Sun 28th Jun, 1998
Members and guests present; Peter Bannister, Matthew Taylor, Dave Wylie, Al Metelko, Jon 'Goose' Whitham, Rob 'Umph' Allen, Derbhla, Robert Clark, Mystery Almscliff Shoe Thief, John, Nicky and Chloe Hynes and friends.
Blustery weather made this more like late October than June. However after a showery morning it stayed mostly dry for the rest of the day. The rock was mostly clean and dry. Quite a few good routes were done, including; Fluted Columns (s), Square Chimney (s - ?), Whisky Crack (s), Stew Pot (VD), South Wall Traverse (vs 4c), V Chimney and Traverse (VD), Overhanging Groove (HVS 5a), Central Climb (vs 4c), Parsons Chimney (HS), and Whiskey Wall (E3 5b - by various people top rope, to varying degrees of success).
This was Derblas's first outing with the KMC and first trip climbing - I hope Almscliff hasn't put her off for life. Special mention has to be made of John and Nicky Hynes, who came all the way from New Zealand to introduce Chloe (age 15 months) to the delights of Yorkshire Grit!
Oh and someone pinched Rob Allen's old and tatty trainers from below the crag. Apparently this has been happening quite a lot recently around Yorkshire - you have been warned.
The meet was rounded off quite nicely with a visit to Harry Ramsdens on the way home to top up the cholesterol level.
Of all the great Yorkshire venues to choose from: Brimham, Gordale, Malham or maybe Ilkley. No, if you're going to choose one go for the best - Almscliff. (Are those groans of delight I can hear in the background?)
It's a brilliant setting high above the Wharfe valley. You can see it from miles around but getting to it requires a bit of careful navigation (..er Rick didn't get there last time..). You need to get onto the A658, Bradford to Harrogate road and take the left turn signposted Stainburn about 1.5 miles out of Pool Bank. Follow the lane and turn right at the T-junction in the village. About half a mile up the road you come to the crag. The best parking is straight ahead with the crag on your right-hand side. Please park carefully as there are only limited spaces.
Right on to the climbing - it's brill. There are great routes of all grades from Decidedly Difficult (check the guide if you don't believe me) to Impossible (I made that grade up) and of course the only 4 start route in the guidebook; Great Western. So pack up your EBs and an assortment of Friends and come to one of the best climbing venues around - not that I'm biased or anything.
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