Foredale Foray

August 2nd, 2010 by rob s

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

2 Responses to “Foredale Foray”

  1. guido says:

    Well done lads, one small step for mankind one giant leap for YAC.

    You are right about the harder routes, just like most places the harder you climb the better it gets, the stuff on the main wall is as good as anything in the UK.

    Shame about the weather, we ended up in the peak, wall to wall sunshine & 10 Epoints.

  2. Simon C says:

    We headed for the Peak which was forecast to be much better weather. And I suppose it was, as it didn't rain until about 6.30 – but the sun was conspicuous by its absence. At least there was a breeze to keep the midges off.

    Really must get to Foredale one of these days – the thing is, if I'm driving that far, there are plenty of places I'd rather head for. Maybe the trick is to go for a weekend, so Foredale then becomes something nearby to do on the way home 😉

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