Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

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!

 

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.

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

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.

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.

Eagle Front ( you wouldn’t want to climb this one if it was wet )

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

After a quick email exchange with Dave W a plan was hatched to have a look at Eagle Front in the Lakes, a three star VS on Eagle Crag.

After some last minute shenanigans five of us headed of early for the lakes, myself, Dave W, Russ, Danny and Jamie, blue skies and sunshine awaited.

The crag faces North but with the recent good weather we were hoping the route would be dry, it was. Good climbing quite delicate with not to many good hand holds and a few mossy ramps and corners means you wouldn’t want to be on this one if it was wet.
Russ and Danny headed off first as a pair, while myself, Jamie and Dave climbed as a three and tried to keep up.

Jamie led a good second pitch which felt balancy and insecure to me, I did the middle pitches and Dave the final two including the classic corner pitch which looked impressive not much gear, unless you’ve packed a number six cam! Most of the climbing was in the shade unfortunately but we emerged back out into the sunshine as we topped out to amazing views.

We strolled back to the car in the evening sun and enjoyed ice cream by the beck before the drive back to York.

Great day and a good route might try a south facing climb next time though!

Summer's arrived? Lower Falcon Crag

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Rob and I headed across to the Lakes to stay at grange, the weather forecast was good (for Saturday at least). The plan was to try some of the other crags in Borrowdale (i.e. not Shepards) and tick off some routes on the 25 best VS/HVS in Borrowdale list. We opted for some stared routes on Lower Falcon Crag. The crag is a short walk from the parking (10 minutes to the base of the routes, maximum) but there is a lot of brambles to be aware. The weather was great, it could have been (and probably was) the summer. We started on Spinup (VS 4c) and Jamie joined us as we finished the first pitch. The whole route is excellent but pitch two has a particularly nice traverse with some interesting down climbing to access it. Due to a bird restriction the descent is by abseil form the centre of the crag, its free hanging in places so don’t forget the prussic and passes Illusion and Usurper, so plenty of opportunity to inspect the harder routes.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_e29-2018-05-18-11-27.jpg

Is that a new tick? No, I think you have to finish the route first Rob.

Next was Hedera Grooves (VS 4b, although I’m not sure it was easier than Spinup), well worth the two stars with nice two dimensional climbing before the traverse on pitch one and challenging start of pitch two through a holly bush. Last route of the day was Illusion (HVS 5a), the crux of which is accessing the 15(ish)m traverse using a large hanging flake, which some of us foot traversed and others hand traversed (interesting choice when trying to get the gear back). The gear is good but spaced, and the climbing technical in a few places. The guidebook mentions this being a loose crag, there were a few loose holds but given this was early in the year after a cold winter its to be expected. Be aware there were quite a few ticks found after we returned home.

Next day was a bit pish so we headed home via Bramcrag Quarry to check out future options. The place is heaving with bolted routes at all grades. It will be well worth a visit on a nicer day.

There's no way this is 4c …. Crookrise

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Having given it a sufficiently long time for the memories of previous visits to Crookrise to fade a few of us headed there (Russ, Carmen, Simon, Peri, Jamie and Paul) to try out luck with an average weather forecast. As it turned out the weather was glorious, warm with lovely blue skies. The routes turned out to be tougher and bolder than remembered, with plenty of them offering little gear until half-height.

 

But undeterred we had a go on end slab. the sole, walkers wall, slab and nose, arsenic slab (most of the routes including some top roping on a blank HVS Old Lace) and cats whiskers (to name a few). A great mix of routes from steep lay backing to easy angled slabs punctuated by cries of “there’s no way this is 4c”, which to be fair was probably true. Another great day out on grit. Simon has posted some pictures on facebook.

 

Inspired by Rob and Will ….

Monday, March 12th, 2018

Inspired by the conditions reported by Rob and Will we set off to try and get a last lakeland winter route in at Great End. As it turned out Jamie and I weren’t the only ones inspired, the place was heaving and Window Gully had a cue of at least 3 people, after gearing up this had increased to 6 and counting. As an alternative we headed up South East Gully, neither of us had done this previously and it had the advantage of only one other team in the gully (after some faffing by us at the first belay they were well gone leaving the place pretty much to just the two of us).The snow was ok but a soft top layer made it quite hard going. The first little step in the gully had just enough ice and hooks to go, the ice pitch was excellent, it was a bit undercut at the top made it quite a challenge to exit, definitely grade III conditions. After a chat at the top with some of the other climbers we abbed into window gully and had just enough time to do the upper ice fall. The ice was fat and made for an excellent last pitch. Time the walk back to he car, in the dark, and head into Keswick for fish and chips. IMG_1305-2018-03-12-11-43.jpg