Monday, 31 May 2010

Windmore End

The weather on't moors was pretty shit. I'd been unable to find a partner and the west of the country was seeing decent weather. All in all, i had two choices go to the Lakes soloing or stay at home and train? (not likely)

In the end, i decided to sort of cut it half way. I didn't really want to go to the lakes and solo classic HS's or VS's, i just wasn't in that sort of mood. I fancied a day soloing at a 10metre crag - but didn't really fancy going all the way to the Lakes for that, at say Black Crag, Wrynose.

In the end, my thoughts drifted back to an email i had received a few weeks back from the Cleveland MC. It was a meet reminder for a sunday meet at Windmore End, above Brough. I had considered going, as it is reputed to be a lovely soloing crag made up fo pretty solid, nicely weathered limestone.
I had the routes list as part of the email and there were quite literally 100's of routes from Diff to E3. I decided it was a much better option than soloing say 'Fool's Paradise' or 'Eliminate A'.

Departing the mist and rain of the moors, i was greeted by sun and warmth at Windmore. The drive over was busy with holiday makers heading to the lakes and horse's heading to Appleby. I was quite happy about exiting the A66 early, actually.

The crag itself barely exceeds 8-10metres and is composed of beautiful limestone, it was somewhere i'd spotted as being 'close to the moors for sussing out limestone' when i was younger and had only experienced Grit and Sandstone.

Long story short, the crag in my eyes was great. Great views, great rock and all on good holds. The routes never have horrendous slopers or thin slippy footholds or anything 'cruxy' like that, they just seem to be good moves between good holds. Either jugs, or good finger jams or bomber crimps. It really was bliss.
The grading was soft too i think, unless i was going well. A few of the E3's i soloed said 'Very Bold', which i found were bold but so they should be for a 8m E3 5c...
Perhaps it's just coming off the back of the last 6 months on the Yorkshire Shit(grit)stone? Either way, soft grades or just they suited my stile of being slightly bold without trick moves, it's the enjoyment that counts and 5 E3's 4 of which were Onsight all made up of good moves is a good day out for me! :-)

Well worth the effort if you live nearish and probably worth a detour on the way to the Lakes from the North East, if you enjoy 8metre, Soloing of a variety of grades. The VS's and HVS's that i soloed, mainly on the 'Far Right' were excellent too.


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