Wed 6th Aug, 2014

Woodhouse Scar

Members – Dan O’Brien, Mark Ashley, Dave Wylie, Helen Boothman, Stuart Hurworth, Simon Robertshaw

Guests - Mirella de Jonge, Ben Slater

Clearly weary from last week’s moorland exploits the KMC voted for a roadside crag – and there isn’t much more roadside than Woodhouse Scar. Situated in the centre of Halifax in a small park you park on the aptly named Rocks Road and hop a small wall to access the top of the crag. For such a convenient location the routes have worn surprisingly well with little polish apart from on the top-outs which is probably more the result of local youths sitting on the edge – I fear they may also be responsible for the bulk of the litter and broken glass also… The intrepid KMC were, however, undeterred.

There were a couple of ascents of the curiously named “Twin Cracks” – a stiff VS with a bold start that has a single, dog-leg crack by Helen, Simon, Stuart and Dave. Helen did point out that not all twins are identical but I remain unconvinced… Mirella and Ben had a harsh introduction to the vagaries of Yorkshire grading seconding Parete (HVS) with a very tough start (especially for the short)… Eventually a traversing start up Twin Cracks was employed still with some degree of difficulty – once again, the Yorkshire grading system and my ourangutan-esque reach was blamed…

The team moved on to Pyramid Buttress where Helen and Simon climbed Spread-Eagle (VS) and then joined Dave and Stuart in a team effort on Innominate Crack (Severe going on VS) – both excellent lines with great value for their short length. Myself, Mark, Ben and Mirella climbed Woodhouse Eliminate (E1), a delicate little number with a tricky start – if anything would teach you to love jamming cracks it is a smeary slab on Yorkshire Grit! As the sun set, a swift ascent of Spread Eagle by Ben, Mark and I closed proceedings and we retreated to the Barge and Barrel.

In the pub there were somehow more nominations than people sat round the table though after one round most were eliminated and the choice was reduced to Hen Cloud, Witches Quarry and Wharncliffe. On this occasion Wharncliffe won through so next week it’s climbing under pylons on some of some of J.W Puttrell’s most historic routes – pack your tweed and your flat caps…


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