Quarried grit, spanners and plumb lines amid Sodom and Gomorrah
Members: Dave Wylie, James Meakin, Fiona Dixon, John Evans, Clay Conlon, George Williams, Andy Stratford, Gareth Williams, Dave Shotton, Geri Milhalkova, Emily Pitts, Duncan Zerafa, Dan O’Brien
Guests: Elliot Brown, Beth Thomas, Ryan Lindfield, Katy O’Brien, Patti, Hannah Milton, James Duthie, Guido
The forecast was spot on: it was a fine, still, sunny summer evening up at the Pits with twenty one members and guests attending. However, those familiar with the Pits knew that the stillness meant that the wee beasties would put eventually put in an appearance.
Beth opened her account with Foile Bergeres (HS 4b) followed by Dave Wylie and Elliot. A later attempt by George was foiled by the tricky start but Duncan eventually overcame with the loan of a no. 5 friend from Andy. Ryan, George and Dave S all followed.
A little further right Andy jammed his way up the overhanging start of the delightfully named Dead Dog Crack VS 4c. When Dan O’Brien followed he gave the start 5a. Duncan obligingly confirmed it was stiff for a 4c when he fell off twice, eventually untying muttering about jamming…..Dave S made a fine effort on second followed speedily by an on-form Beth.
Gareth had a direct line on Spanner wall in his sights: The connection gets E3 6a in Over the Moors and E4 6b on UKC – either way, your president can confirm it is rather tricky, having failed to get even a metre off the ground as G-mans’ second. Gareth had made a great effort on it, having a short rest on the three rusty pegs before threading the eponymous spanner and high-tailing to the top. ‘’Pumpy’’ was how he described it. With a bit of rope shuffling, Beth then used the line to make an ascent as a second on Spanner Wall (E2 5b)
Elliot and Dave broke ranks and wandered round to the lesser used no. 5 (Weavers) Quarry making an ascent of the excellent HS 4b called Weavers Crack
Meanwhile, Clay was having a fine time on the immaculate three star VS 4c – Plumb Line – the best line at the Pits – Fiona and Dave followed. Patti, Hannah and James were next, all clearly enjoying the superb climbing. James Meakin set up a belay at the top of Hazy Groove and The Cracks. Lots of folk climbed these including Emily, Geri, Guido and John, who also managed a cheeky solo of Unctuous. Beth finished her busy evening with Midsummer (S) followed by Emily and Geri.
By 8pm the midges were just too much so most folk packed up, about fourteen made it to The Church where we gave thanks for the evening by imbibing golden nectar. Voting included Shining Clough, Millstone Rocks (longdendale) and Helsby but the clear winner was Castle Naze.
Quarried grit, spanners and plumb lines amid Sodom and Gomorrah
Rollover to next week due to rain
Great selection of routes across the grades, 10 minute easy walk
Running Hill Pits
Members – Dan O’Brien and Andy Stratford
Guests – Rob Mills and Paul McCormack
The nights have started to draw in but there is still a couple of opportunities for midweek adventures. This week saw the KMC at Running Hill Pits, a Quarry above Uppermill in the Chew Valley. The quarry boasts one of the strangest pieces of in-situ gear on grit. A foot-long spanner wedged dubiously on the aptly names “Spanner Wall”. Over the years the bent spanner eroded at its base until, in 2010, it broke off. After a brief spell hanging on the wall of the Cross Keys Inn nearby, the spanner is now back though its new method of attachment casts further doubt on its load bearing ability…
Andy opened his account with a solid ascent of Plumb Line (VS 4C) bravely overcoming a “cam crisis” on a particularly slippery section. Dan, Paul And Rob followed before splitting into pairs for the remained of the evening. Dan mis-read the guidebook and attempted to start an E1 up an E6. After being put right, belayed by Paul, he led the colourfully named Gomorrah (E1 5C) a slippery thin-hands jamming crack that would have been more at home in the USA. Andy followed grumbling about Dan’s height advantage and the wilting nature of his forearms…
Rob led Ucontus (S 4C) followed by Paul and then headed over to the sunny side of the quarry for attempts on Dead Dog Crack and Cave Crack, both VS and both with very slippery jamming starts. This and increasing midge activity forced a retreat tot he shady side and an ascent of Dusty Arete (D) as the light faded.
Andy closed off proceedings with an ascent of the (non-identical) twin cracks of Pantagruel (HVS 5A). Though green (particularly the left hand crack), Andy jammed his way to 2/3 height where the crack narrowed and the foot-holds ran out. After a couple of aborted attempts (again the wilting forearms…) Andy changed his approach and simply sprinted for the top using his adrenaline fuelled ability to do one-arm lock-offs, leaving his feet and his distant last runner trailing behind him.
As it grew dark, the team decamped to the Church Inn and debated the options for next week. With limited light, and a whole summer behind us the options were limited. A straight up-or-down vote between Den Lane and Windgather brought Windgather out on top. Whalley Bridge next week!
The ever excellent Pits
Member Present: Andy Stratford
A quick solo of The Arete Vdiff in No3 Quarry, bouldering on the Pinnacle and Self Rescue on Sodom and Gomorrah! A lovely dry evening. Voting surprisingly difficult but eventually Pule Hill won out.
Excellent turnout tonight. Barely room to squeeze another car in at the top of Running Hill Lane. Feet of snow lay in great drifts in some areas of Spanner Quarry but the main walls were in great condition due to the dry weather.
Members at the Pits: Emilys Pitts, Al Metelko, James Williams, Ozcan Yanik, Gareth Williams, Lucie Crouch, Dave Wylie, Andy Stratford.
Guests: Mark Pilling, Polly Harmer, Caz, Gareth and Steve Hill
Routes completed ranged from E3 to V Diff and included Foiles Bergeres, Dead Dog Crack, The Cracks, Mangled Digit, Plumb Line, Grot Groove, Sodom, Gomorrah and Unctuous.
The Church pub was good as ever with voting seeing Hobson Moor pip James's top tip of Ramshaw Rocks by a narrow margin.
Plenty of good routes at all grades at Hobby for next week.
Members Running in order of appearance: Gareth Williams, Bob Kelly, Ozcan Yanik, Andy Stratford
Guest Runner: Caity Rice
RHP damp green and early season slimey....weather mostly good. Excellent sunset.
Caitys first time on grit and first experience of crack climbing, Gareth shunting and fall practice on the hard moves on Saggitarius Flake (E5 6b)ably assisted by Bob.
Ozcan's first leader fall on Plumb line (VS 4c) (well held Bob!) which was eventually climbed clean by Andy after a re-ascent due to dropped nuts...doh! Bob and Caity had a go but were beaten back by the general sliminess. Cave Crack (VS 4c) also succumbed to Andy with a good second by Ozcan.
The church was the voting venue. Windgather narrowly beat Hobson Moor with Troy in 3rd.
Scribble if you're going.
Gareth, Al - I made it just as it got very dark. Gareth was just leaving but changed his mind and we sought out pits 5 and 6 which I’ve never been to and I have to say quite impressive in the gloom. We did a bit of bouldering in both then headed to the pub.
In the Pits: Dave Wylie, Trish Cranston, Gareth Williams, Nick Adamson, Oi Ding Koy, Jim Symon, James Williams, Dave Dillon.
No midges. Plumb Line's delights explored. The spanner approached from all angles. Gear testing. A route in the dark for winters sake. The Church for voting.
Attendees: Dave Wylie, Andy Grantham, Al Metelko, Carolyn Mills, James Williams, Andy Stratford, Mark Ashley, Chris Hall, Rhian, Keith McDonald.
"Plumb Line" (VS, 4c) fended off many attempts, the only successful clean lead on it being by Carolyn. The "Midge Pit" at the bottom of the route was not a pleasant place to belay...
Members: Al, Trish, Christine and Andy There was some faffing as to whether we were going to climb indoors or out but eventually outdoors won and the above members dutifully turned up for the somewhat damp evening. 2½ routes climbed: Al led Plumb Line (VS 4C) with the others seconding and Andy led Unctious (S 4C) with Christine seconding. Trish attempted Hazy Groove and the Cracks before the worsening conditions persuaded everyone that the pub was a far better bet. After further faffing the Adventurous Four decided to vote on the following week's crag and Harpur Hill won on a toss of the coin.
Back to Current Midweek
Al Metelko, Christine Stark, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, James Hoyle, Kasia Hoyle, Andy Grantham, Gordon, Julie O'Regan, Des Chadderton, Mike Freeman, plus James and Jack (with their non-climbing Dad) turned up on a very warm, fine evening in Running Hill Pits.
Everyone converged on the second ("Spanner") quarry to climb routes ranging from Diff up into the E-grades. Quite a lot of midges also joined in the fun, so large quantities of N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide were applied in an attempt to repel them. "Plum Line" (VS, 4c, ***) was led by Al, Des and Dave with several of the others following them up the route. Mark did a rather bold lead up "Groove-V Baby" (MVS, 4c, *) which doesn't have any decent protection where it would actually be of any use. "Dusty Arête" (Diff) was dusted off by Dave on a solo ascent. The direct finish of "The Cracks" (Severe, 4a) was rather loose, so those who led it snuck off - to one side or the other - to avoid the detritus. "Paradise Crack" no longer has a large loose block on it, though, as it didn't survive the tender ministrations of the KMC. "Unctious" (Severe, 4a) also saw several ascents. Harder routes climbed included "Pantagruel" (HVS, 5a) and "Gomorrah" (E1, 5b). After the climbing, most of the party retired to the Church Inn for a quick drink. Very good value beer, plus peacocks strutting around! The voting for the next crag was tied at five-all between Millstone and Shaw Quarry. The tie was broken by a round of "Stone, Paper, Scissors". Millstone won.