Form an orderly queue at the bottom of the longest route name on grit!
Members: Clay Conlon, Andy Stratford, Emily Pitts, Isabel Prause, Cathy Gordon, Dave Wylie, Dan O’Brien, Tim Howarth, John Cox, Steve Graham, Elliott Brown
Guests: George Babington, John Smallwood, Andy Vine, Chris Kastavunis
It was roasting, there was no breeze and the crag is a sun-trap. Your correspondent’s opinion of Denham, based on a single previous visit, was that is was a damp, midge infested, hole-in-the-ground. Well at least today wasn’t damp.
Andy S opened the club account with an ascent of Mohammed the Morbid Morgul (S) which traverses a long way across the crag, followed by Dave. Dan went for the classic VS of Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits* (MMMMHMM) which felt high in the grade, especially if you miss out on helpful gear placements and consistently place the wrong sized cam. Isabel and Tim followed, smoothly and stressfully respectfully.
Andy V led The Layback (VS) which is given HVS in the new guide followed by Clay. Clay then led The Funny Farm (HS) before Andy showed everyone how to lead MMMMHMM properly. Meanwhile Dave led the long (and bold in places) Concave Wall (S) followed by Cathy and Andy S. Andy and Cathy then went over to team up with George and Emily for a Funny Farm/Step in the Clouds hybrid. John S led The Edge (VD) followed by Jon C and then led Main Break before dropping a top-rope down Lintel (S).
Steve and Elliott had a productive evening climbing Main Break (HS), Layback, Funny Farm and Step In the Clouds (HS) (also followed by Chris). Elliott then went for the classic E1 of Time up the main wall. A very direct line up some improbable looking rock and spaced gear yielded to a positive approach. The holds were there but Elliott’s reach certainly came in useful. Steve followed easily. After the excitement of MMMMHMM Dan decided to climb the heavily starred VD of Splash Arete. This route had a surprisingly bold start before good gear near the top. A high step near the finish alas proved too much for Dan to accomplish gracefully and after much faffing he found himself sitting au cheval on the arete with no footholds to assist with upwards progression. The comradely and support the KMC is so famous for was on full display and people gathered to take photos of the hapless, stranded leader. After a few minutes, a mantle and a “knee-swap” gained the finishing hold and Dan politely questioned the grade. Steve said he’d done it a few weeks previously and it has been “alright”.
As the sun started to set and the midges started to descend the team decamped to the Top Lock pub. The nominations for next week were Pule Hill, Castle Naze, Alderman and Bamford. Three rounds of voting were required for Pule Hill to prevail in a narrow victory. The people have spoken!
* I hate whoever named the routes at this crag.
Quarried gritstone and the longest route name in Lancashire...
Members present: Mark Ashley, Duncan Zerafa.
Guests present (who really should be members by now): Jack Buczko, Isabel Prause.
Mark had arrived early at the crag, waiting for other keen Karabiner Mountaineering Club folk to turn up. The constant rain around Manchester and heavy traffic had left the decisions to attend until later in the day, thus most arriving fashionably late but with less time for routes. However for those that had braved the gloomy forecast at Denham were greeted by evening summer sunbeams, glittering on golden gritstone. The imagined sodden rock and an infinity of midges had vanished into the ether. Views from the panoramic crag took in the South Lakes to the north and the Ribble estuary to the west.
Jack had his sights on leading Concave Wall S 4a at the pool area which he thought was good climbing, but spent more time than anticipated gardening the choss with his nut key. This was followed by another lead of Step into the Clouds S 4b a route described as covered in yellow spiders! Mark seconded Jack on both routes and said both routes were "very well lead" .
It would be amiss not to get to Denham Quarry and not try some of Lancashire's longest named routes. Duncan duly obliged with a lead of Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits VS 4c. A three star route and top 50 in Rockfax, the route didn't disappoint. Quite easy to find good gear placement lower down not so much in the run out top half (unless using small brass offsets). Isabel seconded and thought it was great climbing. This was followed by a lead of Ganglion VS 4a, initially it was meant to be a climb up Main Break HS 4a but ended up on the Ganglion traverse. A poorly protected route and Hard Very Chossy finish! Isabel seconded again but didn't think it as good as the previously very long named route. An attempt at Mad Karoo HVS 5a was thought too bold and too dark now in the gloaming light.
Twilight and evening fell and then the dark brought the evening stars. A convening at the pub had the three crags Shining Clough, Wilderness Rocks and Witches Quarry on the table. Rapid voting meant a change of texture for next week with Lancashire limestone winning out at Witches Quarry. So gritstone-free climbing next wednesday.
Home to a few Lancashire classics and hopefully before the midges come out to play. Come and have a go at one of Lancashire's most famous routes ''Mohammed the Mad Monk of the Moorside Home for Mental Misfits'' at VS 4c.
Members: Mark Ashley, Koy Oi Ding, Gareth Williams, Andy Stratford
Guests: Andy Whaley, Steve Hill, Elliot, Max Bretherton
Sunny evening but the wind kept the midges at bay.
Mohammed mental misfits VS 4c led by Mark Ashley, Max & Elliot. Concave Wall S 4a by Mark, Steve and Andy. Other routes included Mohammed the Morbid Morgul S 4a and Splash Arete V Diff. Gareth led the bold Time at E1 5a followed by Andy and Steve.
Voting took place underneath Mohammed buttress with Deeply Vale winning on the toss of a coin over Anglezarke.
Amassed: Bob Milward, Joe Flynn, James Williams, Carolyn Mills, Mark Ashley, Dave Dillon.
Many of Mohammed's paths followed finishing on time for voting in the Cavendish. Superbly controlled slo-mo screamers. Continental gear. Sunset. Sand. Squamish pipped by Wilton 1 in favour of zero midge intent.
A fine evening at Denham Quarry, with climbing until after dark.
In attendance were Dave Wylie, James Hoyle, Al Metelko, Christine Stark, Geraldine de Silva, Chris Williams and (arriving just as the sun set) Andy Grantham.
The routes included: "Mohammed the Mediaeval Melancholic" (Severe, 4a), "Concave Wall" (Severe, 4a), "Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits" (VS, 4c), "Low Rib" (V-Diff), "Central Buttress Direct", (V-Diff) plus one or two others. The pub was "The Top Lock" at Heapey.
After two Wednesdays of wet weather prevented any evening climbing, a small turnout at Denham tackled the popular starred routes.
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The Climbers John Cox, Mark Ashley, James Richardson, Trish Cranston, Dave Dillon, Dave Shotton, Dave Wylie, Karen Kennedy, Andy Grantham, Matt from Milnrow, Neil from Southport, Scott Sadler (though this last one didn't actually climb). The Weather Dry; the showers kept away. Very windy - particularly when belaying at the top - though nobody actually got blown off a route. The Crag A reasonably large gritstone quarry, complete with its own car park. Some quality rock, but rather a lot of vegetation on less popular routes. The Routes The Edge Central Buttress Direct Lintel Butterfly Main Break Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits. Mohammed the Mediaeval Melancholic ...plus several others. The Pub The Cavendish Arms in Brindle.