Sun 21st Feb, 2016

Yorkshire Bouldering

Daniel O'Brien



Present! - Dan O'Brien (M), Graham Haslehurst (M), Joe Foster (G), Will Johnson (G), Lydia Galloway (G)



The weather for Caley looked more hopeful.  A full day of sunny, settled weather spent the preceding week oscillating between Sunday and Monday.  Ever hopeful I avoided postponing the meet until it was (frankly) too late.  The weather was not sunny, or settled.  Joe and Dan however were undeterred and headed to Yorkshire anyway.  We arrived to find the crag wet.  We wandered around exploring for a few minutes then settled in the Otley-Wall/Playground area.  We climbed the chipped slab of the playground in three places (very wet) before moving on to the classic Chicken-Heads (F5+).  This was dispatched with a combination of damp crimps, wet slopers and soggy smears.  Having gained the high-ground, both literally and morally, we decided to call the wet-weather emergency back-up plan into force and headed back to Manchester for an afternoon at the Depot. 

A particularly honourable mention goes to Graham who drove all the way to Skipton before joining us at the wall via the Skipton Vinyl Fair...


So the lessons are:

  • If you plan to climb outside in winter expect to get rained off and always have a back-up plan
  • Communicate said back-up plan well in advance

I'll probably try to re-arrange both venues over the summer as impromptu scribble meets when I can guarantee better conditions.  Until then, anyone fancy a trip to the Depot?

Daniel O'Brien

Meet Promo:

It is over ten years since I led my first Yorkshire Bouldering Meet for the KMC.   It has been neglected for a few years due to my living in London but now I am firmly ensconced back in the North I though it time to resurrect this annual tradition.

My proposal is to go to Caley Crags on the A660 Leeds-Otley Road Near Otley.  Described on UKClimbing as “A world class venue” claiming that “if it’s not here, it’s not worth doing!” the crag is a veritable paradise of gritstone bouldering with something for everyone (Font 3 to Font 8b) with some longer routes for those of you more inclined to rope-up.  There are several guidebooks (including the new Yorkshire Gritstone) but for the purposes of consistent navigation I will be using Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering Volume 1 (2008)

I will be there from about 10.30am and will start at Boulder 14 (known as The Playground and Otley Wall) for a warm-up before moving on wherever consensus takes us.  

If you have a bouldering mat then please bring it as I only have one.  Additionally, as the meet is bouldering, to earn you tick you must fulfil strict bouldering criteria. Either climb a problem, spot a boulderer or stand at the bottom, drinking tea, talking loudly about how bad the friction is today and offering (un)helpful advice.

I've included some useful links below.  Also, please be aware that the parking for Caley is a little exciting (being limited and at the side of a main road...)  I'd recommend sharing transport though I appreciate that this is not a KMC strongpoint so I'll simply say - be careful out there...

Daniel O'Brien

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