Hillside natural grit with excellent sunset potential...
Members: Andy Stratford, Dan O’Brien, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Jared Kitchen, Ding, Emily Pitts, Emily Thompson, Clay Conlon, Stuart Hurworth,
Guests: Rob Kempster, Naomi Roberts, Isobel Prause, Alastair Philp, Ben Kolb, Sam (sorry, didn’t get a surname) Sarah (sorry too!), Bernard (oh no…), Jack Buczko
With sunshine back on the menu the KMC returned to the Chew Valley. Dovestones Edge, with it’s commanding views of the reservoirs below awaited the climbers as they slowly and (in some instances) painfully wound their way up the steep hillside. Seventeen turned out to sample some of the best moorland gritstone had to offer. They were joined, unfortunately by some of its more ravenous residents – Culicoides Impunctatus, more commonly known as, the midges. On a scale of 1-10, one being a breezy day aboard a ship on the high seas and ten being a still drizzly day in Glencoe, we were probably around a four when the team arrived at the crag. Things escalated from there.
Andy and Isobel opened their account with Tower Ridge (HVD), also climbed by Sarah. They also climbed First Triplet (HS), Swan Crack (S) and Noddy’s Wall (VS) in a thoroughly productive evening.
Jared led Answer Crack (HVD) in his trainers followed by Dan. Answer crack also received ascents from Rob, followed by Naomi. Dave and Clay climbed Question Mark, also HVD and an excellent companion route to Answer crack, sharing some of the same climbing. Dan then led Layback Crack (HS) and the followed Jared up Nasal Buttress with Stuart as the midge level cranked up to around 5. Guests Sam and Ben also climbed Nasal Buttress then moves on to the tricky Yellow Crack (HVS). Ben battled hard on the thin upper crack (5c he reckoned if you can’t reach the jug) and succeeded on his second attempt.
Emily P climbed Nobbly Wall (S) then moved onto Slab and Saddle (D) led by Emily T which had a particularly exposed finish leaving gear quite far behind. Bernard climbed Layback Crack followed by Jack and Mark which also received ascents from Clay, followed by Dave and Rob, followed by Naomi. As Dave and Clay finished their evening on Tower Ridge the midge level increased to 7 and mutterings about the pub gathered momentum.
Once down in The Clarence, complete with new pool table, the discussion turned to next week. Cow’s Mouth Quarry and Woodhouse Scar were eliminated early leaving Shining Clough and Bamford Edge in the shoot-out. With a tricky trade off between driving distance and length of walk in the shorted walk-in prevailed (obviously, the walk up the hillside to Doovestones was too fresh a memory for the time being. Next week, for the longest day of the year, we are going to Bamford.
Rough moorland gritstone - perfect for the longest Wednesday of the year!
Members: Andy Stratford, Jim Symon, Helen Boothman, James Hall, Mark Ashley, Oi Ding Koy, Duncan Zerafa, James Meakin, John Evans, Fiona Dixon,
Guests: Ryan Linderman, Jared Kitchen, Isobel Prause
It was a still, warm and muggy evening down at the reservoir car park. Andy, Helen , Isobel and Jim walked up the easy path towards the Foxes stone in about 30 mildly sweaty minutes to find a dripping Duncan who, having never been up to Dovestones’ before, had opted for a one hour heather approach (HVG*) somewhere near the Quarries. As we rounded the top we saw another similary soggy pair – James and James – cursing their way up the steepest slope immediately below the crag. Just as they reached it, yet another pair (Fiona and John) hove into view to begin their hard labour.
It was only a bit midgy when we arrived as we split into teams: James Hall led the bold arête of Maggie HVS 5a, followed by Helen then Jared. Helen decided on a lead of the varying and misnamed Mammoth Slab (HVS 4c) with steep bouldery start, unprotected slab and precarious and reachy finish up a tower on slopers. James followed in fine style.
Meanwhile Jim had decided on Left Embrasure (VS 4b) which he led easily followed by Andy. It was time for the three star Nasal Buttress (HS 4b) next which Andy led after a ‘short pause’ at the crux! Following this, James Hall decided on Nasal buttress with Ryan. This was followed by an attempt on the steep and poorly protected 8hours (E1 5a) which resulted in a retreat. James switched to The Changeling – a poorly protected off width just right of 8 hours at VS 4b. Ryan discovered he couldn’t fit in the crack (after a lot of grunting).
Over on the far right the Mark Ding team swiftly despatched Question Mark (HVD 4a) and Layback Crack (MVS 4b) before joining the others on the left hand section for Central Tower (V Diff). Fiona and John also started on the right climbing layback crack, another route and then John finishing with a fine (and Camless) lead of Nasal Buttress.
Duncan and Isobel teamed up to climb Central Tower and Wrinkled Buttress (V Diff) and were joined by James Meakin who departed soon after muttering about midges and green rock. Duncan finished with a fine lead of Swan crack (S 4a).
By now the midges were getting really annoying. Andy followed Jim up Noddys’ Wall (VS 4b) then Helen up Tower Arete (VS 4c) without removing his midge net!
As the sun set, we packed up from this glorious spot and headed back for the cars, only making the Clarence at 10.45. Six of us wrestled over Castle Naze, somewhere else and, the Presidents choice, Ramshaw Rocks. Next week? It Staffordshire Grit!
*HVG = Hard Very Grassy
Sunset venue on the moors. Lovely
Members: Dave Wylie , Gareth Williams, Andy Stratford. Al Metelko. Stevie Graham. Dan O'Brien
Guests: Matt Harrigan, Chris Egan, Angela Gallagher,
Dave arrived early for a spot of sunbathing. Gareth arrived next and psyched himself for The Hanging Crack - one of the toughest roof climbs in the Chew - it alledgedly goes at E2 5b - but only if you are an orangutan that can jam proficiently.
We worked out that Gareths ape genes were seriously deficient, along with his jamming skills
''Ooh. I'm going to give up now. I can see bits of my skin in the crack''.
Meanwhile, back on planet earth Stevie had led Answer Crack, then Layback Crack. After Andy had completed belay duties for Gareth he led the same. Matt led Tower Ridge and Question Mark. Talking of question marks, there were some used about Dan's claims to voting rights in the pub - after he claimed bouldering on The Sugar Loaf, Sloping Top and The Tank entitled him to raise hands. Al checked rule 237b section 4 part 6 and concluded that as long as Dan voted for Shelf Benches (which, surprise, he had suggested) then his vote would count. Despite this blatant attempt at vote fixing, the superb Glossop crag went out first round after 2 complex re-votes.
Wilton, Pule Hill and Cows Mouth vied for the top spot with Cows Mouth easily taking the honours once the shy KMC members present were told Paul Evans would be in attendance photographing for the new Lancashire Guidebook.
Sunset crag, excellent views, great lower grade routes. 40 minute walk in. bring headtorch!
Another good turnout with twelve of us enjoying a sunny gorgeous evening high above the Chew valley, windy enough to keep the midges away but otherwise an evening climbing after work doesn't come better than this on the rough gritstone of the Chew Valley. The routes often appear green as this venue is less visited but the friction on the rock is incredible and some of the routes are of the very highest quality.
Members present: Dave Wylie, Stuart Hurworth, Mark Ashley, Koy Oi Ding, Dan O'Brien, Ian Crook, Dave Shotton, Andy Stratford. Meirion Tanner.
Guests: Mirella De Jonge, Anna Reeves, Matt Harrigan.
Many Routes ascended including Route II, Coopers Crack, The Direct Route, Nasal Buttress, Nasal Buttress RH, Central Tower, Answer Crack, Question Mark and the Triplets.
Mark Ashley managed to get his nuts stuck and all efforts by Ding to tease them out failed - Meirion came to the rescue and performed a swift extraction.
After all that excitement it was time for the Clarence where Bridestones was first out, then Teggs Nose. Troy bested Wilton in the final showing by just one vote. We go Greek next week!
Classic Moorland Grit. Great Routes at all Grades.
Present - Duncan Lee, Mark Grist, Steve Graham, Al Barnes, A. N. Other, Midges.
I called in there whilst out running and followed Mark Grist up Answer crack and Slip-off slab both of which had already been climbed by Steve Graham and a chap whose name I cannot remember (sorry). Al Barnes was rumoured to be on his way but was possibly eaten alive by the midges before he got there. They were fierce! Hence why I continued my run and thus didn't make it to the pub for the vote. But then again did anyone?
If people want a get out clause from a dovestones rematch may i suggest Ashworth Moor quarry. It's had a good clean and has a lot more than the bouldering that ukc shows.i.e about 20 routes from diff to E1'ish
This venue was originally scheduled for May 26th. Unfortunately, afternoon rain in Manchester put most of the KMC off. Two people (Midge Castick and Katarine Bagshaw) did make it out to the crag that evening, but didnt manage to meet each other. The only climbing seems to have been a Moderate, soloed by Midge. However, as she did not suggest an alternative crag, Dovestones Edge was carried forward into June.
Attendees: Dave Wylie, Katharine Bagshaw, Roger Dyke, Midge Castick, Al Metelko, Chris Williams, James Williams, Carolyn Mills, Mark Ashley, Andy Stratford, etc., etc. The weather on June 2nd provided no excuses, so plenty of people turned up at the edge. So many, in fact, that the above attendee list is incomplete! Loads of routes were climbed in the glorious evening sunshine.
Again, as per the attendee list, not all the details have been recorded. Lets just say that several excellent classics and a few less well trodden climbs saw traffic. However, out of all the people who got out to the crag, only 3 went to the pub. Disappointing!
Members: James, Trish, Kasia and Al. The slight drizzle didn't deter the group gathered at Binn Green car park, although there were one or two murmurs of indoor climbing. Two teams of two climbed "Central Tower" (VD+) and "Left Embrasure" (VS). One more route Trish led CT (direct, through the bulge) in the rain. We were all in the pub before dark.
Trish, Christine, James, Chris, Andy and Al. There was enough of a weather window to climb at a rather cloudy and windy, but dry, Dovestones Edge. Even in these conditions many routes were completed and it was still possible to climb till 10pm. However it was raining when we left the pub.
Roy and Ivy Lee's Garden party It was far too wet to climb this evening, so Dovestones Edge will have to wait for yet another week. However, the Garden Party beckoned instead. As usual for this annual event, a group from the KMC met up at the Lee Mansion for a, rather damp, summer evening's get together. Food, drink and chat in abundance. Plants were on sale with everyone's spare cash going to Charity (St. Ann's Hospice).
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Mark Ashley, Chris Williams, Dave Wylie, James Richardson, Des Chadderton and John Williams spent a fine evening at Dovestones Edge. Routes included "Nobbly Wall", "The Direct Route", "Wrinkled Buttress" and "Nasal Buttress" (leads of this Hard Severe by both Mark and Dave). Newcomers Des and John did routes further along the crag, then joined the others in the Pub ("The Clarence"). The consensus was that the Chew Valley is the place to be, so we'd come back to the area the following week.