Wed 10th Jun, 2015

Pule Hill, Marsden

Members - Dan O'Brien, Andy Stratford, Jim Symon, Dave Wylie, Mark Ashley, Ian Crook, Al Metelko, Stevie Graham.

Guests – Steve Hill, Emily Hulley, Fabian Hulley, Gemma Sutherington, Bennett Leather.

Summer is officially here.  Now just hope that the midges don’t notice.  Based on the ASWLRF* from last week that said it would be sunny and still, the usually breezy hilltop venue of Pule Hill near Marsden in West Yorkshire was the venue of choice for this weeks KMC Wednesday adventures.  It is a combination of crumbly quarried gritstone and natural moorland outcrops a short blast up an incline from the cars.  With blue skies, warm temperatures and a pleasant light breeze, some KMC-ers wondered aloud if the best course of action would be to head straight to the pub to take advantage of the beer garden.  Good sense won out however so, as usual, climbing came first.

Dan climbed Flying Buttress (HS) with Steve and Dave (who arrived early for a 7-mile hike before climbing). Jim and Stevie also led Flying Buttress followed by Andy and Gemma respectively.  Guest Bennett followed Jim and Andy up Amen (VDiff), a very steep corner that would probably get Severe at Stanage.  Stevie and Gemma enjoyed Amen, Route 2 (VS) and Wrinkled Wall (HS) - another bold little number, also climbed by Andy and Jim.  Al bouldered and solo’d around the crag while Dan and Mark climbed Amen.

Jim, Andy and Bennett had an extremely productive evening, also ticking off Overhanging Arête (HVD), Coffin Corner (VDiff) Whale Meet Again at an improbable grade of VDiff 4c.  Steve also led Coffin Corner and Crude Crack (VDiff) and followed Dave on Whackers Wall (Diff) and Blind Buttress (HS).

Ian and Fabian (who at 35 and 4-months respectively are at the younger end of the KMC age spectrum) arrived and proceeded to offer helpful advice to Dan and Mark from the ground as they climbed Coffin Corner and Kletterschuhe Capers (S).  Ian claimed to be able to recognise Dan’s climbing style from the roadside – though apparently this shouldn’t be taken as a compliment…  Dan also backed off The Great Scoop (VS) which with crumbly holds and gathering midges was a less than enticing prospect – the pub was calling…

Emily joined us at the crag following a bike ride and as she approached, found a car-key lying on a tuft of grass on the hillside.  No-one recognised them and they were left on a rock at the bottom of the crag.   As the the dusk drew in and the midges started to descend, the team decamped to the pub for voting.  Dave and Steve, last to leave the crag, met Bennett wandering back up the hill to find his lost car keys – a very lucky escape there!

In the pub, the nominations were Millstone Buttress (not to be confused with Millstone Edge), Ramshaw Rocks, Shipley Glen and Standing Stones.  The inevitable electoral complexities ensued with a 3-way tie in the second round resulting in a confusing round of secondary negative voting which confused your correspondent to such an extent that he accidentally voted out the crag he wanted to go to – I blame exhaustion.  The end result was a narrow victory for Standing Stones.

A very productive evening – looking forwards to next week!


*Andy Stratford Weather Long Range Forecast

Daniel O'Brien

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Karabiner Mountaineering Club