Posts Tagged ‘Wharncliffe’

Sunshine at last

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Not much to report this week other than some overdue sunshine. We headed for Wharncliffe, where Carmen and I started with a protracted assault on Tower face (HS 4b ***).

It's clearly not possible that I've got worse in the 10 years since I last led it, so some crucial handholds must have gone missing or something. Got there in the end, though need some bridging to the block opposite which is probably cheating.

Not much time for anything else so we finished with Hell Gate Variation (VD **) which follows the normal line to the 2nd ledge, then traverses to the arete for a super-exposed finish. Better than the original, recommended.

Meanwhile Gordon and Dave climbed Puttrell's Progress (S 4a **) and a couple of nearby routes, and finished with one of the Black Slab routes. I don't think anyone else made it, but hard to be sure as it's a big crag!

A large block seems to have fallen off at the start of the classic Himmelswillen (VS 4c) but I don't think it's any harder, it may even be easier. But we can't remember what this bit was like before!

A few photos to follow later.

Industrial climbing?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Beta Crack (severe)My Eastern Grit guide warns me that Wharncliffe has "a bit of a reputation as a grim venue" due to its "slightly industrial" location and "awful landings". This is probably the reason I haven't been before. After one visit I am totally enthused by the place. If your idea of grim and industrial is the presence of a line of electricity pylons then fair enough. Otherwise it's a lovely crag set on a pretty wooded hillside above Deepcar -which makes it possible to get to a Peak Gritstone edge and back on a long summer evening – can't be bad, can it.

It's about a one-and-a-half hour drive then a twenty minute walk in, and you are rewarded with a long line of buttresses. The crag faces the right direction to catch the sun right up until sunset – we arrived to find Dave S lying around sunbathing. The rock itself is really nice, frictiony gritstone, quite positive and edgy compared to a lot of other grit crags – I really liked it. True enough, the landings would be nasty, the base of the crag is mostly a jumble of shattered boulders, on the other hand hopefully with a bit of protection in you won't be hitting the ground anyway. Ironically the only injury that did in fact occur was not caused by contact with the ground but with a slab, when Rob took a flyer from Photo Finish and crocked his ankle badly.

There were about 18 of us in all – some YAC folk, some york.climbers, and a few other assorted yorkies, even so the crag was big enough that once we had split into teams and wandered off it didn't feel crowded. There was such a variety of quality routes at all grades available that I think I could happily have spent the whole evening on a single buttress, I didn't get near any of the climbs I had mentally ticked to do but every route gave me that "what a good route" feeling. Anyway, enough burbling and enthusing, I will certainly be going back to Wharncliffe, didn't even get round to Himmelswillen "the classic of the crag".

Climbers present

  • Daves Kay, Dickinson & Shield
  • and another Dave.
  • Gordon.
  • Me (peri).
  • Luke.
  • SimonAndCarmen.
  • Rob,

  • Pete Mac,
  • Guido
  • Crofty
  • Chris and Clare.
  • Jonathan Booth,
  • Skenders and Kirk.
  • John Byrne and Pete Crosby,

Phew! think that's it.

Routes done by various people (inc multiple ascents):

  • Just a minute (E1 5b)
  • Trapezium (E1 5c)
  • Gavel Neese (E2 5b)
  • Great Buttress Arete (E1 5b)
  • Photo Finish (E1 5b)
  • Alpha Crack (D)
  • Beta Crack (S 4a)
  • Letterbox Buttress (VD)
  • Post Horn (VS 4c)
  • Rook Chimney (D)
  • Letterbox Arete (VD)

  • Mystery Route (VD)
  • Mystery Mirror (HD)
  • Mantelshelf Slab Right (HS 4b)
  • Scarlett's Chimney (D)
  • Teresa's Slab (HVD 4a)
  • Tower Face (HS 4b)
  • Hell Gate Crack (HS 4b)
  • Overhanging Crack (VD)
  • Flake Climb (VS)
  • Leaf Arete (E1 5b) (aka Gold Leaf HVS),
  • Handover Arete (VS 4c)

Another Phew!

An excellent evening and hopefully Rob's ankle will be back in action soon.

Where was everyone?

Monday, September 8th, 2008

An excellent warm sunny Sunday, and we had Wharncliffe almost to ourselves (just a group of kids doing some top-roping on Black Slab). The walk in was wet and muddy (the newly resurfaced track has already been washed away in places), but apart from the north facing buttresses (which were luminous green) the crag was in excellent condition.

Ticked off a few new routes РRailway Wall (VS 4c) being the pick of the bunch, but the adjacent Diff and VDiff were also surprisingly good.  Carmen did her annual lead of Beta Crack (S), then it was time for a spot of lunch and some sitting around enjoying the warm sunshine.

At about 3, the rain arrived, suddenly and torrentially.  We sat out the first downpour in a sort-of cave, nice and dry until the waterfalls started, then took advantage of a 15 minute dry spell to flee back to the car, arriving just as the next deluge started.

Another good day, at another unaccountably neglected crag.