Sun 11th Jun, 2017
Laddow Rocks - Ken Beetham Memorial Meet
Members: Colin Maddison, Duncan Lee, Phil Ramsbottom, Philippa Maye, Jim Symon, Dave Dillon, Roger Dyke, Iain McCallum, Jo Stratford, Andy Stratford, Alice Larkin, Clay Conlon, Gareth Williams, Meirion Tanner, Mark Garrod, Alan (L) Jones, Michelle Harvey, Bridget Mapleson, Dave Shotton, Christine Beeston, Joe Flynn, Ann Waters, Lester Payne (23)
Guests: Richard Applegate, Jackie, Neil (3)
Dogs: Sandy & Meg (2)
Despite a dodgy forecast there was a great turnout to enjoy this traditional KMC venue and remember our old friend Ken Beetham. Some twenty six people (and two hounds) made the pilgrimage; some to climb and some for the walk. Our apologies to anyone we have inadvertently left off the list.
Most folk approached from Crowden, whilst the Mossley crew arrived from Greenfield; though why the latter group arrived across the bog and heather instead of using the path remains a mystery! Perhaps so that Andy could give Jo’s recently refurbished knee a thoroughly good test.
In time honoured fashion the stove was fired up in the back of the cave, cakes were produced from rucksacks and a succession of brews supplied throughout the day.
More traditionally, Laddow meets have been later in the year by which time there has often been sufficient traffic to clean up the routes a bit. Today, however, being rather earlier in the season the rock was an attractive green and lively to the touch. But those that came to climb were undeterred. Duncan kicked off proceedings with Tower Face (VS) and we recalled team efforts of days gone by to help Ken over the initial overhang.
The lively nature of the rock and a stiff breeze precluded tackling any of the harder routes but other old favourites were ascended by various team in the lower and mid grades, including Long Climb (HVD), Little Crowberry (S) and Pillar Ridge (HS).
The first band of rain came mid-afternoon and caught (but did not stop) Duncan mid-height on Pillar Ridge. I followed in the ensuing lull but shortly after the rain returned in earnest to flush Gareth and Dave from Long Climb.
Thus ended proceedings on the rock and those that remained took shelter in the cave for a final brew. A whiskey flask was produced and we drank a toast in memory of Ken.
Our thanks to all who came along to make the meet a success and a special thank you to the cake bakers and water carriers.
An extra meet to one of Ken Beetham’s favourite crags.
Duncan and I thought we would remember Ken with a return to an old haunt where we’ve shared a rope in the past on some excellent routes.
The KMC has a long history of meets at Laddow and for many years it was an annual event where Ken would hold court in the cave, serve hot drinks to all comers and take a rope from trusted belayers on the crag’s classic lines.
So join us in taking the well-trod track from Crowden to enjoy fine routes such as Pillar Ridge (HS), Long Climb (S), Priscilla Ridge (HVS), Tower Face (VS), Cave Crack (HVS) or, maybe, even Modern Times (E3).
Park at Crowden in Longdendale and follow the Pennine Way north to the crag on the crest of the moor. Skirt above the crag and descend to the usual meeting point by the cave. The 45-60 minute walk will be good for your legs and you’ll be rewarded with classic routes in a fine location. Or maybe just come for the walk and a cup of tea.
In traditional style hot drinks will be served in the cave from mid-morning. Volunteer water carriers and cake bakers would be much appreciated – would be porters please apply to the meet leaders Guide books - Over the Moors (2012); Western Grit (2009); Peak Climbs - Kinder and Bleaklow (1990). For further details see - https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=132#overview
Come and join us on either a trip down memory lane or perhaps a new experience for some.