Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Yorkshire Sport

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Mike, Jamie and I headed over to Giggleswick North for a day Sport climbing, with an indifferent forecast it seemed prudent.

I prefer Gig North to South and there are some good routes, with good gear and the rock is mostly sound, and the polish isnt too bad. We started just past the Hollywood bowl behind a tree on some slightly damp routes which were ok. Jamie turned up and warmed up on the 6b (we think) – which has a tough move. Not great but not crap and feeling a little traddy.

We moved along to the next clean buttress and did some excellent routes around 6a/6a+ sort of standard, the grades vary from rockfax/ukc/YMC guide. After an hour or two we continued along the wall and found a few more good routes to play on until about 6 when we headed home. We all have routes to go back for after resting or not getting on them so a return trip is on the cards.

A couple of points, it takes quite along time to get there (circa 2 hours and 60 miles), route identification can be a bit tricky in places, and not all routes are on the YMC update so get a copy of the UKC listing before you go.

pix to follow – maybe…

UKC logbook for Gig North: https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1344

Happy Helyg

Thursday, December 4th, 2014
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Annie paying her respects

After the usual musical chairs sorting lifts the first peeps arrived at Helyg just after dark and moved into the hut concocting various suppers as the troops arrived. There were multiple plans, Peri desperate for Tremadog, but many people favouring staying local, what with the weather being undecided. Eventually Pete B arrived and the party could start.

The Climbers Club (CC) is one of the older clubs in the UK, established around 1892 they bought their first hut, Helyg in 1925, in the Ogwen valley, it's the only part of the valley not owned by NT! Helyg is the oldest continually used climbing hut in UK (so i am told) and has been modernised but retains much character, including exhibits from the 1952 Everest Exped as they used Helyg as a training base. Recently it has been opened up for outside club (or individual BMC members) use, so we were pleased to get it. The hut has 13 bunks but we were one over that, but Peri opted for her van, Paul a wee tent, and Annie the floor so all was well.

10474518_869796529710803_454342019900859529_oIn the morning Simon and Carmen had got an early start on their round of the valley, from the hut over the Carnedds and back over the Glyders range, a mere 16 miles an some silly amounts of ascent. Pete E's brother John dragged Pete off for a excellent scramble (Dolmen Ridge – see previous blog) and Peter W and Peg-Leg (Jamie) went on a proper mountain day out, climbing on the Idwal slabs before topping out Cneifion Arete – good effort.

Mark on slate

Mark on slate

A team of 4 went to the slate, or rather the cafe while they waited for it to stop raining then grabbed a few routes in the afternoon. Annie and Donal had a wee stroll around Tryfan, sensibly heading down when the rain came.

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Crib Gogh

Paul and Luke also went for a proper scrambling day out, soloing past some roped climbers on Parsons Nose (2/3) out of Cwm Glas in traditional conditions, before encountering her majesties army coming up Crib Gogh. After a jaunt to the top they backtracked down CG (3 star classic grade 1) and the north ridge (always awkward route finding) but were back in time for tea.

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lunch before Knights Move pitch

Slightly ahead of Annie and Donal Pete B and I made our way upto the east face of Tryfan to tackle Grooved Arete, a 3 star classic rock route on Pete's list, and it was his b'day so his choice of activity. It all went fine but was slimy in places and the rain didn't help much. Never freezing as it's out of the wind, t'was chilly at points. We almost made it back to the car sans head torch.

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CAKE

I love meets like this where we all disperse to the four compass points and come back to chat over the adventures with tea and cake in hand. Speaking of cake, it was Pete's B'day and I had made a cake, and enlisted Carmen to stick the decorations on – no candles but – a veritable 'Jelly-Coatta Army' !

For the meal this was preceded by L&P soup with garlic bread, Moroccan Meatballs with cous cous, salads and dips, Peri's excellent lemon Drizzle cake (enormous) and apple crumble. We clearly missing Alan's cheese course 🙂



Sunday most people were a little heavier !

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Rob in Bus Stop Quarry


Team Slate returned to the quarries and had a successful day with Dave W and Peri teaming up to tackle some E1s and Mark and Luke bagging some unknown routes ! Pete, Jamie and I also headed to the slate a little later and messed about in Bus Stop quarry in the sunshine on the excellent easier sports routes there. Simon and Carmen braved the Cromlech in the pass and bagged a brace of CR routes (Spiral Stairs and Flying Buttress),
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Camen on Flying Buttress


Paul and Pete went for a run on a route that Dave W suggested, along the valley up through Cwm tryfan (a lovely quite spot close to the crowds) and back along the tops to Capel returning up the valley coach road, about 14Km. Great views of Siabod but cold feet says Paul! Donal Annie and Peter went for another walk before heading home.



We all agreed an excellent hut (it's a special place for me as I stayed here for a few weeks when training for my MIA) and one we ought to go back to soon.

The Ottoman Empire Strike Back – the other bits

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

An addendum to the Ottoman Empire Strikes back….

Whilst ‘Team Peri’ was doing the ‘Ard stuff ('ard with a capital A), Peter and I were entertaining ourselves on the 4s and 5s which were not quite so plentiful. Simon and Carmen obviously doing stuff somewhere in between.

Jositos
'Josito's  from crag above.'

Our trad trip on the Tuesday, to the same area as Saturday’s epic (the mountain is called Sivri Dag), was notable for two reasons.

The first was getting there. We drove up the right valley, could see the ridge but could not see how to get to it as per the instructions in the guide book. Solution was to drive down the valley back to the suburbs of Antalya and drive around until we found another road pointing in the right direction. This worked out fine as we ended up underneath our ridge. Next problem was to find the parking place. We needed to know this as the path leads from there. After driving past some road works and workmen half a dozen times we convinced ourselves we were at the right place. All this took ages.

Eventually we got climbing, the rock was very good. Some of the holds were so deep that unless you consciously thought to take your hand out, it got stuck there with the back of your hand being bashed against the top of the slotted hold when you moved on.

Slots to get your hands stuck in.

'Slots to get your hands stuck in.'

The second was the weather. Once we had few routes done, Simon and Carmen set off on a multi-pitch route. Cue rain. After deciding it was not going to pass, Peter and I abandoned our rope and kit and sheltered under a tree. Simon and Carmen eventually returned from abandoning their route and retrieved it for us. Most kind!

Back to the car and back to base to dry out.

Drying out

'Drying out'

The trip to the beach (Thursday). Isabelle joined the usual 4 in our car and we went to the crag on the beach on Thursday as the weather forecast was bad. How does that work?

Sitting in the back of the car I began to recognise bits of road and tunnels we had gone along (and through) along a few minutes earlier. Eventually we pulled off the new dual carriageway and found some where to park on the now defunct coast road. Do they make detailed maps in Turkey?

Surf was up. Made access and starting more interesting. Carmen put up a rope on a hideously difficult 6A, which she kindly hauled me up later. In the interim Peter and I were messing around on the 5, when not getting soaked by the surf.

When it started raining, we gave up and went to Termessos. Termessos was really good. It is an ancient ruined city. It was abandoned in the 5th century AD and only rediscovered in the mid 19th century. It was very eerie in the mist. Two things stick out:

One – we lost Carmen. She got to a tomb at the top of a hill (tomb of Aslan, minus the broken stone table) and then could not quite figure out the right way to come down. Eventually she chose the right path and did rejoin us, but not after some consternation on our part as to where the heck she had got to.

Last known sighting of Carmen

'Last known sighting of Carmen'

Two – the tomb of Alcetas was there. Alcetas was one of Alexander the Great’s generals. A photo of the tomb was in the book I had taken for holiday reading – not that I read much of it.

Alcetas

'Alcetas'

(Some other tombs carved into the rock faces reminded me of photos of Petra, somewhere I’d like to go one day.)

Saturday

This day, Simon, Carmen, Peter and I set off on a long route up the ridge called Kuzey Dogu Sirti (which apparently means NE ridge of Sirti, which we think is the first summit).  Followed by a scramble to the top and then along the top, an abseil down the back and a walk back to the car. 8 hrs in the guide book.

The ridge!

'The ridge! – a.k.a. Kuzey Dogu Sirti'

As we now knew the way there we arrived at 9am (ish) and started climbing soon after. Initially good progress on the pitched climbing. Less good on the scrambly bits for Peter and I. About 6pm we had an accident. Peter pulled of a chunk of rock which then rattled off down the mountain. (We were used to the smell of pulverised rock now.) Peter landed on a ledge, somewhat shaken. After a telephone call between Simon and Peter, and some recovery time, we continued. Come 8pm it was dark and we bivouacked. Peter happened to mention his ankles and shoulder hurt. Low on food and water.

Sunday

6.30am. the sun rose and we set off more. Ate remaining food and water as we thought we would meet Simon soon. I was wondering if they did all day breakfasts at Josito’s. 9.15am arrived at a top where we had thought to meet Simon. No Simon. We shouted and heard a very faint reply. No option but to continue along the ridge, very slowly as Peter’s ankles were very sore.

View from top of ridge

View from top of first summit on ridge

Next summit. Shouted again. Heard a reply and saw Simon in the far distance. Could only see a white speck moving. Despair! No all day breakfast for me.

View along ridge - spot Simon

'View along ridge – spot Simon'

3pm got to summit just before the abseil. Abseiled down – fun and games with the tangled rope. Simon there with biscuits and water. Lots consumed very quickly!

3.30pm to 6pm, walk down to the car to get the 10.00 flight.  All a bit close!

sun rock II – the ottoman empire strikes back

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Sun rock 2 was a mash up of YAC folks and various friends who were all lured to climb on turkish rock at Geyikbayiri in Antalya in the far south of Turkey, where we had heard the rock was steep and unpolished, the routes were long and well bolted and the sun was likely to shine. All were true. We had also heard the grading was quite stiff, and egos were likely to get battered. This was also true.

The landscape was fantastic, a deep valley just over an hour from the airport, lined by a succession of vertical limestone cliffs honeycombed with spectacular caves and interspersed with lush green woodland. Above the valley was a range of impressive mountains, on days when the clouds hung round the peaks the effect was like a japanese painting.

thunder3 stormyday trebenna

above – Geyikbayiri landscapes

The local crags were so extensive it was possible to stay there all week without running out of routes at the grades we were looking for, so Ali, Rachel, Poppy, Peri, Andrea Graham and Dave S did that, while Simon Carmen Pete E and Dave D and Isabelle mixed it up a bit more, with a cultural visit to an ancient deserted city and to seaside climbing at Olympos seaside (verdict – water worn, rounded and stiffly graded) plus a couple of trad days.

TS3

above -Graham on Turkish Standard, 6b+, one of the classics of the crag

One of the trad days provided us with a fine epic. Simon Carmen Pete and Dave D decided to do a big day out on a big nearby peak. The rest of us frowned a little when at 6.30pm we got a text from S & C saying they had just reached the summit…. later in the evening we got another text explaining that Pete and dave had liked the mountain so much they would be staying there overnight. Pete had pulled off a rock,  mashing up his ankle and been unable to finish in daylight, so they very sensibly decided to bivvy and complete the route next morning. S &C arrived back at midnight, then poor simon got up at the crack of dawn next day to collect the others. After a long day limping up the rest of the way to the summit and down the other side with a badly swollen ankle they arrived back  30 minutes before the drive to the airport.

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above – the overnight bivvy party returns, and Petes battered legs (didnt get a pic of the ankle, probably just as well as it might put you off your food)

We stayed at a local guesthouse, Rasayan Organic. However another time we would definately stay at Jo-si-to campsite instead, which was five minutes walk from the crag and had a lovely welcoming atmosphere, plus nice bar and cafe,  a fire pit with benches round it and a slackline. We hung out there a lot, you could sit at the bar after climbing with a nice cold beer and watch people still on the routes, trying for the umpteenth time to work the hard moves over the cave roofs.

slackline

above – Dave S at josito demonstrating his mastery of slacklining

If only we could have said the same about the guesthouse…it was an attractive well furnished building with great views, but spoilt by the attitude of the owners who levied additional charges at every opportunity (you want coffee at breakfast? no-one in turkey drinks coffee,  you will have to pay extra to buy the coffee and cafetiere! You want to use the kettle to make tea? Three euros per 7 uses!) . The high point was probably when Simon got up early on his rescue mission and Carmen was subsequently woken by the landlady shining a torch into their bedroom, presumably seized by the suspicion they were doing a runner.

On a much nicer note we also  paid a visit to a lovely fish restaurant based near the local trout farm, where we sat on low benches while the smiley owner brought out the freshest fish ever and piles of chips, aubergine salad and popcorn – definately worth seeking out – take the turning below sector anabolic.

overall verdict – great place, would love to go back. Just book early enough to stay at Josito's!

Sun Rock 1 — The C3 experience

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

los-cotos-gavC3 continues the story….

Gav and I arrived Friday and found our way to the Olive Branch. After a chill out and room swap, we headed out to a local crag Las Encantadas. Gav decided to warm up on a 6a, I decided to top rope the route to warm up. Gav clearly is a brave, fearless and capable climber, so Karl and I had an agreement that we would send him up the hard stuff – I added to this criteria – anything I didn’t like the look of.

Saturday: Gav and I didn’t go back to bed on the first day Paul, we had loads of coffee in honour of Karl who was kidnapped by Rob et al and forced up a multi pitch (Rogelio – see Paul’s account above) against his will. He actually had the best time but had only managed to consume 3 coffees before early start after beer till 1am. Gav and I did have a slow start but made our way to Escalera Arabe, the same crag. Climbed some nice 6a’s and then dropped the grades to finish nicely.

A very detailed discussion was held by all on the difficulties of women needing to wee on a multi pitch. A number of suggestions were made…please no postings. Dinner was provided by the Olive Branch – decided cooking was not on our agenda.

Sunday Karl was rescued and he got plenty of coffee before we all set of to the Busena Sombra sector of Desplomilandia. The day started on nasty 5+ in the corner (Escombros and Autan) again, demonstrating rather creative grading of routes. Like Paul, Karl’s favourite was Sin Mantenimiento (top 50 6a). After the sun hit we retreated for ice cream and coffee and a paddlele (not piddle) in the huge lakes on way home. Rob, Pete, Paul and I diverted en-route to re visit Stanage Girls – a lovely sustained and interesting route. Climbed to the sound of calling frogs! Back at the Olive Branch Gav supplied cold beers and Karl enjoyed his first shower!

Monday we headed for Turon West for Gav to lead a 6b in the early shade. He proved to be brave and fearless in all his leads whilst I was shameless in top roping his hard work! After much debate about gear and risk Karl, Gav and I decided to do a multi pitch (Top 50 5+ Multi pitch Julay Lama). Karl bravely led the first pitch risking spaced bolt placement and crazy rock formations on 1st pitch that would very neatly turn the human body in to crudités on a lead fall. I lead the second pitch to contend with more crazy bolting and loads of swearing. We all came down safely with minimal rat interference with our food. This may have been the day I was renamed a dusty donkey due to my load (litres of water just incase…). Gav did a vicious looking 6b+ (Manteca Colora) which again I shamelessly top roped and quite enjoyed. He then spied and led a beautiful 6b which was renamed the Crying Game after I climbed it and it brought tears of joy to my eyes; a beautiful route where the movements and rock flowed. Rob was not so taken with it when he and Pete climbed it later in the week (see other post). My favourite climb of all time. Ended the day all playing on 6b+ slab, crux at about 3m, don’t think any did it onsight

After the stress of the multi pitch Karl felt able to confess that he forgot to put us down for dinner…resulted in a marvellous feast of a sheep in a local restaurant.

Tuesday proved to be a day of adventure with a walk through a railway tunnel after Rob wisely checked the time tables to avoid a near miss with the first train. Two Germans considered us a bit wussy for waiting. They said they’d just walk quickly; after all it was just a big whoosh. Never mind, Rob was doing a grand job of improving German relations in the bunk house.

Again Gav lead a 32 metre top 50 6c – Pilier Dorada, with a long belay from Karl who had to take a leak midway. No details on this. Again I shamelessly topped roped it and followed not the chalk marks but the trail of blood. Karl made a good way up before retreating to use facilities again. Joined by nice Norwegians with a nice dog. Meanwhile Rob and Pete set up an abseil to start a rather sparsely bolted multipitch. Great photos of this to follow.

loscotos-c3After all contributing to the blood flow on the 6c we pushed our way through dense undergrowth to some easier but polished routes at Cotos Medios. Karl led then 3C did as well and seems to remember having some what of a tantrum on route. A Number One, a top 50 4+, nice but not like a 4+ at Harrogate! The route next to this followed and C3 found a particular tricky move (and swear words) mid way. Pete led Super Galleta a top 50 6a, it caused some pain though, esp for Gav who HATED it, Rob quite liked it and 3C waltzed up it (On top rope though).

pete-jumpA great adventure on the way back via Camino del Rey through the Gorge. A proper adventure to cross (jump) the river and locate the start, – but all cool cos Rob is our leader (deluded fools –Rob) Karl vvv happy.karl-walkway



Wednesday saw a very hot day so litres of water and much debate about ice cream rather than climbing. We all visited Turon East but due to lazy breakfast and much coffee, we were a bit it late so shade was fading fast. First climb was a thruchy, trad-a-like 5+ Ultima del Ano (Karl liked, 3C hated and fell, top roped after but still hated it). Got cooked so left for Turon west for shade, river and beautiful blue/purple flowers. Also home to newly named Crying Game. Karl and I in Sang hymns (Amazing Grace – knew all the words) to Gav on top 50 5+ (Floja y pendulona) although not sure the singing helped with harder routes. Much prefer West to East side.

Thursday was the last day and we were joined by a Lee, who had lost her climbing partner for the week. Great steady climber. Headed for Valle de Abdalajis, sector fisuras. Started on a Top 50 4+, Un pobre infeliz. Like Paul, not impressed with the grade or ridiculous lower off point and again had a bit of a tantrum at the top! Sore shoulder and lack of will left me top roping routes for the rest of the day! Fantastic routes to the left and the strong and the brave kept on cimbing and leading losing much skin and blood Eg Cantolandia (3* 6a), Fisuras Armoniosas (top 50 6a+) Many left skin and blood on Ozu! 6b Cheese grater layback – Dedos Sangrientos 5 but think up graded to 5+ or 6a?

grubHeaded back to the Olive Branch for a celebratory sheep dinner again with much beer and heavy hearts as the holiday was over. Road trip to Morocco anyone…

more pix to follow and robs version of events …..

Hasta La Vista Baby! Tarragona climbing

Friday, June 7th, 2013

church         siurana landscape

Well, here it is, the 2013 SunRock blog, only two months late. This year we decided to check out the climbing round Tarragona in Catalunya. This area contains some of the most famous climbing areas in Spain, including Siurana and Margalef, most of which were within half an hour of our accomodation.

By comparison with some of our other visits to Spain, this area was properly mountainous and very green. Instead of the usual scrub and cacti there were pine woods and grassy meadows. There were big yellow butterflies and birdsong at the crags. When you add to all this a spectacular landscape of deep ravines cutting into the mountains and soaring limestone cliffs, wild rock formations and clifftop villages this trip really was quite special.

karl and pete at siurana  justine at siurana  wild rock formations at Siurana Karl 'resting'

The climbing was quite hard. Although most of the routes were well bolted there were few giveaway grades so egos had to take a bit of a back seat. However there was a good range of routes at all grades and conditions were perfect – any warmer would have been unclimbably hot – so the week saw a lot of climbing as well as some spectacular lobs. There were also some spectacular failures to climb. Professor Deeply Deeply Sorry missed a whole day due to an unprovoked attack by a bottle or three of wine, and Peri, Graham and Justine were victims of a sneak assault by a gang of very large vodkas one evening, next day they did more snoozing than climbing.

LOGISTICS
We stayed at Lo Refugi (http://www.montsantnatura.cat/cat/?s=lorefugi) in Cornudella De Montsant, basic but cheap and good bunkhouse style accomodation in Cornudella De Montsant, about 15 minutes drive from the Siurana crags. There was a decent gear shop in the village (which was handy for retail therapy) and the village was well off the normal tourist track, so we actually had to use our spanish (thank god for Google Translate).

Guidebook: Tarragona Climbs http://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Books-Maps-DVDs/Foreign-Climbing-Guides/Europe/Spain/North-East-Spain/Tarragona-Climbs-COR-CE424#.UbJOiKw1Irk

More pics (mine – please add links to your own too! ) http://www.flickr.com/photos/81529845@N00/sets/72157633299092768/

Robin Proctor's Scar

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Wheels On Fire 6a+

No, not an episode of Embarrassing Bodies, but a rather fine bolted crag overlooking Crummockdale.  Our original plan was to visit Pot Scar, but when we arrived it was soaking wet. So Rob, me, Richard, Ali and Poppy were forced to wait for an hour in Elaines Tea Rooms drinking tea and eating carrot cake to see if it dried out – it was hell. Finally we decided it wasnt going to dry up (this coincided with running out of room for any more cake) and decided to take a look at Robin Proctor's Scar instead.

Which turned out to be a very good decision. The crag was as dry as a bone and its a very pretty spot indeed, one of those crags which stands up impressively above its valley. As we walked up the sky began to clear and by midday we were basking in mediteranean style sunshine. Shortly after we were joined by Jenny, tempted out by the wall to wall sun.

 

tombstone blues, 6a

The crag used to have a reputation for looseness seriousness but now it is all bolted, with enough routes in the lower grades to keep us busy all afternoon, starting in the 5s and 5+'s. The character of the routes tended to be more or less vertical, with really positive flake holds to get your fingers behind. My favourite routes were  Wheels On Fire,  which follows a brilliant flake line but at 6a+ saw a bit lot of swearing and the odd rest on bolts from ..ahem.. a couple of people, though Ali and Rob did it cleanly, the big show offs , and Tombstone Blues (6a) which undercuts a big flake then does a slightly precarious feeling high rockover move.  A lovely spot, and one for the "visit again"  list.

 


few more of rob's pics here

Foredale Foray

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

The rain hitting the windscreen as we passed Bolton Abbey was most unwelcome and a bit of a surprise, though the dark clouds should have been a clue. Ian E wanted to go sport climbing so as neither of us had been to Foredale and with so much talk of it being Costa del Settle we thought it a good choice. Roy had tagged along and we couldn't rustle up a fourth in time but no matter.

The walk in from the huge car parking is uphill but not far. We were rather surprised at the size of the place, it seemed far too small (and sopping wet) to host 100 climbs and somewhat bolt free. Hmmm – oh and its slate as well – what's going on ? Venturing a little furher up the hill we were greeted with a huge quarry – where the top of a hill used to be, fully 150m long with more around the corner.

The drizzle has stopped but lots of the walls were wet as we set about trying to locate routes from the multiple leeds wall printouts required. Eventually we found a couple of dry lines and picked off a few F5s and F6a around the Africa Flake area. Intermittent light showers soon dried up but didn't inspire confidence as climbing wet limestone doesn't rate highly on my list of safe things to do.

We moved along towards the Main Wall area and picked out another dry F6a/6a+ (after Ian had lined up the 6c by mistake – we think, possibly) and had fun on Ace of Spades, though when I led it the drizzle made all the small positive edges wet so care and concentration was needed.

With three of us we had plenty of chances to take photos and scope out the place, lots of good routes to be done, and Ian and I grees the harder lines look quality climbing (but save them for the dry season). We wandered along to the Hidden Walls area, round the corner and out of site of the main quarry, another vast area but with lots of broken / loose areas. Finishing on a nice F6a/6a+ with some odd moves into a groove.

We had to be back in York early-ish so we packed up as the last of the showers disappeared and the sun came out with great views over to Penyghent – the quarry itself is ugly but commands some lovely vistas.

Though only 64 miles (according to google) – they are slow miles and it takes a tad under 2 hours to get there but a worthwhile venue with some great lines on good compact rock. Grades are more akin to local walls than spain with many 5 and 6a all doable – but the best rock is reserved for the harder 6c upwards climbs.

loads of unsorted pix here