Archive for July, 2010

Scuggy midges

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Despite plans to get away early, work intervened and Will and I found ourselves heading north with heavy clouds to scugdale for a quick session. Startting at Scots we messed about trying to remember what we had and hadn't done before and what holds were in an out for various flavours of Pingers. It was pretty warm at this time and quite empty only a couple of other people there. Will ticked a few routes he hadn't done, and I did some I seem to have 'ball-pointed' already. Of course we failed miserably on a Tony Marr (no not the guitarist in the Smiths) 4c, the start being desperate but after the first move very enjoyable,

We headed over the fence to Barkers and played about around Bilberry Crack area doing a few micro routes (boulder problems anywhere else!) but by this time we were being eaten alive. I put on all my defence clothing including midge net and it wasn't too terrible. Will suffered a bit. With no breeze it was getting a bit daft so we headed home about 9ish

Torrential sun

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

After a week of being thwarted and teased by spiteful weather gods, Friday was a beaut. I arrived home to find an email from Rob suggesting an after work session so jumped in my car and we headed over to Almscliffe.  I managed to avoid the issue of Black Wall by offering Rob first lead so he set off on another of his VS "to do"s, South Wall Traverse. This shares a slippery, reachy start with Bird Lime, traverses across, then finishes with some quite bold moves up into the crack of Black Wall eliminate, all managed very smoothly by Rob. I still wasnt fancying Black Wall so we followed up with some contortions up The Goblin instead – after which it was quite dark and the next route was definately the one to The Kestrel for a pint. Only a short session but very welcome after a wet ten days.

Saturday had to be another short 'un as Rob had family commitments, so a morning dash to Brimham was scheduled. I arrived at Robs to hear that according to the forecast it was going to rain, looking at the blue sky this seemed unlikely so we decided to ignore it.

Arrived at Brimham in torrential sunshine, where I wanted to renew a long standing feud with Alan's Crack. The start went quite smoothly and I was soon on to good holds so carried on without pausing to place gear till I reached the crack just under the roof. At this point I decided I was high enough to need some gear so started stuffing nuts in. Imagine my joy when I discovered I had forgotten to bring a single quick draw with me to clip on with. Hastily improvised with the clip I had my nuts racked on then sent Rob a loop of rope to send the QDs on, however by this time the momentum was very definately lost and Elvis was in the building. Much faffing ensued, and the crack laced up like a ten eyelet boot before I got moving again, arrived at the top cleanly but having left most of my dignity and ego somewhere at the bottom.

After this faffathon it was almost time for Rob to go, but the sun was still lashing down, so we soloed Fag Slab and I think Rob soloed Fag End too, then Rob jumped on Little Funnel. Warning to the unwary: this route requires the flexibility of an olympic gymnast, and hands the size of Popeye. Rob having neither that morning, and a sister on her way to meet him, we eventually called it a day and left Little Funnel smirking to itself "another set of suckers repulsed".

PS.  snuck over to almscliff sunday arvo with Dave Shield and finally got Black Wall ticked. <big grin and celebratory whoop at top>

Get off the fence!

Friday, July 9th, 2010

well i would have done if i could make the move.

Peri and I headed for a quick session at Almscliff, she had her eyes on black Wall and i've taken a fancy to few VSs nearby that i havent done. Peri offered me the first lead and in a reversal of roles, stood at the bottom offering no constructive advice but quite lot of laughing, heckling and abuse.

The move off the wall is reachy and technical on this VS 5b P2. I had got a good cam 1.5 in but making the move was hard. I had a few goes, then a few more, then took small fall, then tried another five or six times before going back to the original long reach approach and making it … just

So I thought it was all over and tried to go direct over teh bulge using the excellent flake – but that was way hard so I down climbed, tried again (twice) , down climbing each time and eventually scuttling off left before stepping back right onto the flake (as per description) From there a few slab steps leads to the top and Peri's go.

Funnily she stopped laughing and shortly started swearing and throwing tantrums and I had started laughing an hauling. I did wonder how she'd make the reach the way I did it. A bit of gear hauling followed by abandoning cam and she was at the top.

All that was left was for me to ab down get the cam and lead the retreat to the pub.

Fun evening but not very productive !

The next generation of YAC-ers?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

The current generation of YAC aren't getting any younger, more's the pity, and it's time we started looking for the next Adam Ondras, so to kick this off YAC held its first child friendly climbing day at Brimham Rocks.

The great British weather was true to form and it was a rather colder, windy day (with rain threatening) that greeted us upon arrival, but undeterred we all met up at Castle Rock for the obligatory faffing, coffee, guide book/route discussions etc

There was a great turn out with Pia Ashton and Joshua Everett winning the joint award for youngest climbers of the day at approx 2 ½. (although Helen could dispute that as she was v heavily pregnant!) There was also a good mix of YAC’s and non YAC’s with some family and friends tagging along as well. If I miss anyone out then I apologise in advance, but we had Liz, Joshua and myself, Ian Ashton & Pia, Ali & Poppy, Ian Brown & Mark, Helen & James, Steve, Roz, Toby & Hugo, Rob, Peri & Kirk, Tom & Fliss, Debbie & Meredith and Richard (Foxy) Hampton and daughters.

With swearing reduced down to a minimum by all, including Peri, some climbing eventually ensued with me leading Jabberwok (VS), whilst Peri eyed up Desperation Crack (HVS). A number of us then headed down to Cyclops area to set up some top ropes. Toby & Hugo made light work of Cyclops (S), whilst Meredith did her 1st outdoor climbs on Central Point (Diff). Ian B and Mark both powered up Gordon's Proffer, an HVS arête, which looked a scary lead with limited gear close to the top, whilst Tom & Fliss both lead Slab Arete (VDiff)

 We then headed down to cubic block with Ian A to let Pia and Josh run round on the boulders. The rain came in at about 2pm and we took that as a cue to head home as Josh was getting tired.

A few others stayed around to enjoy the evening sun with Peri leading Desperation Crack (HVS) and Rob leading Picnic variation (HVS) among others, before they headed down to Gnome Arete area at the end of the day.

All in all a good day and one to be repeated again, possibly at a different location though to stop everyone getting so spread out and separated in the Brimham maze.

More of Robs pics ..

Losing Laddow

Monday, July 5th, 2010

One of the most popular crags back at the turn of the century (1900!) and sporting the first ever E1 (on sight solo by Ivar Berg in 1916!) Laddow sits high up on the Pennine Way over towards Manchester.

With SLMM plans in tatters and good forecast, Peri and I headed over after a leisurely start, only missing 2 turnings on the way to the large free car park.



anyone seen a path ?"Even we can't lose the Pennine Way" says Peri. WRONG, so the walk in which is uphill, but not desperately so, took a tad longer than estimated – you can see the crag practically from the car park. A few ferns, tussocks and bogs later we found the descent route (far end) walked past the only other climbing pair and had some lunch.

Peri on Long Climb P2We started on the two pitch classic Long Climb ***S 4a which is more awkward on the second pitch than the guide suggested but worthwhile. We then headed for Tower Face *** VS 5a, awkward to leave the ground then excellent face climbing to the top crack. I had started to get some back twinges as we did Pillar Ridge ** HS 4b so we decided to do some of the easier routes rather than my targets.

We soloed Staircase ** Mod, getting down was more awkward ! then did the very traditional A Chimney Diff and backed off a few very dirty routes. There are clear signs of the winter water courses all around and quite a bit of lichen but in general the issue is polish – inevitable I guess on a crag with over a hundred years of history.

Wanting to be home at a reasonable time we finished up Route 1 VD – nice climbing on polished holds – and set off back just before 7, managing to follow the huge path, all the way back to the Outdoor Activity Centre (the path goes right past the front door). An unremarkable return trip (what's remarkable about me falling asleep and snoring?) and we were home for 9.30.

Great place, need to return and tick those HVS+E1 routes. Most of the routes are below VS with a collection of starred HVS, well worth the walk.


Lots more of Rob's Pictures ….

UKC Logbook for Laddow with most of the climbs (new guide still waiting !)