Carmen climbed, climbed similar routes plus Highcliffe Chimney (D — the only non stared route of the evening).

North West RouteOn the whole the rock is sound, the grades are reasonable and I would definitely have a return visit, there are already routes on my hit list, all that and 10 stars!! Awesome.

The end of winter

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Snowdon HorseshoeThe May Day bank holiday meet returned to Bryn Brethynau near Capel Curig, and hopes were high for some Spring sunshine and warm rock. The weather had other ideas however!

On Saturday, Dave D, Carmen and I did a clockwise circuit of the Snowdon Horseshoe, which was very much in winter condition with fresh snow from about 600m. It was sunny though, with the occasional shower, and cloud bases most above the summits with the exception of Snowdon itself.

QueuesNot that many people on our route considering it was a holiday – but looking down to the Miners Track it was a non-stop line of people throughout the day, there must have been many hundreds of them. The final pull up to the summit was under deep snow, more than a foot of it, but of course most people weren't equipped for it, slipping and sliding all over the place. No reports of accidents though so presumably they all lived to tell the tale.

13092150_1164685633555223_2947748059213386847_nThe weather saved its best for the final traverse of Crib Goch, we even had good views of the summit.

While it was still winter on the tops, things were a bit more like Spring in the valleys. Justine Gav and Pete B climbed a 7 pitch Severe, Canyon Rib, in Aberglaslyn Gorge – so obscure that even I've never heard of it, but by all accounts it's worth doing so now on my list!

For DebraRuss and Mike went to the ever-dependable Tremadog where they did 4 routes including One Step in the Clouds with its new first pitch following a recent rock fall. Apparently it was quite hard!

Meanwhile Donal went mountain biking, and Annie did a nice sunny walk over to the Crafnant Valley, calling in at the oldest church in Wales on the way.

Crafnant ValleyThe next day was wet and windy. Carmen and I went on a run, a variation of Annie's walk from the day before, where as well as the church we found a ridiculously overhanging bolt line, presumably someone's project, and returned via Swallow Falls.

The others went on a variety of walks, both low and high level, the common feature being getting wet.

Monday dawned even worse, with just as much winds and even more run. Most people cut their losses and went straight home.

World's EndCarmen and I waited for the promised improvement for the afternoon, and drove east to World's End , one of the limestone crags near Llangollen. We stuck it lucky, as by the time we got there the sun was out. We managed 4 routes before a sudden heavy shower put an end to proceedings.

Justine and Gav headed for Tremadog, where the weather turned even better, and they stayed for another 2 days to make the most of it.

All in all, a pretty good weekend despite the mixed weather, but next time we'll be due our fair share of warm sun!

Some more photos here

 

Alpine lakes

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

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After a wet start to the weekend a blue sky day was forecast for the Sunday so Dave W and I made plans to head to the lakes for the day.
Dave was keen to tackle a long mountain route and suggested Gillercombe Buttress we had both climbed this route previously, Dave a few years back and I had climb it last year but only as a second so was happy to do it again and this time lead a few pitches.
An early start meant we were on the A66 and heading to Keswick in good time, a shock ensued when a good dusting of snow started to appear either side of the road and sure enough when the mountains came into view everywhere was white, very pretty but not ideal for climbing especially as neither of us had packed any boots.

After pulling over to discuss plan B we decided that gillercombe was still worth a look due to its south easterly aspect a decision we didn't regret, driving down the borrowdale valley it was comforting to see the snow had all ready melted on the slopes and crags that where in the sun.
fearing boggy ground and wet feet ascending from the valley floor we opted to park at the honister slate mine and descend to the crag base from above.

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Dave at the start of Gillercombe Buttress

We traveled fairly light climbing with small packs so we didn't have to drop back down to collect any gear, we had the crag to ourselves it was strangely quite hardly even any walkers around we did catch sight of a couple of boulders heading up to play on the boulders just below the crag.

SAM_3116Dave flew through the first few pitches I managed to get him to stop for a quick photo before continuing on to a nice grassy ledge bathed in sunshine, where we stopped for lunch and awesome views I took the next couple of pitches to just shy of the top where I left dave to finish off with a scramble and an alpine style belay.

Trainers back on and in good time we headed up Gable for more great views and a look at the memorial before heading back to the car where we fueled up on chocolate, crisps and donuts for the journey back to york.

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The weather played ball for a change nice clear views from the top of Gable a good start to to summer many more adventures to come.

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A dozen Brimham stars

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Paul's email arrived with my bucket of tea and a glorious morning. After the usual organisational faff Paul, Mike S and I arrived at Brimham just before noon.

Mike has done no real routes at Brimham so we set off looking for classics that weren't too green and damp after yesterday's downpour. Rough Wall was greasy so we trundled along to Cracked Buttress which takes no drainage and the open aspect means it dries quickly in the sun and cold wind, both of which we had plenty.

Grit AttackMike led Right Hand Crack (VS 4b/c ***), trying to avoiding jamming, Paul then did an excellent if circumspect lead of Grit Attack (HVS 5b* – hard for the short and bold at 3/4 height). I am still feeling the tail end of the cold that ruined the Elphin trip for me so was on seconding and heckling duty.

Next we pointed Mike at Birch Tree Wall (VS 4c) (where we ran into Mark Brown bouldering and Russ on family duty) where he picked up another three stars in a slightly wandering line ! We continued our stroll along the lower edge to Allan's Slab which was dry but cold.

We soloed a few of the easy routes around here (collecting another 3 stars) and played on Woodbine before heading home in the sunshine. Top day out and quality local crag.