Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

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 …..

YAC Autumn Ariege trip

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Last October 7 YAC members (me, Simon, Ann, Peter E, Peri, Dave D and Mike) plus James and Sara went to the Ariege (foothills of French Pyrenees). It is a lovely area that Simon & I were keen to return to. Peter and Ann hired bikes for a couple of days and were doing a mixture of cycling and walking and even the occasional rock climb. Sara was also doing a mixture of cycling, climbing and walking activities, including a sightseeing day with Dave D to Carcasonne. The rest of us just climbed – as there is so much climbing around. We were overall pretty lucky with the weather. Any heavy rain fell overnight and we were able to get out climbing everyday.

Several days were spent on the local limestone crag of Calames – climbing some of the quality long single pitch and multi-pitch climbs. Couple of trips to the brilliant granite crag Auzat – La Sabine is a must do route (just as good as we remembered). A trip to a new gneiss crag of Junac, not in the current Rockfax which turned out to be rather good and complete with cheeky goat. A trip to Baychon where the routes were of variable quality and grading – but a beautiful outlook over the valley. Some of the team climbed at Aux le Thermes and some of us went for a long multi-pitch on Dent d'Orlu (granite) which was a top day out with fantastic views and we had the East face to ourselves. Worth saving for the good forecast.

Still plenty more routes and crags not visited. It is a beautiful area with a good variety of rock types and route lengths. I think we might be back again some day (hopefully).

James on La Sabine -Auzat
Simon at top of multi-pitch
la voie des peres tranquilles – Calames
Peri climbing at Baychon

View down valley from Baychon
Mike on classic
Fleur de Rhodo – La Dent d'Orlu
Dave D on
Fleur de Rhodo – La Dent d'Orlu

Tremadog September 2018

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Only 7 of us stuck with the plan and went to Wales on Friday night.  A few cried off due to poor forecast – but the forecast turned out to be ever changing.

Saturday morning was meant to be dry but it started spitting soon after we went to the upper tier of Craig Pant Ifan. Jayne came up with us – but then headed off for a walk/scramble up Moel Hebog and dropped down to Beddgelert before heading back to the hut. She enjoyed a long walk, arriving back at the hut via a lift from a friendly bus driver.

The rain held off for a while so we got a few routes done before the rock was saturated again. So we went back to the hut for some food and drink and warm up. Come 3pm the rain had stopped and sun gradually came back out – so Simon and I, Peri and Dave D headed out and climbed Christmas curry. We had the crag to ourselves. The first 1.5 pitches were on wet rock but after that it was all dry and lovely later afternoon.

Meanwhile Peter had been out on his bike from Tal y Bont, on A496 between Harlech and Barmouth, a circular route taking in Pont Scethin, 12 miles, hard and short, pushed up the two steepest hills, one customary crash on way down Bwlch y Rhiwgyr. Rich arrived Saturday evening and was soon telling stories of D of E chaos. Soup, sausages, veg and scones were swiftly consumed. This was accompanied by squeals and swearing as the size of the kitchen spider was realised (by Peri). Has any of us brought it home??

Sunday morning was dry and soon turned sunny. Rich was going to climb with Dave D but injured himself on the way to the crag – so Dave D, Peri and Pete B climbed together in the Yogi area – climbing Yogi and Smarter than the Average Bear. Meanwhile Simon & I climbed Valerie's Rib Direct, Tro and a newly cleaned Quercus.

Meanwhile Jayne and Peter went for a walk – Rhinog Fach starting up Cwm Nantcol then via Lyn Perfeddau and Lyn Hywel – and were rewarded with good views and mountain goats. Back at the crag the rain started just as we were finishing climbing and we managed to be back in the hut when the heaviest shower arrived. The walkers soon returned.

A good weekend's climbing/walking/cycling despite the weather forecast. Never fully trust the forecast!

 

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.

 

Dolomite adventures

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Due to an imminent change of lifestyle, I was desperate to get in a big climbing trip whilst I still had some freedom. The plan had been to get a core group of 4 together to simplify decisions and arrangements, then open it out to the rest of the club. Unfortunately due to my inability to organise a piss up in a brewery, there were still no firm arrangements a week before our planned departure date (and a month before due date)! After about two hundred emails back and forth we finally agreed on a 4 bed apartment in Arabba, a tiny village close to the Sella group in the centre of the Dolomites. The team was Mike Shaw, Pete B, Rob and myself, with Paul coming later for an extra week with Rob…

We arrived at the apt (Cèsa Raggio di Sole) about midnight and were pleased to find the extensive dithering had paid off. A great little apt, newly decorated, comfy, and cheaper than camping. Though we had no crags right on our doorstep, we were pretty well located for the Western end of the Dolomites, with a huge selection of crags (a.k.a. mountains!) within an hour's drive, inevitably involving going up and over a mountain pass – we got very used to those hair-pins.

As we'd arrived late we hadn't had chance to pick up any food but with the weather forecast warning of storms later in the week we wanted to make the most of the good weather despite our late start so grabbed a meagre breakfast of apples and cake in the local shop and headed to Sella Towers, a group of three towers right by the road at the top of one of the passes, with a selection of long easy routes to go at. Mike and I climbed Via Fiechtl (V-), a nice route with the crux (for me) being the awkward offwidth on pitch 2. The route culminated with a fantastic couple of chimney pitches, proper traditional back-and-footing, which proved rather easier for those closer to 6ft than 5 ft! Pete and Rob climbed a neighbouring route which shared the first 1.5 pitches.

A great start to the weeks climbing, but we got back to the car too late to make it to the shops (silly continental Sunday trading hours) so we scraped together some dinner from the basic provisions we'd got that morning and Rob's secret stash.

The following day, despite the lack of a proper meal for almost 2 days, we opted for another big route before the storms arrived, this time on Piz Ciavazes. Once again, Mike and I teamed up for 
Little Micheluzzi (Direct Start), a three started V- culminating in a fantastic juggy traverse with spectacular exposure hundreds of metres above the valley floor.

The following day had rain forecast for the afternoon so a roadside sport crag (Penia di Canazei) seemed like the perfect option for the morning. This turned out to be a humbling experience, with most of us struggling on 5s and 6s, and I even managed to fall off a 4! The rain arrived just as we were running out of routes, and pulling power so we took the opportunity to do a proper shop, at least that was the plan, continental trading hours had other ideas, so an hour or so was killed mooching around the town, but we finally got some proper supplies.

More sport the following day, this time at Sass de Stria, a much better crag with more realistic grading. A few of Rob's mates who'd been camping nearby made an appearance.

More suspect forecasts the next day prompted a bit of via ferratta. A grade 4c (out of 5) on Sella Towers, which was great fun but over all to soon. The descent from the top was a different story, going via a couple of summits just under 3000m and taking several hours, only to emerge on the road about a mile and a half downhill from where the car was park. I drew the short straw so ditched my bag and went to retrieve the car, however karma was clearly on my side as the others got midged whilst waiting.

paul at rest

Paul had been due to arrive that night but due to a delayed flight (a sign of things to come) he resorted to kipping in the car and arrived early Friday morning. With a good forecast one last big route was called for so we headed to Falzarego Towers. Since they were climbing as a three Pete, Rob and Mike went for the easier option of Comici – South Arete (V- *** 6 pitches) whilst Paul jumped in at the deep end and joined me on Dibona (V+ *** 11 pitches). This had some great climbing throughout, culminating with a scary unprotected chimney pitch behind a detached pillar (crux IMHO) leading to a fantastic belay perched atop said pillar. The final pitch (and technical crux) stepped back across off the pillar and pulled through some wild and steep moves to reach the summit. A great start/end to our respective trips.

That evening we celebrated with pizza and beer and went our separate ways the following morning, Paul and Rob to find a campsite for the next week, the rest of us squeezed in a couple more sport routes at Sass de Stria before heading to the airport for our flight home. The less said about that the better, let's just say there's a few of us who won't be flying with Ryanair again. An otherwise great trip! I would certainly go back either to the same area (as there's so much more to go at) or elsewhere in the Dollies, maybe in 18 years or so.

Pix (more to come): https://photos.app.goo.gl/HLSwkcdnDmFTyNgw8

The Heat is on in Wales

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Rob under tension

The June weekend meet saw nine of the club members heading to North Wales to stay in the really nice, if a little quirky Chester Mountaineering Club hut located part way up the main tourist path from Llanberis to the Snowdon summit.

With the recent dry weather all the mountain routes and generally damp north-facing mountains and crags were in fine condition.

Saturday Peri and Dave W took on the ambitious link up of Main Wall on Cyrn Las (HS) and Gambit Climb (S) on Clogwyn y Ddysgl. A big day out and two top 50 routes, sounded excellent and one that's definitely going on my list to do one day. Dave headed home quite late but satiated.

choo choo

A handful of us took the opportunity to join the crowds on the Snowden track and head up to cloggy, a place I have heard a lot about but never climbed. Jamie, Rob and I headed for Llithrig HVS 5a a three-star historical classic according to the
guide, some exciting climbing and fun to be had on the tension traverse.

simon on great slab

Carmen and Simon also headed to cloggy tackling the three-star VS Great Slab, another one for the list. We all met at the top and descended together and with queues on nearly all the easier routes (VS/HVS) on the eastern buttress and time running out we all headed to far west buttress and made a mass ascent of Slab Climb Right-hand a starred HS. Nice climbing in the evening sun proves there is the odd easier

mike soloing !

route at cloggy, but don't expect much if any gear.

 

mike leading Llithrig P1

Pete W and Pete B headed to the pass to climb on Carreg Wastad, clocking up a bunch of stars with the excellent Crackstone Rib (S), Skylon (HS) and The Wrinkle (VD). This would have been a decent day for most but not Pete W who decided a short jog halfway up Snowdon and back would be a nice way to round of the day.

On Sunday we somehow all managed to survive my cooking with no lasting effects and awoke to another gloriously warm and sunny day.

Pete W’s mate Rhys joined us for Saturday night and they planned a nice gentle ride by the coast for the Sunday, only a 100k I think in the end!

Pete B, Rob and I made the most of the dry conditions and headed up to Gambit Climb (VD in our guide!). Finding the start was a little tricky but once on the route, all was clear, lots of short awkward corners broken up by ledges. A tough short and well protected final pitch (4b ish) brought us to the ridge and a gentle stroll back to the Pass.

This time Peri and Jamie climbed in the pass on Dinas Mot and tackled The Cracks (HS) yet another top 50. Carmen and Simon were first on Main Wall in Cryn Las, confirming its quality when we met up in the pass with Simon declaring it possibly the best route he’s ever done.

Suitable Knackered we all jumped in our various modes of transport for the journey back to York. A great weekend in Wales with even better weather, unfortunately, the tick list isn't getting any smaller, at least I managed to climb on Cloggy.

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.