Sun 13th Sep, 2015
Present: Colin Maddison, Mary Stuart, Gareth Williams, Lucie Crouch, Dave Wylie, Rob Allen, Lester Payne, Joe Flynn, Duncan Lee and Kieran Lee.
The crag is situated above Oxenber Wood facing west and those that journeyed north were treated to a fine day and grand views across the pretty village of Austwick towards Robin Proctor’s Scar and Ingleborough.
Dave rolled up just behind us as Mary and I parked and we walked to the crag together where we were soon joined by Gareth, Lucie and Lester.
Dave kicked off proceedings with White Wall (S 4a) which was to prove popular through the day and later the adjacent Twin Cracks (HS 4a) whilst Gareth and Lucie tackled Crossroads Buttress (HS 4b).
Rob Allen arrived (from the wrong direction) to “see if there was life after sixty”. So as he was due to find out in a couple of weeks I pointed him appropriately at Grandad (S 4a)!
Mary and I enjoyed the delights of Little Gidding, a pleasant little V Diff of the Yorkshire “V Diff my arse” variety. Gareth and Lucie watched on as Mary tried patiently to remove a piece of gear I’d assured her had gone in easily. Ten minutes later it occurred to me that it had been in situ!! How some of us laughed.
Duncan rocked up a little later and immediately led the steep (overhanging) crack of Bullroar (VS 5a) whilst Kieran and Mary played happily below and later supported Gareth as he replaced the ‘E’ with an ‘A’ on an E3 round the corner… worked it for a future Red Point is, I think, the modern jargon.
Somewhere along the way Joe Flynn dropped by the crag whilst out for a walk and once most people had tackled most of the route above we descended to the village for beer after an enjoyable September day.
The local pub boast a fine menu but seemed over-awed by feeding more than four so leaving Lester to see if he could coax fish and chips out of them the rest of us headed homeward. Along the way a few of us found more willing hospitality, fine ale and good grub at the ever popular Maypole in Long Preston to sustain us on the journey.
For this year’s later season visit to Yorkshire Limestone we will be enjoying the delights of Oxenber Scar (OS Ref: SD779683).
The crag is located about 4 miles west of Settle in Oxenber Wood overlooking the attractive village of Austwick. It’s quite sheltered so can be climbable in less favourable conditions but its aspect should also ensure it gets any sun that’s going.
The crag offers good trad climbing on sound rock and whilst not extensive it has plenty of routes for a September day. Routes range from V Diff to E3 with a good selection in the middle grades. Starred routes include Twin Cracks (S), Crossroads buttress (HS), Bullroar (VS), Stepfather (VS), Pipsqueak (HVS), Digital Mutation (E3), Zeppelin (E1), Green Wall (MVS) and more. You can check it out at: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=1019
It’s also beautiful country for walking if anyone wants to do a circuit and drop by the crag and visit the pub.
If you are approaching from Settle turn right off the A65 towards the village of Austwick then cross the Austwick Bridge and park on the road where appropriate to do so. Walk back over the bridge and follow a track eastwards past an old barn to a crossroads. Carry on straight ahead and after 300 metres take a right fork and continue past a couple of gates and up the fellside to the crag.
It a good venue, but if nothing else this is a beautiful area and fine pub and café territory if the weather lets us down, so worth giving it a go.
As usual I should be at the crag by 10.30am but you don’t need to wait for me to get going.