The most amenable of the Wilton's.
Members: Andy Stratford, Peter McNulty, John Cox, Ozcan Yanik, Al Metelko
A cool windy evening - some routes a little dirty from debris washed down from recent rain. Andy managed a clean ascent of Crooked Crack (VS 4c) but cam retrieval proved trickier for the second. All members of the party tried their luck at removing it via an abseil but eventually gave up. Other routes led included Rappel Wall, Meeny & Miney all at V Diff.
The Black Dog in Belmont village was the voting venue and after seeing off Hobson Moor, Standing Stones & Alderman Rocks, Troy won unanimously.
Optimism won the Scribble debate, and was rewarded with a dry evening, no guns, but plenty of mountain rescue folk out training (not on KMC members).
Present and climbing: Paul Marsden, Andy Coulson, Nick Adamson, James Williams, Gareth Williams.
Routes climbed: Orange Wall (VS 4c), Orange Crack (HS 4b), Parallel Cracks (S 4a), Forked Cracks (VS 4c) and Central Crack (HVS 5a).
Lessons learnt: tea CAN be drunk through a midge-net!
Voted in for next week: Helsby.
Present Al Metelko, Dave Dillon.
No Guns present, young or old. Two routes and two descents. The moon joined us for a while. Didn't really need head torches, but occasionally used them just to show willing. Retired to the posh pub for a yak.
Present in body: Al Metelko, Gareth Williams, Nick Adamson, Dave Dillon.
10 routes bagged on the north faces while moonlight bathed the south faces. Sub zero alpine training with loose stuff frozen in place. Wilton Arms for warmth and evil brews.
Members and Guests: Dave Wylie, Al Metelko, Jane Atkinson, Dave Dillon, Trish Cranston, Jo and Mark Furniss, Pete Blacow, Eva Golombova and Paul.
Wilton 2, 3 and 4 are now owned by the Bolton Gun Club and the Bolton Rifle and Pistol Club. These clubs have priority over climbers on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. However, there was no sign of any armed activity in the area when the KMC arrived - no red flags, bangs, Gun Club Members or indeed any other people at all. As it was already well past 5pm when the first climbers turned up, it was pretty clear that there wouldn't be any shooting taking place. Climbing would be the only activity that the quarry would see this evening. Parallel Cracks (S, 4a, *), Rappel Wall (V-Diff, **), Slime Chimney (V-Diff, *), Crack and Slab (Diff, **), The Groove (V-Diff, *), Forked Cracks (VS, 4b, *) and Central Crack (HVS, 5a, ***) all succumbed to the molestations of the KMC. The weather stayed fine and dry for the evening, despite some fairly cloudy periods. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, even when "easy" routes on real rock proved to be a lot trickier than the "6a" routes that some people were used to on indoor walls (For Eva, it was only her second time climbing outdoors!). Climbing continued until about 9:30pm, when the light began to run short. The pub was Bob's Smithy, where the wallpaper gave some cause for comment. The choice of the crag for next time was heavily influenced by the two people present who will be away in the Alps for the following two weeks. As they'd attended the previous evening meet at that venue this year, we can only assume that this was a positive recommendation!
Nobody went to Wilton on (the rather showery) October 1st, so the meet was carried over to the 8th.
Dave Wylie, Al Metelko and Christine Stark turned out. There were also a couple of other (non KMC) guys there doing their own climbing - an Andy and another Dave. Nobody from the Bolton Gun Club was around, though, so it was deemed OK to climb in the quarry. Dave arrived first and soloed a few Diffs ("Twin Cracks", "The Slab" and "Unnamed Crack") and also did some traversing around the bottom of the Rappel Wall Area. Al's first lead was "Crooked Crack" (VS,4c), which proved harder than expected - particularly when Dave and Christine tried to follow him up it! Dave then led "Mo" (HS, 4a) which, again, seemed a bit stiff for the grade. Al finished off with a nocturnal lead of "Shivers Arête" (E1,5b). He discovered that, even with a head torch, the holds were rather hard to find in the dark! Christine followed him up the route using illumination borrowed from Dave. The Wilton Arms provided apres-climb refreshments. With only three people to decide on the crag for the next week, the voting was almost immediately unanimous (with Dave's attempt at distraction falling to pieces almost as rapidly as his suggested crag...). After the cloudless skies during the climbing, complete with a half-moon, it was a bit of a surprise to emerge from the pub to find that it had been raining after we'd finished. It looks like we got the timing spot on!
The Bolton Gun Club has firing ranges in Wilton quarries 2 and 3. They have use of the quarries on three days each week, including Wednesdays. There were no red warning flags flying when the first KMC members arrived, but there were two Club members at their lockup in no. 2 quarry. However, when we checked with them, they were packing up and said that there would be no more shooting that evening. That meant that the KMC could indeed climb in no. 3 quarry, rather than having to resort to plan B (which would have been Wilton 1). On arriving next door in Wilton 3, we found that it was infested with school kids - who were having a grand time being top-roped up several of the easier routes. Hopefully the school had previously cleared this with the Gun Club... Thankfully, the kids soon finished off and left the KMC in peace for the rest of the evening. A steady stream of KMC members, prospective members, guests and hangers-on arrived to sample the delights of the quarried gritstone. They included Al, Dave W., Gordon, Trish, Jo, Anne, Duncan, Vicky, Andy, Mark, Rachel, Warby, Gary, Keen Richard and a few others who didn't make it onto the list. A most excellent turnout for a mid-week evening meet! Loads of routes got traffic, including "Orange Crack", "Orange Wall" (soloed by Duncan), "Oak Leaf Crack", "Forked Cracks", "Crack and Slab", "Central Crack", "Shivers Arête", "Eeny", "Mo", etc., etc., etc. Several of the routes proved to be trickier than expected, resulting in some dangling, with Trish gathering the most air-miles. The weather stayed fine, but it was very breezy - making it rather cool belaying at the top of the quarry walls. Climbing continued till after sunset, by which time some people had called it a night and headed off. The rest retired to the local Pub (the Wilton Arms) where the crag for the following week was chosen.
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Good fun, loads of sun, some climbing by moon light, went to the Black Dog in Belmont afterwards...