Sun 23rd Aug, 2020
Classic Peak Grit: Froggatt
The A Team: Jared Kitchen, Gowry Sisupalan.
The Main Team: Andy Stratford, Jack Buczko, Nils Elgar, James Meakin, Duncan Zerafa.
A very quiet day at the crag – the KMC accounted for about one third of the climbers there.
The A team got off to a bold start with Jared leading Three Pebble Slab – HVS 5a. Then Gowry led the excellent Heather Wall HVD 3c, one of the top 50 classics in Eastern Grit. Jared led Another top 50 route, Chequers Buttress HVS 5a, then finally Pedestal Crack, yet another HVS 5a. At this point it became a little damp and Gowry headed home while Jared reckoned he could still fit in 2 or 3 hours at a Wall to give his muscles a work-out.
The Main team didn’t go for quite such hard stuff to begin with, but then got into top gear….
Andy and Nils started with Trapeze, the popular VD, then Nils took Jack Buczko and Andy up Allens Slab, the bold S 4a. Next Andy led the heathery, spider’s-webbed, Congestion Crack HS 4b with Duncan following to enjoy the wild-life while Nils took Jack and James up Slab Recess Direct, the HS 4c of which the guidebook says correctly “has an unhelpful set of sloping slippery holds”.
James led Heather Wall, the Top-50 HVD with Nils collecting his gear, then just to the left Andy led CMC Slab HVS 5a with 3 side-runners on Heather Wall to give Duncan a little work to do following.
Duncan made short work of Trapeze Direct the HS 4c that needs a bit of muscle, and Andy collected his gear.
Then at 2.15 the rain came, along with Roger who had dropped in earlier to take a few pics before vanishing for a walk along the edges with Midge.
No Covid-19 at Froggatt. At least, there wasn’t last time I was there.
But just in case, let’s try to maintain the 2 metres. Indeed, at lunchtime you can give me 3m.
Plenty of parking in the National Trust’s Haywood Pay+Display car park just off the A625, 400m S of the Grouse Inn. Free if you have your NT Membership Card with you.
Or if you are early enough, free at the side of the A625 near the start of the track to Froggatt Edge, at 255775.
Fifteen minutes gentle level walk to the crag.
Or if it is absolutely tipping down, 5 mins to the bar of the Grouse - and don’t panic, the crag dries quickly after a shower and indeed after heavy rain.
Something for everyone here – twenty routes at Severe and below, some superb HS’s, several days’ climbing at VS and above: and classics at all standards.
Six of the Top 50 routes in Eastern Grit are here. And lots of Joe Brown and Nat Allen routes from the 40’s and 50’s.
Plenty of trees to give shelter from the sun, and it’s child- and dog-friendly too.
For this special occasion, I’ll have my mobile switched on.
Meet 10.30 onward below Allen’s Slab (a delicate S4a), Slab Recess, the slightly bold Diff, and a couple of Joe Brown test pieces.
Just to the right from here, two athletic moves get you up Trapeze Direct HS 4c. Or traverse right for Trapeze itself – the popular VD, well-protected all the way, even at the top if you look carefully.
Further right is “arguably the best line on the crag” which our own Nat Allen and Bowdon Black dug out of the ferns in 1948: Green Gut HS 4a.
Further right still, a good collection of strenuous high E numbers (more Elastoplast) then a final classic – the delightful Chequers Buttress, HVS 5a, which gets my vote as the best route on the crag. I always used to fall off the move onto the arête. I doubt if I can get that far these days, but I'm sure you will.
Going left from basecamp, Sickle Buttress S 4a only needs one jam but does need confidence in friction on the little curved ramp that prompted its name, and careful thought to leave the comfortable ledge at the top of the ramp. It may only be Severe, but the route is far more polished below the ramp than above it….
Further left, Broken Crack VS 5a demands good jamming or a good first-aid kit.
Then there is the superb, Diamond Crack HS 4b, scene of one of my scary moments, and the superb classic HVS 5a, Valkyrie.
Further left still you can entertain the crowd as you struggle to gain the slab of Tody’s Wall HVS 5a or test your nerve on Three Pebble Slab – another classic HVS 5a, with a KMC story behind it. Both are surprise, surprise, Joe Brown routes from 1948.
Then there’s the classic well-protected VD, Heather Wall. You’ve made the first two moves? Good, you’ve passed the crux.
The juggy delight of the steep Terrace Crack, another HS 4b is not to be missed, nor is Joe Brown’s Hawk’s Nest Crack VS 4c. Then move on to the well-protected pleasure of Sunset Crack HS 4b, or the unprotected thrill of Joe’s Sunset Slab HVS 4b. Woolworth’s plimsolls please, for the Slab.
Now, before we go home, there are the Froggatt boulders……
The KMC are running this meet in accordance to government and local Covid -19 restrictions. You must contact the meet leader, or the KMC Meets Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) before attending this meet. Thank you.