Members: Andy Stratford, Jim Symon, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Emily Thompson, Jared Kitchen
Guests: John Smallwood, Erfan Khatibi
A lovely late summer evening at Alderman with just enough wind to keep the beasties away, and clear skies for a stunning Chew Valley sunset.
Arriving at the crag, unusually we were not alone. Six Rucsac club members were also there – very unusual for Alderman – we nearly always have it to ourselves.
John started off with a lead of the first pitch of Cleft and Chimney, but backed off the second pitch and instead did the top (face) pitch of Rib and Face. Both routes are listed as HVD. Jared, on his first visit to Alderman was tempted by the delights of Great Slab (VS 4c) with the ‘proper’ second pitch consisting of the skin shredding overhanging jamming crack. Surely this has to be one of the most oddly named routes in the Chew? Jared was ‘’impressed’’ with the grade of the second pitch "I’ve done much easier E1’s", and once again Chew valley grit left its mark... this time on Jim who seconded. Andy just got away without the crack drawing blood.
Other routes led by Andy included Crispy Crack (HVS 5a), Pygmy Wall (S 3c) and Great Slab Right (HVS 5a). Jim sauntered up Great Slab Arete (S 4a) and the second pitch of Rib and Face (4a).
Meanwhile, over on the little visited south peak Dave Wylie led Overhanging Buttress (HVD, 4a) and Blunt Arête (VD) with John. Dave commented "These routes clearly don't get as much traffic as the main section of the crag, so there were a few tufts of grass in some of the cracks and one or two loose chunks of rock. It was worth the visit, though.’’
We walked down in the gloaming back to the cars and visited the refurbished Clarence for voting. There was much debate and Running Hill Pitts narrowly won over the artificial boulder in Shaw! Phew!
Best sunset venue on the regular round
Members: Meirion Tanner, Gareth Williams, Duncan Zerafa, Dave Wylie. Andy Stratford
Guests: Dan Wood, Lee Newens (both on their first KMC meet)
Your correspondent arrived at the crag just as Meirion and Gareth had arrived back at the gearing up spot having climbed the 2 pitch Great Slab route. Gareth led his first grit route in ages on P1 with Meirion taking on the notorious crack on P2. I asked Meirion if the renowned feature had, once again, drawn blood...
"Nope. I out techniqued it!"
The Williams / Tanner partnership had a productive evening with Crispy Crack (Gareth), Great Gatsby (Meirion). Gareth also solo'd Great slab chimney (mod) and led another route combo with Isobel as his final pitches of the evening.
Duncan led both pitches of Great Slab with Lee. Andy led both pitches of Great Slab Arete (S 4a) with Dave and newcomer Dan Wood (first climb outdoors), before moving on to Great Gatsby (Vs 4c) and Pygmy Wall (S 3c).
The M grades (See Cow’s Mouth report) varied throughout the evening and were also very specific to certain areas of the crag – like the belay positions below great slab. We didn’t quite get the sunset we wanted, but as ever the views were sublime and the company excellent.
The five of us in the pub had to choose from Troy and two other crags that I can’t recall, so Troy it is!
The one you've all been waiting for...
Members: Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Geri Mihalkova, James Meakin, George Williams, Clay Conlon
Guests: John Evans, Fiona Dixon, Duncan Zefera, Emily Thompson, Tom Nicholson, Ali.
Pub appearance: Dan O’Brien
Despite a gloomy forecast earlier in the week and a rain shower mid afternoon, the crag was very dry and in excellent condition, then out came the sun and we enjoyed the final warming rays of a fine evening.
Duncan and Dave teamed up with Dave on lead for Great Slab Arete (S 4a) and Duncan leading on Rib and Face (HVD 4a) and the enticing looking HVD of Cleft and Chimney. "I like climbing on a slug" explained Duncan. He finishing with a solo of F Route (VD 3c).
Andy might as well have solo’d Crispy Crack (HVS 5a), a delicate affair with one lonely nut very low on the route. Geri and George both followed commendably. Great Slab Right (HVS 4c) was next then Geri and Andy were joined by Emily for Pigmy Wall (S 3c), P2 of Rib and Face, Great Slab Arete and P1 of Great Slab. Meanwhile Clay was determined on both pitches of the classic Great Slab, making a fine finish up the tough jamming crack of P2 with only minor blood loss. George and James both followed with some amusing variations.
John and Fiona did a combination of Great Slab Arete and P2 of Rib and Face (a much better combination than the original route and more balance across the grade), then top-roped Crispy Crack. Andy lent Fiona the crucial micro cams for Pygmy Wall. George finished off with a lead of Great Slab Chimney, as did Tom Nicholson and Ali.
The whole team made it to The Clarence where we were joined by our esteemed Outdoor Meets Secretary, Dan O’Brien complete in paint splattered work trousers and playing the "look i’ve just been doing DIY card". Who had actually nominated Alderman last week...? Dan...?
Emily Thompson advised that a fell race was being held next week at Dovestones so the consensus was to try elsewhere: Crags on the table for next week Castle Naze. Angleszarke, Pule hill. Cows Mouth.
With the "hole in the ground with a swamp" only getting the one vote, we quickly moved to the three venues with the views, with Cows Mouth eventually winning by a good margin over Pule Hill.
Sunny, windy and often very dry crag!
Members. Nils Elgar, Ding oi Koy Dave Wylie, Andy Stratford,.
Guests. Paul McCormack. Ryan Linfield, Paula Radtke, Emma Bird, Duncan Zerafa.
Pub only!!!: Dan O'Brien.
Great turnout tonight at a crag with one of the best outlooks in these parts. Windy enough to blow all the midges in the world away. Nils and Ding arrived early doors and made ascents of Pygmy wall and P1 of The Great Slab, in fact pretty much everyone ended up seconding P1 of Great Slab (4b) but no-one fancied the vicious upper crack - all tending instead to the excellent and pleasant P2 of Rib and face (4a). The Great Gatsby at VS 4c also proved popular. Andy led up Great Slab Right HVS 5a with a succession of seconds including Emma Bird on her first ever day outdoor climbing. Type 2 fun. Paul Mc was back on the rock after a nine year break, and Duncan appeared to run up every route he was pointed at. The entire team made it to the Clarence for the voting, joined by shirker Dan, claiming his foot was too poorly to handle a rock shoe. Ever heard of Elbsandstein Gebirge? No, I expect not. Neither had anyone except Paula as it is in her native Germany. It still got 3 votes and survived into round 2 as we lost Stanage on the first vote! (proposed by Aussie Ryan!) Eventually Wilton 1 won out over Heptonstall with the other contender, Crowden in 3rd. After voting we discovered that actually Elbsandstein Gebirge is not a crag but a National Park....lost in translation again......
So, with the nights drawing in, and the final month of the wednesday outdoor season approaching, get yourself down to Wilton next week for some steep, well protected quarried grit action.
Windy spot to keep the beasties away
Wetter than a KMC member after the wild swim meet......rollover
Lovely setting, superb view, breezy. 15 minute walk up hill.
Members: Mark Ashley, Ding, Meirion Tanner
Good quality rough grit in the Chew Valley with fine views.
Members: Mark Ashley, Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Nick Adamson
Guests: Clare Hodgson, Helen Boothman, Geri Mihalkova, Michaela Schaller, Anna Reeves, Mike.
Great Slab, Great Slab Arete, Great Slab Right, Great Gatsby, Pygmy Wall, Crispy Crack, Rib and Face all got a good bit of traffic until the light faded on a gorgeous sunny summers evening with great views.
Midges were mostly succesfully repelled by a combination of potions and headnets - possibly a new look for KMC members.
Cows Mouth Quarry was the unanimous winner of the golden crag award.
Members : John Cox, Mark Garrod, Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Koy Oi Ding, Carolyn Mills and Guests: Nick Adamson, Ozcan Yanik, Emma Collins
Great turnout on a lovely balmy summers evening especially considering the number of members at the Alps meet. Mark Garrod & Dave were the early starters with John making a surprise but most welcome appearance.
Quite a few routes solo'd by Carolyn, Nick, Ding, Mark G and Dave.
New man Ozcan continued his leading adventures with a solid effort on Great Slab Arrete (HVD) - a route also led by Dave, Mark Ash and Nick.
The two pitch Great Slab (VS 4c) saw leads from Andy and Carolyn but both were bitten by the pitch two fist crack. Nasty!
Pygmy wall (HS 4b) was led up by Mark Ash & Andy.
Carolyn led the way up the not-so-Crispy Crack but slightly-in-need-of-gardening crack (HVS 5a) followed by various others.
Andy led the delicate pebble gripping fest of Great Slab Right (HVS 4c) followed by several others.
Many other routes were climbed - far too many to record with us finally making 'The Clarence' at 10pm ish.
With five crags on the table the voting came down to Wilton 3 Vs Standing Stones and in the end it was John Cox's standing stones winning out the day.
Carolyn asked when he was last there and if it might be green: after a pause the reply..."...ohh, sometime in the 60's''...... accompanied by a sly grin!
Several ascents and some scouting around.
Attendees: Dave Dillon, Mark Ashley, Keith McDonald.
Wavey Dave commented that "Alderman had lots of exiting and airy climbs". Mark provided the attendee list and reported that he'd managed to fall off one route (an HVS), so is this what was meant by "exiting"? Or was it perhaps "exciting"?
Attendees: Kasia, Alex, Jane, Christine, Trish, Rachel, Al.
A good evening and a good crop of routes ranging from VDiff to VS. The strong wind at least dried the rock from the earlier rain, kept the dreaded midge at home and the odd shower towards the end of the evening quickly whizzed past. The evenings voting at the Clarence Hotel went to Yorkshire.
Four turned up for Alderman Rocks, a pleasant night's climbing.
Back to Current Midweek
A number of KMCers (nk) did a number of climbs (nc) made up of different numbers of pitches (np). The equipment used on each ascent included a number of ropes (nr) and items of gear (ng). Towards the end of the evening there were a number of midges (nm) in addition to some flying ants (na). At this point the climbers retreated to the Pub for a number of drinks (nd). Given that: nk ≈ 7 nc > 5 1 ≤ np ≤ 2 0 ≤ nr ≤ 2 ng ≥ 0 nm → ∞ na < nm calculate nd