Members: Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Clay Conlon, Nils Elgar, Andy Stratford, Tim Howarth, Duncan Zerafa
There was no sign of the Wylie’s car in the White House lower car park but he was at the damp crag, having walked the few miles from home. The warm sunny evening with a light easterly was promising but the amount of rain had left seepage in the best cracks so Z crack was best left for another day. We congregated around the left hand slab with Dave opening the leading on Cornette (Diff) and Mark on Seasy (HS 4c). Andy had the perfect micro cam for Route 1 and, sat at the top in an M3* then brought up Dave, Clay, Tim and Duncan in quick succession - each of them spending minimal time in the M5 belay position. Meanwhile Nils was getting in on the footwork and cam action with a neat lead of Slabmaster VS 4c. Mark was in the sun so his belay was still M2.
As the M rating rose everywhere team KMC donned a variety of protective headgear. Andy, having forgotten his, decided on Route 2 (HVS 5a), which has two ‘’psychological’’ cams protecting the hard move. This was not helped by the temperature gradient pushing the M grade to M5 on the route itself with Dave on belay duties in a really serious M7 position (even with headgear). As Dave was seconding the route the wind dropped and the M grade rose forcing Dave into climbing with headgear. At the top of the crag a cloud hovered around the presidential ankles, so much so that socks were demanded in an attempt to lower the clifftop belay from an untenable M8! Tim, thankfully floated up the route (he was chased by a cloud) and Duncan led Slabmaster and Nils Route 1. Down at the base of the crag M10 had stopped play and a retreat to the White House was called, despite Duncans protestations about wanting (as ever) to climb until he needed a torch.
Two crags were suggested with Windgather coming out above Hen Cloud – partly, we think, because it is known for lower M Grades.
For anyone unfamiliar with the KMC M-grade system here it is:
M1. No bother
M2. Slightly bothersome
M3. A little irritating. May require some DEET
M4. You start to wonder if you packed your head net.
M5. Protective head gear usually donned.
M6. If you’ve a net, life is OK. If not, it’s crap.
M7. Removal of the net for more than 3 seconds is inadvisable
M8. If you have no net, you may look like you’ve had chicken pox tomorrow.
M9. Being Eaten alive.
M10. RUN AWAY
Roll-over from 25th May. Quarried gritstone and chiseled poetry in Lancashire
Members. Dave Wylie, Andy Stratford, Mark Ashley, Oi Ding Koy, Clay Conlon, James Meakin, Nils Elgar
Guests. Duncan Zerafa, Jo Cowley, Ryan Linderman, Gareth, John Evans, Fiona Dixon, Elliot brown, Isabel Prause.
‘’Dry and fine at Cow’s Mouth Quarry at the moment with a nice breeze to keep any little flying critters away’’.
As I pulled into the car park, there was no sign of the local weather oracle’s car. Was this a sign? The wind was a cold north easterly, blowing strong and the cloud was down, with Blackstone edge itself wreathed in mist. James and I walked briskly wearing all available layers along the access track and spotted two figures in the quarry. Duncan had parked in the usual spot but Dave, the aforementioned local weather oracle, had commendably done the 4 mile walk from home carrying his gear.
As Duncan led Cornette (Diff), I decided to try Slab Crossing (VS 4b) which, as a traverse, one can only do when the classic slab is unoccupied. It was a bold start but eased and provided a fine combination of first hand then a foot traverse. James and Clay both followed, with much commentary from James over the general lack of gear and good handholds.
The crack systems on Daytona Wall all had several fine leads:
Elliot and John both led Groovin’ (HS 4b). Seasier (V Diff or Severe depending on which book you believe) had leads from Elliot, Dave, Fiona and Duncan, and the harder Seazy (HS 4c) was led by Elliot, John and Clay.
Meanwhile, back on the slab Route right (HS 4b) was led by Elliot, Dave and Mark. Andy lead Route 2 (HVS 5a), and attempted the eliminate line of deadline (VS 5a) but ended up on the relative safety of the adjacent route, Route 1 (HS 4c) – I say relative as there was still no gear but at least the holds existed! Route 1 was also lead by Mark. Andy finished off with Slabmaster (VS 4c), then a quick top-roping session on the E1 5c – the very bold and unprotectable King B. Top ropes were attempted by Ding, James and Mark but no-one managed a clean go. Tricky number!
Over at the far end Clay was repulsed from the very steep and tricky Z Crack (HVS 5a) and then took a small fall on good gear on Sandy Crack (VS 5a) which gave Duncan a good ten minutes of entertainment extracting the welded nut. Fiona and John completed their evening with Fiona leading Groove (S 4a).
Nine of the thirteen made the Whitehouse pub and Pule Hill swiftly despatched Anglezarke and Castle Naze. It’s off to Yorkshire next week!
Wear bright clothes. Modelling this week for Paul!
Members - Dan O'Brien, Andy Stratford, Duncan Lee, Gareth Williams, Lucie Crouch, Helen Boothman, Dave Wylie, Christine Beeston, Jim Symon, Bron Edwards, Al Metelko, Paul Evans.
Guests - Steven Boxwell
Note: Best read whilst listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”…
With the week-long sport-climbing road trip meet entering its third rainy day Gareth and Lucie decided that joining the mid-weekers at Cow's Mouth Quarry was a good option, especially after he was assured that he would not be required to write it up a part of his meet. Joined by other early starters, Dave and Bron, they made the most of the warm, if windy conditions.
There were numerous ascents of the various lines on the easy-anled yet polished and bold “Slabmaster” area ranging from bold solos (Duncan et al), calm leads (Andy) and gibbering top-ropes (Jim…) Christine led Cornette (D), a much more sensible offering with adequate protection. Dan shunned a top-rope for the E1 King Bee as Andy assured him that the crux had gear. Upon reaching the shallow pocket in question we quickly realised that Andy had misremembered, or perhaps it was another route, maybe on another crag… I forget. Anyway, with no gear forthcoming Dan wussed out and even the bouldering mat couldn’t tempt him to commit.
Gareth and Helen climbed Lapper (E1) allowing Paul to snap some shots for the upcoming Lancashire guidebook. Helen then led Z Crack (VS), an ideal candidate for a climber who hates jamming, either hands or feet, as it requires both in equal measure. A steep initial section, led to a tricky intermediate section followed by a baffling layback/dyno to finish. Dan demonstrated a easier approach by being taller with bigger hands. Duncan, fresh from running into the crag, soloed a number of lines including Space Invader (VS).
As shadows lengthened Andy led the mouthful that is Sard with the Seazy start (~VS) and Gareth readied himself for the main course – Daytona Wall E5 6a. After linking the moves cleanly on a shunt and engaging a superior spotting team of Duncan, Dan and Helen (who also doubled as a belayer), with pads in place and a focussed attitude he made swift work of the first crux and found his way to a small ledge where the remains of a small bolt serves to focus the mind on the lack of options for gear. A heart-stopping moment followed with a tenuous looking foot adjustment whilst pulling through the second hard move and reaching a “thank-god” pocket on the upper slab. One final pull brought the first runner (at about 8m) brought audible relief for the spotting team. A stunning ascent. Dan and Helen attempted to follow on a top-rope with varying degrees of success.
In the pub, fed and watered, the nominees were Wilton 1 (though Jim couldn’t think of a good reason why we should actually go there), Shipley Glen (a bouldering venue in Yorkshire that was dismissed for being bouldering), Tremadog (which was dismissed for being flipping’ miles away), Bamford which was dismissed due to tactical moves to the Wilton camp which left Witches Quarry, a limestone outcrop with innovative belay stakes and the ability to drive into and park directly beneath the crag. Another bonus is that Paul also requires photos of Witches for the new Lancs guidebook – it appears the camera loves the KMC!
So next week, ten cars maximum please (BMC guidelines so co–ordination on Scribble required…). Something wicked this way comes.
20 minute flat walk in. Great sunset venue. Bouldering mat can be useful. meet from 5.30pm to make the most of the evening light.
Members: Gareth williams, Dave Wylie, Andy Stratford, Emily Pitts, Mark Ashley, Peter Mcnulty.
Guests: Chris Hughes, Mirella de Jonge, Liz Kirk, Andrew Ault, Ben Slater, Beth Thomas.
Windy enough tonight to keep the beasties away - a good selection of routes climbed by various means: leading, soloing. leading with a rope but finding no useful gear anyway.....
On the slab Andy led Route one, King B, Route two and Slabmaster...and thought he was doing well until Gareth promptly solo'd them all....
Ben and Beth led on Dessers, Niche direct and Z crack. Mirella and Emily led Seasier. I lost count after this as so many routes were ascended so quickly!
Ten of us made the voting in the White House with Wilton One, Teggs Nose and Bridestones going out early it was between Heptonstall and Anglezarke - which eventually won by a whisker.
Members: Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Andy Stratford
Guests: Helen Boothman, Anna Reeves, Stuart Hurworth. The Wicker Picnic Hamper.
Great sunset but the wind dropped so midge nets and various repellants were required.
eight or nine routes climbed from V Diff to E1 in a variety of styles - solo, leading, seconding, toproping and combined tactics!
Blackstone edge won on the toss of a coin over Trowbarrow.
By popular demand.
Twas not a wet Wed, some of us made it and climbed, Dan, Max and me (Mark) but are keeping Cow's Mouth for next week.
Members: Dave Dillon, Ozcan Yanik, Oi Ding Koy, Mark Ashley
Guests: Poetic Stonemason.
Started in sunshine and completed in starlight. None to full on in the head torch dept. Lept the stream on the way in and bridged out. Rebuffing routes rivalled routes routed.
Two attendees: Nick Adamson, Gareth Williams.
Dense mist. Correction to navigation confirmed by (brand) new technology. Some dry rock found. Two routes (Cornette and Right Corner). Nice to be on grit (as opposed to resin).
Back to Current Midweek
This proved to be popular venue. Al Metelko, James Richardson, Vicky Alderton, Dave Wylie, Duncan Lee, Robert Clark, Mark Ashley, John Cox, Roger Daley, Dave Bish, Jamie, Mel, Wozzname and Erm all turned up at this evening's meet. Much soloing was done (though the final moves were avoided on routes where the finish was too chossy). Plenty of roped action too, including aid ascents of "Overhanging Crack"!! The neighbouring route, "Z Crack" also proved interesting: Mr. Clark did a good lead, but Mr. Bish was repulsed by the finishing moves - though he did later cleanly second it. Other routes, such as "Sandy Crack", "The Romeo Error", "Flake Crack", "Groove", "Groovin", "Cornette", "Route One", etc., etc. all saw plenty of attention as well. At least one person disappeared into the bowels of "Curving Chimney", though exactly how/where/if they emerged is not clear. As the sun started to drift towards the horizon, the quarry was gradually abandoned for the warmth of "The White House" pub - the early absconders just managing to make it there in time to get the last two portions of chips before the kitchen closed! Once everybody was in attendance, the full democratic process began to select the crag for next week. The Webmaster's suggestions of Pordenack Point, Fox Promontory and Chair Ladder weren't taken seriously, even though they will be "local" for him at the time of the next meet...