A long yomp uphill to some of the best mid-grade gritstone on the planet
Members present: Dave Wylie, Duncan Zerafa, Mark Ashley, Ding, Andy Stratford, Jim Symon, Paul Evans, James Hall, George Williams
Guests: Jack Buczko, Emily Thompson, Isolbel Prause, Elliot Brown, Dan
A fine warm evening in the valley and a steady stream of fourteen KMC’ers making their way up the steep ascent to the unpolished delights of Wimberry.....
‘’What’s conditions like Paul?
Andy asked innocently, on arrival at the distinctly botanical looking crag.
‘’It’s Green. Or its Green and slimy.’’ He sounded distinctly unimpressed.
‘’Paul had a bit of a number on Route 1’’ Jim explained, and I ended up taking over.
Half and hour later there was a call for a top rope from Mark Ashley who had also been thoroughly entertained on Route 1, somehow managing to get himself wedged into an immovable position. Mean while Jim and Paul managed twin cracks as their second route, led after by Duncan and followed by Isobel and George.
The warmth had all disappeared now and the crag was distinctly cooler, especially in the stiff breeze, which kept the midges away nicely.
Slab Climb appears in the guidebook as a severe and on UKC as a HVD. Covered in lichen with no gear for 6 metres, it felt a little stiffer for Andy who eventually led it after a cunningly placed side runner in the adjaceant chimney was effected courtesy of the long reach of the Wylie. Dave and Dan followed Andy up the Slab then it was Emily’s turn. There was a little hesitation here and there...’’but there are no holds.....and it’s all green...’’ but she made a clean climb to the top – a fine effort in the conditions.
James Hall (with Jack) had tackled the polished start of Route 2, managing to kick out his only runner on the steep section as he climbed past it, before moving on to Slab climb. At the other end of the crag Jim made a fine lead of Ornithologists corner VS 5a – one of the cleanest routes on the crag and was followed by Andy with Ding leading blocked Chimney with Mark and Dave on 8m corner with Elliot and Emily. As they all descended Isobel wandered past.
‘’You off then?’’, Dave queried.
‘’Yes, It’s too hard and I’m cold. (Pause) I’m off to Alaska!’’
We all fell about. Turns out she really was off to Alaska!
Most folk packed up and headed down for the Clarence. Andy decided he would see if he could find out why the unattractive, deep, green and lichenous crack up to the overhanging capstone was called Surprise, and if the grade of VS 4c was deserved.
30 minutes later, the investigation was complete. Unsurprisingly, 4c was about right, surprisingly the gear was excellent, the Jams solid and the surprise? Well none really – the overhanging top section was really quite hard!
In the pub, Castle Naze, Denham, somewhere else and Rob’s Rocks are on the voting list, with Rob’s Rocks the clear favourite.
“I hope you like Jammin’ too…” – Bob Marley
Members: Helen Boothman. Dan O'Brien, Laura Collier, Koy Oi Ding, Al Metelko, Jim Symon, Stuart Hurworth, Meirion Tanner, Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Simon Robertshaw.
Guests: Andy Pierce, Bron Edwards, George Williams.
Oh how clever we all thought voting for Wimberry in the comfort of the pub last week. Half-way up that bloody hill it certainly didn’t feel like such a good idea… The crag however was, as ever, superb. Wimberry, is one of the finest crags in the peak district and would probably be one of the most popular if it didn’t face north, sit at the top of a massive hill and the rough grit-stone cracks, for which the place is renowned, didn’t maul you so mercilessly. Even with so many obvious flaws, the density of heavily starred routes means that any group will certainly find something worthwhile to do.
Another admiral turnout for a sunny Wednesday evening – although the crag was, as always, in the shade. Simon performed admirably for his first climb in six-months by arriving by walking in barefoot, following Dave up the hardest V.Diff on grit and then walking out barefoot, a feat to match Bilbo Baggins. Andy S led Bertie’s Bugbear (S) which must have been something of a comedown after a month in the Andes but he got stuck into those green slimy jams all the same. Later whilst following Ornithologists Corner (VS) he managed to get a jam so stuck that it almost needed a nut-key to remove it. In an attempt to share the suffering, Andy lent his harness to Jim (who had neglected to pack it for his long hike from Mossley) only to have Jim cruise up the steep jamming.
There were loads of ascents of Route 1 (HS) and Route 2 (VS) (imaginatively named adjacent cracks) whilst Helen and Andy P moved quickly and competently about the crag ticking Herringbone Slab (HVS), Pinball Wizard (E1) and attempting Charm (E3) but backing off at the crux pebble deciding that on this occasion, discretion was the better part of valor. Helen’s description of the upper section from a top rope confirmed what a good decision this was! Meirion, borrowing every large cam at the crag, set about the vicious off-width of Freddie’s Finale (E1). After flaying both fists on the initial section he decided to try to “out-technical” it by embarking on a fancy (and successful) sequence involving high feet and lay-backing. After trying everything to avoid seconding (Ding and Laura had a good go but the crux eluded them) I was forced to tie on and re-open all the scars from Ramshaw that had only just healed.
In the pub, after a complex round of voting count-backs for tie-breaks we were left with a choice between Millstone and Castle-Naze. Once again Millstone lost out... Maybe we can have an organised meet there next year?
The best crag in Chew Valley and one of the most impressive in The Peak.
This years turnout record for a wednesday with 19 climbers out enjoying superb midge free conditions on a sunny but windy evening at the top Chew venue of Wimberry.
Members: Mark Ashley, Mark Pilling, Laura Collier, Oi Ding Koy, James Williams Andy Stratford, Gareth Williams, Emily Pitts
Guests: Hong Thoong, Elliot Brown, Max Bretherton, Anisa Aslan, Mike Rippon, Clay Conlon Geri Mihalkova, Michaela Schaller, Conor Gahan, Al Platt
Routes ascended many times and in a variety of styles were Route 1 and 2, Herringbone slab, Twin cracks, Sloping crack, Coffin crack, Surprise, Slab climb, Curved Arete and Ornithologists corner.
Well done to Geri - first outdoor route, and for many their first (painful!) experience of jamming......great to see so many new faces again.
Three crags were on the table with with Horseshoe quarry a neck in front of another excellent Chew valley venue - Alderman Rocks.
Present amongst others: Al Metelko, James Williams.
Various sampling points through the night confirmed alternative activities in the area.
Decided to give Hobson Moor another go since not much conventional climbing done there on last couple of visits.
Five people (and one dog) turned out this evening. They didn't actually make it all the way up to the main crag, as they were distracted by all the bouldery goodness lower down. Many of the boulder problems were attempted and, in most cases, solved. The claim was even made that all the problems listed in the guide for the "Sugar Loaf" boulder had been conquered. Further up the hill, however, on "Shell Shot", one problem proved to have a harder than expected finish. Roger Daley lost traction about 15 feet up on a 4c move. Fortunately he escaped with only abrasion injuries, as the superb friction between the gritstone and his leg slowed the descent. The final boulder, the "Matterhorn", proved to have some excellent problems, including an easy but superb arête. As was often the case, the descent from the top proved to be more unnerving than getting up there in the first place... An excellent evening's bouldering, but not a large turnout. Where was everyone else? Wimps, the lot of them!