Archive for October, 2013


Friday, October 25th, 2013

The YMC hut in Clapham is always popular when we stay there, and this year was no exception, with another sell-out meet.

It rained heavily on Friday night, but nevertheless a group of optimistic climbers spent most of the morning hoping the showers would stop and give the chance for a crag to dry out. Carmen and I eventually gave up waiting, and went on a run instead, taking a valley route from the hut to near Horton, and then doing 2 of the Three Peaks (Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough) before descending back to the Clapham. It stayed dry all day, until about a mile from the hut, when the heavens opened and we ran through a thunderstorm, soaked to the skin.

Leni and Alan meanwhile had driven to Horton to run the full Three Peaks. We met them on top of Ingleborough, and they managed to get back to their car in Horton just before the rain started. Leni said the route was easy, but was knackered by the end.

The rest of the climbers had more patience than us, and were rewarded by a good afternoon's climbing at Twistleton. The first routes were a grade or 3 harder than normal due to slippery rock, but it dried out quickly, and climbing was only stopped by the return of the rain at the end of the afternoon.

On Sunday, most of us drove to Malham, where we did the walk to Gordale Scar and Malham Cove – one that most of us have done many times before, but it's always worth doing again!

And in the mean time back in Yorkshire ……..

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Whilst Carmen and Simon were enjoying the delights of Gimmer other members of YAC were climbing closer to home. On Saturday Jamie and myself headed off to Hebden Gill, buoyed on by promises of a hidden gem similar to Almscliffe we arrived and headed toward the crag. Easier said than done given the boulder field at the base.

Jamie just below the nose (Wall and Nose, Hebden Gill)

Jamie just below the nose (Wall and Nose, Hebden Gill)

To start the day we climbed Nose and Wall, a lovely route which can be finished in a number of ways. The most exciting of which is to traverse out onto the mildly exposed nose. For the next route we decided on Right of Way, the original route at the crag and definitely worth visiting the crag even if that is the only route you do. The start of Right of Way is definitely more strenuous than it looks from the ground but once past this there is an easy traverse followed by a gentle shimmy up a quite hefty flake. The crag doesn't see much traffic so the rock is a little dirty, right of way looked very green but this turned out to be rock solid and perfectly climbable. The added benefit of this is the rock is still very rough – not a sign of polish anywhere – a testament to this roughness are the blood smears that now adorn Right of Way and Jamie's gear!
On Sunday myself, Karl, Léni, John, and Will headed out to Brimham, after the recent wet weather the rock was a bit damp in places but there is still plenty of routes to climb. We started on Cubic Block, with Léni and Karl climbing Old Corner and Great Slab (hey Karl – one of these has been upgraded on UKC!).
Karl leaving the Cave on Great Slab after a brief lie down.

Karl leaving the Cave on Great Slab after a brief lie down.

In the meantime with John leading, Will, John and myself climbed Heather Wall and Square Root (it should be called Square Route!). Then we headed over to the Lovers leap / Cracked buttress area where Karl and Léni played on Lichen Slab and the other three went to parallel cracks to see if we could find the hidden hold – yes as it turns out but it was easier for some than others! We finished off the day with some routes in the Duggies dilemma, with Will soloing to the ledge on Duggies Dilemma before deciding a rope would be nice, Gully Arete, and Grit Corner. All lovely climbs, finally back to the car via a quick blast on Maloja.

Lakes weekend

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

While most people headed for Brimham, Carmen and I decided to take advantage of the fine forecast for some autumn climbing in the Lake District. On Saturday we walked up to Gimmer for some Classic Rock ticking, and despite it being colder and cloudier than expected, we managed to climb all three routes in the list – Ash Tree Slab, C Route, and Bracket and Slab. Though we avoided the Strenuous Chimney crux of B&S due to it being dripping wet, so we need to go back and do it properly sometime! Ham & Eggs in the Wainwright Inn provided a suitable end to the day.

Sunday dawned cloudy and got worse, with cloud levels lowering and drizzle setting in. Plan B was Castle Rock, but that looked damp as well, so we headed for the reliable fallback option of Armathwaite, north of Penrith. A fine crag, in the woods by the River Eden, it really deserves better than to be a rainy day option for Lake District climbers, but that seems to be its lot. Anyway, despite occasional drizzle and sandy holds due to Friday's heavy rain, we managed to get some climbing done. Glenwillie Grooves (HS **), was followed by the better-than-it-looks Ituna (S *), and finally the excellently named Teddy CowWildcat on the Swallowtail Line (HS **). This is a new addition to the recent guidebook, despite have been put up in 1973. Unfortunately, a confusing description meant we finished up the wrong crack, so again we have to go back and do it properly – the true finish up a roof crack looked totally impossible for the grade!