Excellent Quarried Gritstone on Winter Hill
Members – Andy Stratford, Dan O’Brien
Guests – Oscar Pope, Louis Raettig
There was more quarried gritstone on the menu for this week’s Wednesday night antics. Even a gloomy forecast from yr.no didn’t reduce our optimism. Even sporadic showers throughout the afternoon could not dampen our enthusiasm. Even biting winds on the walk from the office to the car-park could not put us off. Even the driving rain on the motorway around Worsley could not… Ok... we probably should have got the message by this point but undeterred we arrived at Wilton One car-park with a dry road and cloudy but dry weather. The sodden path revealed that the rain had got there before us but with a brisk wind and a sunny aspect the inside face of The Prow had already dried out and we set about the evenings adventures.
Louis and Oscar left the sanctuary of the Prow to go in search of 999 (HS) but found it dripping wet. They returned to attempt Dawn (HVS), a steep little number that has spurned many suitors over the years (including your correspondent!) Andy opened his account by leading Eliminate (VS) with its steep starting corner and bold traverse. Oscar found the initial section of Dawn to be a tough proposition without jamming, which he shunned as a matter of principle. After a few attempts and with frozen fingers he decided to retreat. Andy successfully navigated the crux of Eliminate despite kicking out the better of the two marginal micro-cam placements he used as protection. As Dan tied on to follow the weather took a turn for the worse and by the time he was climbing the initial corner the temperature had dropped and the hail was pounding down. Within seconds the rock was completely soaked and only some knee assisted grovelling allowed access to the rest ledge. The hail, unrelenting, had now covered every flat surface and the crux traverse was dripping wet. After a brief discussion and the removal of the last of the gear it was agreed that the best approach was to pendulum across thew face rather than attempt the moves. The successful swing allowed access to the easy ground at the end of the traverse and quickly the top. Unfortunately, the thick coating of hailstones had made the walk along the narrow top of the prow more worrying than usual so, frozen and drenched, Dan and Andy elected to abseil.
Back in the pub, after a Clark Kent style outfit change in the gents, the team warmed up over a drink and attempted to dry out soggy kit. The vote for next week was biased mainly by a desire to save some of the better crags for later in the season. Windgather was rejected due to Castle Naze being the crag for Sunday’s Hot-Pot climb and Alderman was rejected because Andy wanted to save it for the summer. Anglezarke was rejected based on how cold and wet the voters still were. The winner was Bridestones (near Todmorden). The walk in is short, the aspect sunny and the pub nearby – what’s not to like? Oh, by the way, it’s a bouldering venue.
See you all next week.
Top Lancs Quarry venue
Members: Jim Symon, Andy Stratford. Guests: Duncan Zerafa, Paul McCormack.
I'm not known for my wild optimism, and I even doubted my own scribble ''looks like a bright sunny evening'' - that was just to encourage Jim. Dark clouds threatened all the way and we passed through a couple of showers....but weirdly north Bolton was dry. The crag was very dry, in fact it's entirely possible that it escaped the bucketloads of rain in Manchester and Liverpool entirely! Due to the distinct lack of summer the outside face of the prow was pretty green and uninviting, however the inside face was in excellent nick. I led up Flywalk VS 4c with Jim following, just as Paul and Duncan arrived. Jim waltzed up Rambling Route (VDiff) with the 3 of us following.
Threatening clouds had blown over leaving clear skies and a sudden drop in temperature - far too cold for the midges - I don't think we saw a single one! I decided to try the delights of Eliminate - a VS 4c with an excellent 5m exposed traverse. Paul led his first route in nearly a decade - Scimitar (Diff). Jim then led up Bird Chimney S4a as the final route, again with all three of us following. The light faded very quickly and we were in the Wilton Arms (now a full on pub-restaurant) for 8.45pm. Crags on the table were Windgather, Den Lane and the winner: Running Hill Pits - more high quality quarried grit with a few fierce cracks. Meet in The Church after.
5 minute walk, classic quarry venue with over 200 routes - one of the very best in Lancs.
Members: Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Clay Conlon
Guests: Ben Slater, Andy Shaw
Clay eventually tiptoed his way across the balancey traverse line of Eliminate, followed by Andy who then led Christeena, followed by Ben and Clay.
Dave led Bird Chimney and Rambling Route with Andy Shaw following - back on the rock after a 25 year hiatus!
We didn't fancy a head torch session so we nipped into the Wilton Arms - Ben proposed New Mills 'I'm working next door''. Dave proposed Hobson Moor.
Inexplicably Ben voted for Hobson Moor as did the rest of us!
It was supposed to be Wilton 3 but the guns were out
Members and Guests: Dave Wylie, Steve Hill, Andy Whaley, Elliot, Al Metelko, James Williams, Steve Graham, Andy Stratford, Max the man from Colne. Ozcan Yanik brought his son, Kaya (age 5), on his first KMC meet and he despatched a V diff and a good few boulder problems with little difficulty.
The Flag went up at Wilton 3 shortly after Dave had finished on a route so the two or three early comers decamped to Wilton 1. All the routes right of the prow are currently restricted due to a bird ban - a pair of peregrines with young have taken up residence.
Routes climbed included Fingernail (VS 4c) - a steady 3rd ever lead by Steve Hill.
Orange Peel (VS 4c), Fingle Bunt (VS 4c), Eliminate (VS 4c), Rambling Route (V Diff) and Bird Chimney (S).
Denham got a shoe-in for next week.
There: Dave, Gareth, Mountain Rescue Team.
It was green and vibrant, despite no apparent rain. A tryst with two tantalising teasers provided a tactile tenacity test. The outcomes, however, a forgone conclusion with Gareth at the helm. Quite a few distinctly powerful head torches keeping the place alight. Fortune favoured and we were rescued back to the pub for some lucky voting.
Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Carolyn Mills, Trish Cranston, Al Metelko, James Williams.
Sunny evening, surprisingly dry after all the recent rain, midge free but not quite slug free. Routes ranged from S to E1. Voting for next weeks crag happened in the car park as the pub was closed!!
Carolyn, Gareth, Mark, Nick, Al, Pete, Chris, Dave.
Teams rocked up from many mountain ranges around. Wilton One the venue because a red plank flew. Crag coding on this meet was a bit more discreet. Brown remained still for Brill, Green two grades more up hill. A further code Beasty added fun to the game. All in all a pretty good session on the grit.
Attendees: Andy Stratford, Andy Grantham, Carolyn Mills, Gareth Williams, Al Metelko.
Earlier rain and a cold biting easterly didnt stop 4 very keen climbers from climbing Eliminate VS 4c, 999 HS 4b, Fingernail VS 4c, Flywalk VS 4c, Bird Chimney S 4a. Al joined later in the evening, in time to tie on to the end of a rope.
Nick Veevers, Dave Wylie, Trish Cranston, James Hoyle, Kasia Hoyle, Rachel Flynn, Andy Grantham, Mike Freeman, Sarah Natali, Mike Reading. Most of the climbing was on the Prow, in the lower to mid-grades. The climbs included: Rambling Route (V-Diff), which was very pleasant while it was still light, but proved too much to lead after dark. Bird Chimney (Severe, 4a). Eastern Terrace, which seemed much more interesting than its Moderate grade might suggest. A bold lead of Flywalk (VS, 4c) by Rachel. Various attempts on Fingernail (allegedly Severe, 4a), but it repelled all boarders. The "Wilton Arms" provided the post-climbing refreshments. Thanks to the barmaid for supplying a casting vote to break the tie for next week's crag!
Back to Current Midweek
After the perfect weekend weather, it started off a bit grim in the morning but held OK for an evening climb on the famous inside face of the Prow at Wilton 1. Dave...... who is just starting to get going again after a long lay off led Rambling route V Diff, glad he tested the quality of the rock first. Then Scott took us up the crack and along the traverse of Eliminate VS. John then led up the horribley green looking Severe, Bird Chimney but found it much better than it looked. Scott finished the evening in style with Dawn Left Hand E2 "a bit thin at the top!", really impressed Dave and John. When the midges started eating us (In April!!!!) John departed to his local. Soon followed by Scott and Dave, who went for a quick pint in the Wilton arms. Unfortunately only 3 people turned up to enjoy the sunshine. Scott Sadler, Dave Bailey and John Cox.