Twelve Miles, three crags, three routes

December 31st, 2008 by pebbles

Our mission for tuesday 30th december : work off all those mince pies by  visiting Crookrise, Rylstone and Rolling Gate crags on Barden Moor, doing one route on each crag, which as it happened also worked out nicely as one lead each climber. Me, Guido and Stuart B set off bundled up to the eyeballs as it was a mite parky, however at least with the ground frozen we didnt have to wallow round in mud and mire.

The tactic for the day was to stick to easy slabs in order to minimise time spent faffing around freezing our bits off. First stop was Crookrise, where we had a spot of indecision about what to climb,  ending up on Octopus(S)  led by Guido, although Stuart just to be different used the same rope to go up the neighbouring Diagonal Crack (VD) instead. 

Diagonal Crack, Crookrise

Job done, off we yomped across the moor to Rylstone, pausing to admire a very nice waterfall along the way which looked as though it might have ice climb potential were it ever to get cold enough to freeze. We also found  that wading through frozen sphagnum moss feels oddly like walking through soft snow and takes as much effort.

Arriving at Rylstone we headed straight for Presidents Slab, said to be the best diff on yorkshire grit – seems fair enough to me. 22 metres of perfect clean grit although I thought it was a mischievous trick to fill the top out jugs with ice.

Presidents Slab, Rylstone

Pausing only briefly for mince pies we moved on to Rolling Gate. This was new territory for all of us, but according to the Yorkshire Grit guide it contains one three star severe route, Rolling Gate Buttress, which is allegedly worth the walk in by itself. Stuart B led. Hmm. Not convinced about this one. Pleasant enough, and worth a star but hardly three we agreed.

Rolling Gate Buttress, Rolling Gate

By this time an icy east wind had sprung up and our fingers were stinging with cold, so with the climbing over we hastily packed our gear, turned away from the grit edges and headed back across the  moors which by this stage were looking very pretty with a heavy scattering of hoar frost.  We arrived back above embsay reservoir just in time for sunset and to admire Deer Gallows from a distance – much to my relief we decided not to pay it a visit as my feet were muttering to each other and plotting mutiny.  An excellent day, thanks to Guido and Stuart B for organising/driving.

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