A classic gritstone evening beckons...
Members; Dave Wylie, Roger Dyke, Andy Stratford, Meirion Tanner, Robert Clarke, James Meakin, Duncan Zerafa. Gowry Sisupalan, Mark Ashley,
Non-members. Andy Pierce, Annie Nye.
A few of us started to arrive at the crag from 1.30pm, making the most of the afternoon sunshine providing welcome warmth in the blustery winds. Dave arrived first soloing a couple before Andy arrived. Roger was next and after warming up following Andy up Heather Face led his favourite WG route: High Buttress Arete. Meirion arrived around 3.30 followed over the next couple of hours by the rest of the team. As usual at Windgather it would be impossible to record all the ascents (Andy managed thirteen, and Dave twelve) in detail but it's worth noting some of the highlights.
Last time we visited Windgather Duncan was spanked by Portfolio, which, at HVS 5a is one of the harder routes here. He took an impressive fall with only his pride suffering an injury. On arrival this evening he stalked the crag warming up on some solo's and easy routes before finding a willing belayer in Andy Pierce. Gear in the lower sections was carefully placed then the crucial pieces below the crux moves. The guidebook gives a grade of 5b instead of 5a for "the short", now, the question is, where does Mr Zerafa sit on this scale.....well maybe he has a positive Ape index.....
Duncan reached up latching the lower jug with his left then made the improbable stretch with his right to the slopey crimp, repositioning hands, the left foot came up, another reposition then a wobble backwards, lots of shouts of "stay with it"....there was a pause which seemed like seconds but in reality was maybe a ½ second then a focused look at the top and yet another long stretch and the top of crag was firmly latched. (See sequence of photos). Lots of shouts of ‘’well done’’ and applause ensued. Mark Ashley made a game but noisy and eventually unsuccessful attempt to follow Duncan and it was left to the experienced Andy Pierce to follow clean and remove the gear. Gowry continued to make progress in her mission to learn to lead with a fine and steady ascent of High Buttress Arete.
All in all, the weather was excellent, if a lttle chilly in the wind by the time we quit about 8.20pm. There was no sign of any rain, despite two forecasts showing possible rain tonight from about 6pm to 8pm.......as usual the best bet is to take the forecasts with a pinch of salt and just get out and have a look. I'm reminded of a wednesday meet at Castle Naze a few years ago when it tipped it down the entire time I was driving there. As I pulled into the layby it stopped. The wind dried the crag in the time it took to walk up the hill (5 mins!) and 30 minutes later the wind dropped and just four KMC members who had kept the faith climbed on perfectly dry rock in the evening sun!!
Six of us made the pub and decided, by an unusual bout of consensus, it was time to head back north and so Alderman Rocks was duly appointed as next weeks crag.
A return trip to a popular crag in the hope of light breeze and fewer midges...
Another short walk in to a first class natural edge with grades to suit all…..
Before I proceed with the meet report I will make my apologies in advance for not knowing all the members & guests surnames (and the lack of interest to look them up on the KMC web site) and also apologise for any omissions, and or errors of fact.
So, in the absence of – most- surnames you are described as below……!
Fiona – Nice girl who enjoyed an evening of intense Soloing (definitely not a euphemism!).
John – Fiona’s fella with an impressive beard
Duncan – Who’s surname that begins with a Z that I can’t pronounce - never mind spell or remember
Clay – Actually thought this was his surname... Genuinely thought his first name was Cassius.
Dave Whilie – I know it’s not spelt this way, but I do know it will irritate him!
Nils + children
Gary – recently recovering from surgery on his nether’s – no soloing for a while yet then Gary ;-)
James – not a very good climber, not known for his meet report writing skills either.
John – no redeeming features
Another John…. or was it Jack…. Anyway, he had red jumper on…. I think…
Patrizia – Almost certainly spelt wrong?
Gareth Collom ?
James – unusually well humoured for Scot’s man and a good climber to boot.
The weather was fab and as usual the rock was in fine condition. Fun was had by all. The general mood was somewhat lowered late on, by the arrival of the midges. At which point we beat a hasty retreat a pub in Whalley Bridge – who’s name I can’t recall (no surprises there!) however, I fear the interior décor and choice of music may never fade from my memory.
Peoples favourite routes of the evening were: Portfolio, High Buttress Arete indirect, High Buttress Arete direct, Medicine, Wall climb & Missippi Crack.
In the absence of our OMS & El Pres. does this count as a "meet lead" for me - surely it must?
The destination – decided by the vote - for next Wednesdays meet is Troy Quarry. Hope to see you all there
Roadside gritstone of the highest quality
Members: Dave Wylie, Nils Elgar, Mark Ashley, Gary Thornhill, James Meakin, Ben Slater, Clay Conlon, Dan O’Brien
Guests: Gowry Sisupalan, Anna Morgan, Oscar Pope, Joe Foster, Will Johnson, James Hall, John Evans, Fiona Dixon, Mark Griffiths, Rob Mills and Hanna & Tim Elgar.
In a marked change from last weeks meteorological weirdness the KMC arrived at the crag in the forecast glorious sunshine. Always a popular choice, Windgather, with its short walk-in, sunny aspect and friendly angle did not disappoint. This entire report could probably be summarised as “the KMC climbed pretty much everything at the crag, a number of times…”
James spent the evening working his way down the grades via Wall Climb (VD), High Buttress Arête (VD) and Chockstone Chimney (D), followed by Mark G who also led Mississippi Crack (S), North Buttress Arête Direct (HVD), Cheek (VS) and Aged Crack (S) - between them a very productive evening! Dave took the opposite approach and worked his way up the grades via Toenail (VD), Nose Direct (HVD) and Mississippi Crack, followed by Mark A, Gowry and Anna. Mark A also led Green Crack (S). Ben, Clay and Rob teamed up and climbed Nose Direct, Route 1.5 (HVS) and Struggle (VS) amongst others. On this occasion, Struggle was climbed without getting any ropes stuck by using a tactical wire-placement.
Will managed an impressive solo, on-sight, of the only E1 at the crag South Buttress Arête. Dan wussed out on the crux though not before committing one move too far and ending his attempt with a brief unceremonious dangle. Will also led Portfolio (HVS) followed by Dan. Portfolio also saw ascents from Oscar and Joe who cruised it after beating a tactical retreat from South Buttress Arête and James H followed by Gary who reckoned that the steep and fingery final move felt trickier this time!
"I first did it [Portfolio] early in 1979, see the attached pitch of my dad showing us how to do it. In trainers with rope tied around his waist and waist belaying on a hawser laid rope circa 1959. I soloed the route in September 1980 they day before my brother got married, having cycled there on my own just to solo it and hadn't done it since until this meet. I soloed the cave arête direct route around the same time. I used to solo a lot back then, as the school friends that I started climbing with, had got jobs or gone to college and weren’t around to go climbing. Thankfully the KMC found me and I’m still around, as I do remember taking a couple of large ground falls from routes, and luckily walking away from them..." - Gary Thonrhill
Nils, led Footprint, Nose Direct, Green Crack and Mississippi Crack, ably supported by the young Hanna and Tim. Hanna followed (in big boots) Buttress Two Gully (M), Leg Stump (D), Centre (HVD), Footprint, Nose Direct, Green Crack and Mississippi Crack while Tim contented himself with scrambling up and down the descent routes – both clearly great hopes for the future!
Fiona led Footprint (VD) followed by John who led Nose Direct and Central Route (S). They also have the accolade of being last on the crag, persevering with climbing after the rest of us had called it a day and headed to the pub!
There was some attrition between the crag and the pub however even with 11 of us in the there we still outnumbered the locals 11-1! The nominees were Harpur Hill, Alderman and Pule Hill. Witches Quarry was tactically left off the shortlist for later in the season. Alderman fell at the first hurdle (the absence of the Chew-Valley Caucus this week clearly reflected in the ballots…) and it was left to the Pule and Harpur Hills to battle it out. Harpur Hill was the clear winner so it looks like we are going sport climbing next week. Pack your spare forearms!
As I write this I’m wondering how far Dave Wylie got on his was home after his vehicle’s range-gauge seemed to be going in reverse (10 miles left at the crag and 45 by the time he got to the pub…) Perhaps he has solved the energy crisis…
Other routes climbed include : The Staircase (M), Green Slab (S), North Buttress Arête (HVD), Heather Buttress (D), Taller Overhang (VS), Small Wall (S), The Other Corner (M), Bulging Arête (S), Director (VS), Heather Face (HVD), Squashed Finger (HVD), Corner Crack (VD), Traditional (HS), Broken Groove (D), Editors Note (VS) - again, apologies if I missed your ascent. Everyone is just too quick for me to keep up!
Dries quickly. Have faith!
Members – Dan O’Brien, Mark Pilling,
Guests – George Williams, Ine Van Caekenberbhe, Paul McCormack and Rob Mills
There was a great turnout this Wednesday, possibly related to the improving forecast, but I’m sure mostly related to the excellent, accessible climbing on offer on a mid-September evening. Dan arrived early and set about ticking the right-hand side of the crag
George, Paul, Ine and Mark arrived in quick succession and we split into groups. Ine and Mark tackled The Corner (D) which was Ine’s first excursion onto gritstone and first experience of trad climbing – a different prospect to Belgian bolted climbs! Dan and George climbed Mississippi Crack (S) followed by Paul. George also had his first experience belaying on double ropes with Dan helpfully explaining how he intended to differentiate between the two identical ropes and then mixing them up almost straight away. Paul Dan and Rob then teamed up for High Buttress Arete (VD) a route with serious objective dangers especially if the leader insists on throwing screw-gate karabiners off the top of the crag! Mark, Ine and George then moved onto North Buttress Arete Direct (VS 5A) which they mistook for North Buttress Arete (HVD) much to the dismay of Ine’s forearms. They also climbed Chimney and Crack (VD).
Dan, Rob and Paul climbed Portfolio (HVS 5B) which is a bit like a VS with a 5B boulder problem for the top move. The move relented at the third time of asking once Dan had removed the fleece that was weighing him down. Rob seconded with no trouble. Paul seconded using the alternative finish after the crux dispatched him with fingertips literally inches from the finishing jug. As darkness fell various combinations of KMC-ers made ascents of Central Route (S) and Chockstone Chimney (D) before heading to the pub in the darkness. Other routes climbed included Broken Groove (D), Aged Crack (S), Corner Crack (VD), Squashed Finger (VD), Centre (HVD), Middle and Leg (D), Leg Stump (D), Nose Direct (HVD) and Footprint (VD).
Once in the (very posh and spruced up) Swan Inn the nominees of Den Lane, New Mills Torr and Hobson Moor were quickly whittled down to one by an all but unanimous vote for Hobson Moor – your correspondent voted for Den Lane but was too tired to think of any obscure electoral get-out-of-jail-free card to swing thing. Maybe next time. Or next year…
1 minute walk in. lots of easy routes. usually windy and midge free
Members: Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Christine Beeston, Roger Dyke
Guests: Anne Fournier, Andy Harper, Ben Slater, Elizabeth Wilson, Liz Kirk, Andrew Ault, Will, Tony
Excellent turnout with lots of new faces. Great weather tonight; plenty of wind to drive the beasties off and a lovely sunset. Lots of routes ascended on most of the buttresses including a first class lead of The Struggle by Mark Ash. Others included Middle Buttress Arete, Mississipi crack, High Buttress Arete, Squashed Finger, Aged Crack, Director, Footprint, Toenail, Route 1.5. Retreat to the swan for voting where we move back to the North again to Cow's Mouth Quarry.
Members: Rob Clark, Joe Flynn, Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, James Williams, Mark Ashley, Steve Graham, Oi Ding Koy, Emily Pitts
Guests: Clare Hodgson, Helen Boothman, Elliot Brown, Graham Brown, Jane Sai, Rosie, Anisha, Kate Flynn,
Great turnout on a lovely summer evening with just enough wind to keep the worst of the midges away. Elliot Brown managed the hardest tick of the night - Portfolio at HVS 5a. Many other routes climbed by all. Mark Ashley was a little surprised when both his seconds (Jane and Ding) followed him up a Severe without helmets, chalk bags or rock shoes. And no, they weren't wearing mountaineering boots - they were barefoot!
Spells were cast in the pub by the 11 strong voting team to ensure Witches narrowly beat Ramshaw.
heading south after many days in the north
Rolled over to next week due to heavy rain.
Great selection of easy routes and dries quickly
Tried Middle & Leg but got stumped by the semi-waterfall pouring down the crag. Voting a little tricky but Wilton 3 gets it for next week. We'll do Wilton 1 if the flags are up for shooting.
Rained off. Rolled over to April 25th
Once in a four year chance.
Mark Ashley - No-one else turned up, bouldered in the quarry till the lamp batteries faded out. Went to the pub!
Members: Mark Garrod, Jim Symon, Andy Stratford, Dave Shotton, Mark Ashley, Koy Oi Ding,
Guests: Ozcan Yanik, David Kirsfelds.
Jim led mostly overhangs, keen prospective new member Ozcan arrived with shiny new gear and managed to scratch it on his first 3 leads ably belayed by el presidente. All others had a good session before the drizzle set in at 9pm. Beers in the Swan and voting with Alderman rocks narrowly beating Cows Mouth by a hoof.
Present: Katherine Bagshaw, James Williams, Nick Adamson, Dave Shotton, Helen Maunders, Dave Dillon Al Metelko, Chris Williams.
Pretty good turnout considering the distance and climbing continued until well after sunset. The vote for next week’s crag was decided on the toss of a coin with Wilton 3 losing out. The coin was not checked to see if there actually was a tails side!
An incredible turnout for this midweek meet!
Dave Dillon, Al Metelko, James and Kasia Hoyle, Dave Wylie, Trish Cranston, Andy Grantham, Christine Stark, Pete Kosowski, Vanja, Jess, Amy, Zubber Nabi, Tom Makin, Chris Williams, Bob Kelly, Alex, Paul, Kate, Martin Heaton, Joanne Castick.
After bad weather on the 17th resulted in the meet being postponed, the conditions on the 24th were superb. Warm, with lots of lovely evening, sunshine, but a bit of an Easterly breeze to cool off the leaders when they set up belays at the top of the crag. The crag was extremely busy, with many other parties and at least three goups of youngsters (including the Girl Guides that Joanne was leading). The routes climbed by the KMC were, in many cases, selected simply by them being the only un-occupied ones at the appropriate time! These included: Heather Face (HD) Nose Direct (HVD) Traditional (HS, 4a) Aged Crack (S, 4a) Struggle (VS, 4c) Squashed Finger (HVD) Centre (HVD, 3c) Director (VS, 4c) etc., etc.
The last winter midweek evening saw a good turnout of Chris, Richard, Martin, Mike and Al climb 11 routes (could also be counted as 15 as later in the evening we split into two teams) and that makes 28 climbs climbed (not including solos) over the 3 winter outings at Windgather.
Despite the strong winds, rain showers and wind chill, 7 routes were completed. Attendees: Andy (I'll climb with one rock shoe), Chris (I'll climb without my head torch) and Al. After turning his car around, Andy spotted his other rock shoe looking back at him, smugly, in the middle of the road. The Pub was The Swan.
A good night was had, 10 routes ranging from Diff to VS before heading for Len's local and a pint of Old Dog. Attendees: Andy, Martin and Al.
Back to Current Midweek
First summer Wednesday evening saw a good turn out. Members were: Wavey, Roger Daley, Keen Andy, Scott, Duncan, Vicky, Dave Bish, Katie and James. Guests were Loretta. Unfortunately the sun disappeared at around 5pm and was replaced with a thick mist, this didn't stop the KMC though and we were very industrious with polishing off most of the VD's and S's at Windgather. After a hotly disputed debate which nearly saw us going to Horseshoe quarry we were all finally relieved to end up with a decision on Castle Naze for the next week.