Another short walk to an excellent quarry with grades for all
Members: Dan O’Brien, Dave Wylie, James Hall, James Meakin, Clay Conlon, Duncan Zerafa, George Williams
Guests: Amy Spray, Hannah Miltoff, Elliott Brown, Pati Xariklia, James Duthie, Ryan Linerman, Esmira Ropaj, Tom Ferneyhough, Nick Peristianis
Our suspicions were first raised when the until recently rubbish-filled hole-in-the-ground known as Den Lane was nominated last week by El Presidente, only for him to disappear off to the Swiss Alps. Luckily, the local midges turned out in force in his stead, though their names are not recorded. When your corespondent pointed out that some others must have voted for it James M said “Yes, but we didn’t realise what we were voting for…” Now where have I heard that before?
Undeterred, James D climbed Orchestral Crack (HVS), a steep corner with a very tenuous top-out to an old piece of mangled metal and a bolted lower-off. After a couple of rests on the steep final crack James fashioned a belay and lowered off removing the gear. Hannah and Nick followed and then abseiled down. Dave exacted revenge on Ash Tree Direct (S) which delivered all it promised (being a route that climbs direct, to an Ash Tree) which had defeated him on a previous visit. Amy, Esmira and Tom followed him and the route was also led by Elliott, followed by Ryan.
Dan led Three Notch Slab (VS) with a tricky start (try pulling really hard) and a bold finish (unless you have a Tri-Cam). Clay provided the Tri-Cam and Dan was followed by James M and Elliott who all managed to get on the small ledge below the bolted belay. Clay also led the route though with much less faff, followed by Duncan and George, who also teamed up to climb Sunset Crack (VS). James M led Elderberry Slab (VD) followed by James D which he described as “grotty”. Apparently it also lacked Elderberrys… By now the midges were descending…
Over on the taller side of the quarry James H led Noah’s Crack (VS) followed by Pati. Neither of them had anything positive to say about the route and especially the descent which looked almost as hard as the route if you shun a short abseil. Super psyched James also climbed The Wilter (E1) which keeps a small pile of rocks at the bottom as testament to the fragile nature of parts of Den Lane. After figuring out a tricky top section which the guide suggested might be "easier for the short” Pati followed to an ageing stance and they retreated by abseil. Still keen they attempted Popple (HVS) which the guidebook described with a memorial at its base however this was not there thought the remains of a concrete plinth could be seen. Shunning the guidebook description James did battle with the upper crack avoiding some of the more helpful holds out on the right resulting in some airtime and ultimately an irretrievable wire. Pati followed grumbling about jamming.
Dave finished the evening climbing Sunset Crack which had a straightforward start and a hideously tricky (if well protected) finish. After trying left, right and straight up to surmount the final steep section Dave resorted to “French Free”. He eventually gained the belay on the right and was followed by Amy, Esmira and Tom who showed contempt for the rampaging midges which had, by this point, driven the rest of the KMC into the welcome shelter of the Waggon Pub in Uppermill. Unfortunately, the abseil retreat was prolonged until well after dark as Dave and James H dangled on their respective routes; Dave trying to remove a stubborn friend and James still wrestling with his stuck wire. Dave won, James is a nut down…
In the pub the nominations for next week were Horseshoe Quarry, Troy Quarry and Windgather (this late in the season it was agreed that repeat nominations would be allowed…) The voting was simple with Horseshoe eliminated first and Windgather winning the run-off. The promise of a light breeze to blow away the midges seemed to be the biggest selling point. There was a small commotion as some of our number arrived after the voting. Dave complained that the vote was not quorate as there was only one Dave… The appeal to ACAS is ongoing.
2 minutes walk in, good routes.
Members: Andy Stratford, Gareth Williams, Lucie Crouch, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Helen Boothman, Emily Pitts, Clay Conlon.
Guests: Jools, Ben Slater, Matt Harrigan, Andy Shaw and Lester the dog,
Good turnout of twelve at one of the final meets of the summer season saw a good variety of action on The Long Wall.
Ben and Matt got stuck into Jive HS4b....Ben topped out and looked for a belay.....
'How do you place a tricam?'.....Helen went off to a good start on Three notch slab.
'Put your foot in the crack'
'but i don't like cracks'
'not even for your feet?'
Ben had pulled almost all the rope through and still hadn't found the belay.
....Andy succeeded on the steep overhangs of Palais Glide after a good bit of exploratory fumbling for the magic hold. Helen followed, relieved that she didn't need to use a single crack.
Ben had now walked so far the rope had gone through all the gear and he was on his way to Oldham.
After just a little cajoling from Gareth above and Andy below Emily led Three notch slab in fine style. Helen set off up Fox Trot HVS 5a but finished up the cracks of Misissipi Dip - complaining loudly.
Matt set off to rescue Ben from the top of the quarry, arriving back with him covered in brushwood and midge-bites shortly before it went dark.
We retired to the Waggon where pork scratchings, crisps, nuts and other commodities were consumed whilst Ben contemplated his reputation for route finding. Wilton 1 came out pretty unanimously on top of New Mills and the Fallowfield pumphouse.
Recently cleaned and re-equipped with bolt belays & lower offs this once neglected but excellent venue has become more popular
Present - Philip Jarvis, Steve Graham, Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Gareth Williams, Dave Dillon, Dan Metcalfe, Ozkan Yanik, Richard York.
Climbing on Long Wall and Rake Wall. Dan probably bagged most accents and Gareth the most repeat ascents.
Road side with bouldering and some lower offs...
Present and Muddy: Gareth W and Nick A
Given the rain and darkness it was a surprisingly low turnout at the Den. Head torches on from the car. 3 routes ticked (three notch slab, Jive and Valeta), with tea inbetween. Jive notable for copious amounts of mud, worst top out EVER and mapping reading needed for the decent (via the golf course, we ended up in the back garden of a cattery!)
Looking like miners, it was off to the Church for beer, where Ready Shore Scout was voted for next week.
Present: Keith McDonald, Dave Shotton, Nick Adamson, Al Metelko.
Nice dry day enticed the above 4 (early rain stopped play on the 15th) to what could have been a beautiful evening but it started to rain lightly as soon as I arrived. I almost headed for home when Keith arrived followed by the others. Dave did a super lead on ‘Valeta HS 4b’ in what was now proper rain and was quickly followed by Keith and Nick before heading to the Church Inn for an early pint.
Attendees: Dave Wylie, Trish Cranston, Christine Stark, Chris Williams, Dave Dillon, Pete Kosowski, Amy, Jo and Mark Furniss.
Dave W. arrived at the quarries first and spent a while attempting a low-level traverse of Rake Wall. Fortunately, before he'd completely exhausted himself, the jangle of climbing gear from further to the left alerted him to the arrival of more KMC'ers. The main activity of the evening was on Long Wall. The routes here included: Elderberry Slab (V-Diff) Ash Tree Direct (S, 4b) Three Notch Slab (MVS, 4c) Palais Glide (VS, 4c) Mississippi Dip (VS, 4c) Orchestral Crack (HVS, 5a) Christine's ascent of "Ash Tree Direct" was her highest grade lead to date - and only her third ever lead using traditional, leader-placed, gear. Well done Christine! For one route, Pete continued all the way up the slope above the crag - leading to communication problems with Amy, who was to second the route, and a very long walk round to get back down. This did, however, mean that they discovered the (non-climber) gentleman who had slipped at the bottom of the path by the road and damaged his ankle. Assistance, in the form of giving him a lift home, was supplied by the team. Most of the group (with the exception of Dave W. who, by that point, was too tired even to drink) headed to the Pub to select the crag for next week.
Al, Trish, Mark A., Dave W., James H., Midge, Mark H. and (a different) Gary attended this meet.
Not all their climbing kit made it along to the quarry, though. Various new skills were learned, including how to improvise a harness using slings and techniques for getting down from the top of the crag without ring-barking the belay tree. The grades on some of the routes seemed a bit out: 4b at Den Lane definitely seemed harder than 4b at Hobson Moor did a fortnight ago! And, does "S" really stand for "Severe"? Or perhaps it's for "Steep", "Strenuous" - or even "Soil", given the amount of this material in the cracks on at least one route? Routes climbed included Elderberry Slab (HVD), led by both Trish and Dave; Ash Tree Direct (S), led by both of the Marks; Three Notch Slab (MVS, 4c), led by Al; Orchestral Crack (HVS, 5a), led by Gary; Bivouac Route (HVD) - led by Mark A; plus a couple other of routes as well. It was a very enjoyable and rather a fine evening. Most of the team rounded things off at the Cross Keys pub.
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A good evenings climb was had at Den Lane. In attendance were Andy, Chris and Al.