Members: Andy Stratford, Jared Kitchen, Emily Thompson, Mark Ashley,
Guests: Matt Mitchell, John Smallwood, Luke
Oldham had a torrential downpour around 3.30pm but in sunny Mossley and the cheerful Chew there was no sign of precipitation. We really have got spoilt by the warm temperatures in the evenings so tonight felt like it was a little back to reality with chill breeze – but at least there wasn’t a midge in sight.
This was Jared’s first visit to Rob’s – this was evident as he was considering his normal grade (E2) as a starter. I persuaded him to try Nameless One – a mere VS 4b.....but of course this is the Chew. I wonder if it was named the Chew as many climbers seem to get themselves chewed up on it’s many incredible routes! Anyway, back to Jared.....seven bits of gear later Jared made it up the steep wall, espousing a new found respect for the Chew grit and for the obviously esoteric grading used in these parts. Andy jammed his way up and Emily decided half the route was plenty. (Chew 1, Emily 0).
Mark (and John) followed Matt up Letterbox (VD) then got busy enticing almost the whole team to follow him up the crags classic troglodyte route Ylnosd Rib (VD). Helmet on, swearing, helmet off, swearing, gear on bandolier, swearing, right facing, swearing, left facing, swearing, udging, more swearing, hand traversing – it was all going on. Then Luke solo’d it and somehow popped out of another completely unfeasibly small hole in the side of the hill behind Mark’s belay. EPIC!
Andy led the delicate Cascade (HS 4a) followed by Emily (Chew 1, Emily 1) and Matt followed – it was time for Emily’s lead of Letterbox (Chew 2, Emily 1). Sometime later, following the use of a judiciously lowered rope from the top Emily reflected on the letterbox experience.
‘’My leg was having a disco all of its own’’
‘’But you can climb steep Ice really well’’ said Andy
‘’Yes, but I kick really hard and can bury my axes. And it’s not so easy to do that on rock!’’
Matt took John and Mark for a final jaunt up Niche Wall (S) meanwhile Andy and Emily finished on Cripples way (VD) meaning Emily’s final scoreline was a respectable score draw of Chew 2, Emily 2.
Over on the first walls Jared had led Juggle Crack (VS 4b) ‘’much easier than nameless one’’ and finally Nice Edge – another VS 4b. Luke climbed the wildly overhanging prow of fantastic edge at a grade of, you guessed it!! Yes, that Robs Rocks catch all Grade...VS 4b
I have a theory that the pioneers on this crag forgot there was an H in the Alphabet.
The sunset was, as ever from this spot, totally stunning. It had been a beautiful, bright, dry evening at a lovely clean crag. The newly refurbished Clarence hosted the voting and majestic Wilton 1 was duly voted in. See you all next week at one of Lancashire’s best loved quarries.
More Chew Valley Gritstone on a friendly east facing outcrop
Members: Jim Symon, Andy Stratford, Mark Ashley, John Evans, Fiona Dixon, Duncan Zerafa. George Williams.
Guests: Elliot Brown. Jack Buczko, Ryan Linderman, Emily Thompson, Rivca Rubin.
It was a windy, unpromising looking evening with rain clouds gathering. Just as we arrived at the crag it rained as we sheltered in the cave. Rivca managed her first outdoor route (Cripples Way, V Diff, led by Jim) and decided just the one was enough in the conditions. Things eased and while it was very windy, it remained dry until we reached the cars at 9.30pm.
Jim went on to lead Zacharias (VDiff) and Nice Edge (HS 4b) with Andy leading Letterbox (Diff) and Juggle Crack (VS 4b) with Emily gently cursing, (mostly in a ladylike fashion) on the end of the rope.
Elliot Brown made very short work of Nameless one VS4b but took a little longer over the very tricky protection on Cascade VS4a. Duncan had the benefit of seeing the sizes of Cams required (which Elliot was missing), borrowed some small cams and was able to protect it really well.
All good gritstone crags have a fun route for troglodytes and Rob's Rocks is no exception with the curiously named Ylnosd Rib (HVD) providing super squeeze action. John Evans made a fine thrash of it followed up by Fiona and Ryan. Then George had his moment followed by Mark & Duncan. Jim had been on the pies so decided it was unwise to allow Andy the chance of a ''Human interest'' photo for next years comp.
Running Hill Pits, Castle Naze, Anglezarke were the crags pitched with the Pits winning.
Page 238 in Western Grit under Upper Wilderness Valley.
Another excellent wednesday turnout in Chew Valley with thirteen members and guests making it up the 40 minute walk in time for at least two routes.
Members: Nick Adamson, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Gareth Williams,Dan o'Brien, Andy Stratford, Emily Pitts, Dave Shotton, Laura collier,
Guests: Stuart Hurworth, Doug lochery, Mike, Anisa,
Dan soloed 8 routes before following Andy up Nameless one(VS 4b) also following up were Gareth and Dave wylie then Doug Lochery making short work of the jamming cracks despite it being his first ever jamming route!
Big lead of the night was Gareth Digital Orbit (E3 5c) - a massive 2ft dyno leap from a fallen block and you swing onto the jugs on the nose. Heel hooking and hard pulling get you upright. The whole adventure was filmed - expect to see a video on the website in a week or two! Andy did't manage the dyno but hand traversed in at VS 5a.
Other leads included:
Mark - letterbox,
Stuart - Zacharias , Ylnosd Rib
Andy - Nameless one, Fantastic arete,
Dave wylie - Cripples wall, Letterbox
Crags on the table tonight; Standing stones. Helsby, john henry, Den lane. Standng Stones got the vote.
Another fine, warm and sunny evening in the Chew Valley.
Chris Williams, Richard Yorke, Dave Wylie, Al Metelko, James Hoyle, Kasia Hoyle, Trish Cranston, James Richardson and Loretta all made the trek up the track to Rob's Rocks.
Antics included: Letter-Box (Hard Diff) even though, surprisingly, there was no Postman! Cave Crack (Hard Severe) in various curious styles Ylnosd Rib (V-Diff) which provided much amusement Zacharias (V-Diff) Cascade (Severe) which, with only one decent nut, required a diversion to top out. The post-meet pub was "The Clarence", for the second week in a row.