Mid-week Outdoor Meet
Wed 17th May, 2017
Quarried gritstone and the longest route name in Lancashire...
More on mid-week meets...
Members present: Mark Ashley, Duncan Zerafa.
Guests present (who really should be members by now): Jack Buczko, Isabel Prause.
Mark had arrived early at the crag, waiting for other keen Karabiner Mountaineering Club folk to turn up. The constant rain around Manchester and heavy traffic had left the decisions to attend until later in the day, thus most arriving fashionably late but with less time for routes. However for those that had braved the gloomy forecast at Denham were greeted by evening summer sunbeams, glittering on golden gritstone. The imagined sodden rock and an infinity of midges had vanished into the ether. Views from the panoramic crag took in the South Lakes to the north and the Ribble estuary to the west.
Jack had his sights on leading Concave Wall S 4a at the pool area which he thought was good climbing, but spent more time than anticipated gardening the choss with his nut key. This was followed by another lead of Step into the Clouds S 4b a route described as covered in yellow spiders! Mark seconded Jack on both routes and said both routes were "very well lead" .
It would be amiss not to get to Denham Quarry and not try some of Lancashire's longest named routes. Duncan duly obliged with a lead of Mohammed the Mad Monk of Moorside Home for Mental Misfits VS 4c. A three star route and top 50 in Rockfax, the route didn't disappoint. Quite easy to find good gear placement lower down not so much in the run out top half (unless using small brass offsets). Isabel seconded and thought it was great climbing. This was followed by a lead of Ganglion VS 4a, initially it was meant to be a climb up Main Break HS 4a but ended up on the Ganglion traverse. A poorly protected route and Hard Very Chossy finish! Isabel seconded again but didn't think it as good as the previously very long named route. An attempt at Mad Karoo HVS 5a was thought too bold and too dark now in the gloaming light.
Twilight and evening fell and then the dark brought the evening stars. A convening at the pub had the three crags Shining Clough, Wilderness Rocks and Witches Quarry on the table. Rapid voting meant a change of texture for next week with Lancashire limestone winning out at Witches Quarry. So gritstone-free climbing next wednesday.