Mid-week Outdoor Meet

Wimberry Rocks

Wed 27th Jul, 2016

A long yomp uphill to some of the best mid-grade gritstone on the planet
More on mid-week meets...

Members present: Dave Wylie, Duncan Zerafa, Mark Ashley, Ding, Andy Stratford, Jim Symon, Paul Evans, James Hall, George Williams

Guests: Jack Buczko, Emily Thompson, Isolbel Prause, Elliot Brown, Dan

A fine warm evening in the valley and a steady stream of fourteen KMC’ers making their way up the steep ascent to the unpolished delights of Wimberry.....

‘’What’s conditions like Paul?

Andy asked innocently, on arrival at the distinctly botanical looking crag.

‘’It’s Green. Or its Green and slimy.’’ He sounded distinctly unimpressed.

‘’Paul had a bit of a number on Route 1’’ Jim explained, and I ended up taking over.

Half and hour later there was a call for a top rope from Mark Ashley who had also been thoroughly entertained on Route 1, somehow managing to get himself wedged into an immovable position. Mean while Jim and Paul managed twin cracks as their second route, led after by Duncan and followed by Isobel and George.

The warmth had all disappeared now and the crag was distinctly cooler, especially in the stiff breeze, which kept the midges away nicely.

Slab Climb appears in the guidebook as a severe and on UKC as a HVD. Covered in lichen with no gear for 6 metres, it felt a little stiffer for Andy who eventually led it after a cunningly placed side runner in the adjaceant chimney was effected courtesy of the long reach of the Wylie. Dave and Dan followed Andy up the Slab then it was Emily’s turn. There was a little hesitation here and there...’’but there are no holds.....and it’s all green...’’ but she made a clean climb to the top – a fine effort in the conditions.

James Hall (with Jack) had tackled the polished start of Route 2, managing to kick out his only runner on the steep section as he climbed past it, before moving on to Slab climb. At the other end of the crag Jim made a fine lead of Ornithologists corner VS 5a – one of the cleanest routes on the crag and was followed by Andy with Ding leading blocked Chimney with Mark and Dave on 8m corner with Elliot and Emily. As they all descended Isobel wandered past.

‘’You off then?’’, Dave queried.

‘’Yes, It’s too hard and I’m cold. (Pause) I’m off to Alaska!’’

 We all fell about. Turns out she really was off to Alaska!

Most folk packed up and headed down for the Clarence. Andy decided he would see if he could find out why the unattractive, deep, green and lichenous crack up to the overhanging capstone was called Surprise, and if the grade of VS 4c was deserved.

30 minutes later, the investigation was complete. Unsurprisingly, 4c was about right, surprisingly the gear was excellent, the Jams solid and the surprise? Well none really – the overhanging top section was really quite hard!

In the pub, Castle Naze, Denham, somewhere else and Rob’s Rocks are on the voting list, with Rob’s Rocks the clear favourite.


Andy Stratford

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Karabiner Mountaineering Club