Monday, 30 December 2013


Goathland from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Goathland's got some more boulder problems now, based around the pleasant Mallyon Spout valley. Still a bit to do...

I'm sure people will have looked at it, maybe even pottered about. However, that said the cleaning job on a lot of the lines in the video involved the removal of loose rock in holds, so i'll stick my neck out and suggest they are FA's.

Regardless, there's a great circuit here from Font 6a to Font 7a+ which I think sees the better of the climbing in 7a territory. That said, there's a lot of rock left for easier stuff, i'm sure. I'll be back, i've got some stuff I want to do and will continue to develop the lower end of the circuit.

Highlights for me at this series of quarries, craglets and boulders is Mikhail Khodorkovsky SS - 7a** and also a great SS prow arete I called Pussy Riot - 7a** which I'll hopefully add the highball finish to when i'm back from Uni.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Slapewath Quarry

Called Spring Bank Quarry on OS maps, i've seen this quarry every time i've driven to Guisborough down Birkbrow. I assumed its location would mean someone would have been... however, there are no recorded ascents and everyone i've spoken to has 'seen it but never been'...

I wandered up on a drizzly day with my brother and found a better lump of rock than I expected. A handful of lines in a convienient location. Walk up the hillside behind Slapewath adjacent to the Iron-ore works then cut through the pine forest to the crag. Easy peasy. A few grooves, an arete and some walls. Certainly not a 'good' venue but worth developing - maybe for a local, car-less Guisborite...?

All the best... take a saw for the gorse bush that shrouds a couple of the lines.

'Main Quarry...'

Very dirty but a nice compact buttress

bit sandy...

An interesting highball

Good looking route - take the secateurs

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Gorple, Scout Hut Crag, Hawkcliffe, Stanage & Eastby - A Recent Roundup!

Jacob is strong at the moment and we decided to wander up to Gorple to give Eternal and Carmen Picasso a look. I was happy to look and either play on a TR or give it a bash GU on Eternal. Unfortunately it was far too windy, it was ripping past the crag. We decided to walk all the way back to the car and save the day with a afternoon hit of Scout Hut Crag.

I reckon Scout Hut Crag probably saves the day for lost Widdop and Gorple days and sure enough it was dry and the friction was fine. We all warmed up flashing or getting second go the classic Needle of Dreams (E4 6b *** / Font 6c) and then quickly turned our attention to the harder twin on the left, Strone Road (E4 6b / Font 6c+). Jacob and I onsighted the route, which I thought was host to some great holds and moves, with Will and Huw getting it shortly after. Two great short solos/highballs down and with plenty of energy left Jacob quickly lead Loogabarooga (E3 6a ***). I however couldn't turn the lip safely so I didn't bother. I didn't like the gear and it felt greasy. Jacob was still keen so we pointed him at 'Lie Down Dave' E3 6b** which he cruised and I repeated this very short, but very fun sloping top out. Job done, day saved.

The next day was humid. It didn't stop Jacob flashing Cindy Crawford (Font 7c ***) at Ilkley but myself and Billy chose Hawkcliffe. I fancied looking at the Pigeon (E6) and Stepmother Jag (E4), as ive only a few of the harder routes left to try after getting Blood on the Shamrock, but also wanted Billy to do Squirrel Crack (E1 5b ***). We warmed up on Syrett's Slit (E1 5b*) and then I tried to climb Crack of Dawn (E3 5c *) which I couldn't do! I took a couple of falls and sacked it off. This felt nails?! I bouldered out Stepmother Jag and found I couldn't quite reach the bottom of the v-groove - a bit more height i'd get it but I wasn't strong enough at my dimensions.... We warmed down climbing RIP (E1 5b *) as Squirrel Crack was wet. It's worth mentioning that RIP is a terrific little climb, well worth popping in to the crag for the E1 leader. Squirrel, RIP and Syrett's would be a good haul at E1.

A crisp, sunny Saturday was forecast and a plan was hatched to head to Stanage Plantation with a stack of pads to ground-up things. I don't usually like popular crags, time for them when i'm old, but anyway I thought this sounded 'goose' and filled my Volvo with other peoples bouldering mats.

Unfortunately, people didn't really fancy grounding things up and started doing things like Captain Hook, Green Traverse and what-not. Shame, being at the crag with like 17 pads or something and not putting them ALL under things. Jacob and I managed to get hold of about 10 and proceeded to try The Unfamiliar (E8) ground up (unsuccessfully) and instead turned our attention to Ullyses Bow (E6). We were joined by Matt Ferrier and both Jacob and Matt managed to get through the crux at the top of the big arete with myself not committing, being unable to gain enough purchase on the arete, so I took the big jump. Fun jump, wish i'd done the route...

Not To Be Taken Away (E2 / Font 6b)

Sun setting loveliness above a stack of pads.

I finished up with some nice solos, Big Air (6b+), Not to be Taken Away (6b) and Satin (6b+) and thoroughly enjoyed my day in the Peak, I might return, its not far from Leeds.... Rivelin is close, Wharncliffe too.

Billy on Big Air (E6 / Font 6b+)

And finally, I managed to get back to Eastby to ground up Dead Babies E5 6b **. I'd tried this a few weeks ago and fell off slipping on my bouldering mat and narrowly missing a rock. I decided i'd head back with a chum. Anyway, I didn't have any friends, so I went on my own. It was a warm, sunny but only 75% humidity at about 5-6oC. It wasn't perfect but it was nice enough. I warmed up on the pebble slab of 'A Pair of Teeth' which is a pleasant, bold-feeling outing which is well worth seeking out at about font 6b I think? The arete then went with little issue. I fell off first go landing on the rocks(!) and smashing my elbow. I mopped up the blood and then went again before it seized up, this time not missing the foothold and, after standing below the last move for 5 minutes, managed to top out without standing on the important pebbles!

Dead Babies E5 6b ** - Eastby Crag from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

I then quite quickly worked out the 6c direct, which if your tall or start off a pad feels 6b, so i did it without and sure enough it adds a fair pull from the ground which is probably 6c? Not sure, I don't climb many. Worth doing the direct, it adds 3-4 moves to the arete at about Font 6c+? and you get the rest to chalk up before the E5 / highball 6b+.... If I was doing the guide I put it in as E5 6c ** with an option to step in from the right at 6b.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Smugglers Terrace (November 2013)

 A couple of new additions to Smugglers Terrace. A cracking crag providing shelter from battering (and cold) westerlies.
Ben and Nick provided Anniversary Climb, HVS 5b, while Dave Richards, Peter Holden and Chris Woodall got in on the FA act, rolling back the years, with 'Six of the Best', Severe. Dave Everett and Ben Pearce then added 'Consolation Climb' VS 4b while my bro and I quickly started the development of the low to mid-grade Extremes of which there appears to be plenty adding 'Porpoise Economy' E3 5c and its sister route 'A Plaice Lost In Time'.

Starting groove - better protected than the arete direct

Moved back left to the arete - good rest with a toe hook (gear can be found here...if you're not blind)

Eyeing up the holds
Balance... facing a ground fall

Hope to get back to the Terrace sometime over the winter for some more photos and hopefully it'll be warm enough to climb! Pink/green lines are done, blue is musing for further development.

Easter Island Buttress

Aurora Buttress

Contraband Buttress

Evasion Buttress

Illusion Buttress

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Healheugh - Sinn Fein

I'd been to Healheugh before, on a windy grey and cold day when we stopped off driving over to the Lakes. We'd just quickly soloed a couple of the E-grade slabs and then ran away. I always wanted to go back on a crisp windless day. Today, was sort-of one of those days...

The frost meant we were not that stoked to return to Smugglers Terrace, so a sun trap was favoured. I fancied looking at Steve Crowes bouldery arete Sinn Fein (E5 / Font 7a) as well as Emerald Isle (E5 5c) and Blood Red Streets (E6 6c). Nick was also interested in the venue as he'd never been or considered going.

We warmed up on a few boulder problems and I quickly sorted out Sinn Fein, failing to latch the break when I first went of it. Damn! Next go, no problems. Then again for photos. A great sequence and it does feel higher than it is, especially as its smeary. I think you could fall quite nastily off it, if your foot blows from the smear. Anyway, a joyous bit of climbing on perfect rock. Bliss.

We led the routes West Face E2, Toil Arete HVS and Nikki (E2), but by now it was already starting to get dark, the 1 1/2 hour drive and late set off meant the day was over, so Emerald Isle and Blood Red Streets will have to wait. 'Their Glorious Wealth' E5 6b might need a bit of training for - has the block slipped as that looks SERIOUSLY steep! Jeez.

Dovestones (Raven's Peak) - The Great Santini (E4) and Full Throttle (E4)

A crag i'd seen from a school bus years before I was into climbing. I remembered the unusual angle and its position across the 'ravine'. The whole position felt epic. I then drove past the crag a year or so ago while at Uni and was hit by a huge wave of deja vue. Anyway, I didn't make it to the crag during my undergrad years however, my second coming at University provided me with that opportunity.

I picked up Will from Bingley(!) and drove via dark grey cloud and a stiff breeze to the crag. It was certainly windy. We warmed up on August Arete (E1 6a) both getting it second go in the howling wind. We both then also climbing an eliminate wall at about 5c.

The main target was The Great Santini E4 6a and Full Throttle E4 6b. Based around the same line on the main and tallest part of the crag. I led up placing gear, traversed out to a friend, pulled up via crimp and was in the process of standing up when I totally lost my bearings/crimp strength/balance? Anyway, I fell off. Will flashed the line on my gear and after ANOTHER stupid fall, I too completed the line. A great climb and a nice soft touch at E4.

Will and I then looked at the brilliant looking bouldery arete which provides the start of Full Throttle, before the climb joins the crux of The Great Santini. Will flashed the boulder problem, truly in his element on these technical but protected moves. I struggled with the start, blaming my down-turned footware/the wind/conditions. Eventually however, I made it up to the crux, via 'the reach' which felt like the absolute end of my reach on the day (though i'm sure I was climbing badly!) and then proceeded to fall off The Great Santini...

Allowing the frustration to totally take hold, I got angry and a bit upset and ended up cruising up the line with no difficulty and wondered what the frigg had been going on before. Conditions, definitely conditions...

Two great routes, well worth dropping in for - Full Throttle is up there with the best routes on Yorkshire Gritstone that i've done.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Weather Beating: Wharncliffe, Bird Flu (7b) & Daytona Wall (E5)

Every day seems to bring a bit more rain. Either a constant drizzle or heavy showers. It's pretty grim. The last three crag visits have been 'bold' outings hoping to find rock dry enough to climb.

Huw and I departed mizzle in Leeds and drove to Wharncliffe, with the forecast for 'proper rain' at 3-4pm. We managed to get a couple of solos, a lead of the classic arete E1 (which was wet at the top providing a harder sequence tip-toeing direct up the arete) and then a lead of Banana Wall (never E4!) and the pretty sweet October Arete E2 5c. I've got a few lines in my mind from there, Into the Air (E5), An E3 through a small roof and October Wall E4 6a all looked well worth returning for - plus Desolation Angel E6, if I get a bit bolder.

Rain that night, with rain forecast for 3pm the following day provided Jacob and I enough stimulus to head for Trollers Gill... It was wet. No seepage just entire crag condensation. We only had ropes and draws and one pad so we decided to run up to Simon's Seat to see what was what. Everything was wet... but there was a breeze. We sat around, talked and ate some food and eventually, after a little bit of dabbing with a tea towel, Hen Arete 7a and Bird Flu 7b at Hen Stones were dry. Jacob onsighted Hen Arete before very quickly dispatching Bird Flu via a strangely powerful move on a slabby arete. I how struggling, I couldn't seem to lean my body far enough away from the rock to get my feet high. I couldn't do anything having got my right foot on the nubbin'. So eventually, started to work on a step through move, which, with some refinement from a now bored Jacob, provided me with a pleasing tick of a tricky arete on a day where I could have done nothing! We had a quick look at The Naked Edge E3, but it was wet, so we walked down and got soaked by a thunderstorm... Heated seats FTW!

The following week saw more of the same. Except, amazingly the Thursday forecast seemed to indicate SUN...all day! Being at Uni, i allowed myself Thursday off to take full advantage knowing full well i will almost certainly end up working weekends in the future. Huw and I raced to the Lancashire/Yorkshire boarder and walked into Cow's Mouth Quarry. A route that had been on my wishlist for years was Daytona Wall E5 6a, but i'd never driven over to look. Huw however lives quite close and said it would be dry and clean. We walked in through wet mist looking at gopping wet walls. I was a tad disheartened. The crag however was dry and I proceeded to flash Daytona Wall after Huw had a quick play and clean of the holds on a rope. Efficient. Huw repeated the trick and I bouldered out the direct start - which is worth doing for an extra 6a move before the 5c/6a move through the overlap. Great route, loved it. Perfect solo. We had a bunch of pads, but I really wouldn't approach the line with a 'highballing' mentality, its a solo.

After eating our weight in donuts, pies and other stuff bought from Morrison's en-route we decided it would be a good idea to drive to Summit Quarry. It was starting to get towards sun set so we raced up, and found the crag. IT was wet. However, the buttress that has recently seen some attention from Nik Jennings and AK Hughes was dry. I didn't know what any of the routes were so, in what felt like fading light, I climbed the left crag of the bay, which climbs nicely via a couple of wire slots to the break. Small fiddly gear and a powerful feeling layback (bit iffy when wet!) leads to the top of what I later found was a E2 5c "First Circle". Probably a tricky one at this grade? but it was all a bit rushed. What this visit did tell me was that I want to go back... Jaggernath E4 6b and its associated routes (E5 6c & E7 6c) look brill, as does Jim's Route E6 6c. The mono-wall of Summit Quarry (E7 6c) also looks attractive, but mono's aren't my thing otherwise i'd love to give it a bash.

dayton wall flash from huw goodall on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Rushing back to form?

I felt like my best climbing days were towards the end of my degree, when I was using the full spectrum of climbing variety, including indoor walls, sport at Malham and Kilnsey and trad trips. Usually, I end up doing just one thing for a set amount of time. Living on the Moors, the nearest wall is a 1hr drive and its 1 1/2hrs to a good one, but you're surrounded by rock, so you can't bring yourself to do it. Leeds on the other hand is far simpler to hit the wall and get pumped - something which is incredibly hard to do upon the Moors...

Anyway, i've started as I mean to go on, climbing regularly at the wall on evenings and taking any free time to head outside and now even more confident to just go and shunt (with the possibility of a solo involved) if there's no partners, i should be back up to fitness in no time?

Anyway, a brief recap of my recent days...

After my solo trips to Halton Heights and Windgate Nick, I returned to my alma mater(?) for gritstone shunt soloing - Hawkcliffe. Perhaps my favourite venue consisting of the fabled gritstone. I went knowing it had the potential to be damp and cold following some rain the day previous. It wasn't.

I stuck a rope down Pigeon E6 6b, a Ben Bransby 'micro-route' with a horrid landing. After a quick scrub to clean some of the upper pockets (certainly would have fucked you up getting the wet mud in the top pocket!) I gave it a shunt. Tricky...
It's a big reach and at full reach off smears I knew it would be a bit 'iffy' on solo. The rest is no harder than 5c but probably E4. Anyway, I decided i'd give it a miss today perhaps a bouldering mat below would provide a bit of encouragement? Well, a spotter anyway.

So what to do. I was at a crag, perfect conditions, no partners and two routes i'm desperate to do. Blood On The Shamrock E6 6a *** and Driveby E6 6b ***. I decided to abandon my pretty ropey ethics these days (which was that I was saving BOTS for the flash) and shunt the beautiful and terrifying looking arete. I flashed it. Just. Happy with that, I refined a sequence which actually felt pretty secure with a crafty heel, to allow a breather before the smear of doom. A trouser shitting move to get your feet on the ledge follows and you're standing there 15m? off the deck. It's an absolute gem of a route. Short and sharp but set way up above the branches. I'm sure its safe with gear?! Regardless, full on as a solo even if it was a headpoint. AMAZING.

Sunday was nice; sunny & breezy so I teamed up with Yorkshire Waters eloquent junior employee Will and headed to Simon's Seat. I was looking forward to returning to the most perfect rock in the Pennines south of Healheugh and I wasn't disappointed.

Arriving at 'I'll Bet She Does' we found a team already plundering most of the excellent highballs and bouldering in the vicinity. Making full use of some additional pads Will quickly warmed up on the left arete "And She Was" E3 6a (font 6B+) despatching it with ease in the chilly breeze. I too warmed up on the highball wall, with a couple of false start getting off the ground on the central line of 'I'll Bet She Does' E3 6a (font 6C?), I was soon climbing this brilliant but somewhat eliminate feeling(?) direct up the wall. Great holds at the top and after totally missing the good holds, a bit of sloper-fest at the top. Good stuff.

Will repeated Galaxy font 7A and I tried it as its something I'll do in the future but my finger tip skin cried a little which was worrying for the second route of the day so i sacked it off. To Hen Stones!

A short session on the gloriously situated buttress with about 6 or 7 immaculate problems. I finished up with Hen Arete font 7A and the crack line font 5, while Will repeated Hen Pecked font 6C+, Hen Arete and made progress with Bird Flu Font 7B. I'll be back for this one also, as after initially wanting to get it done, I decided to save my rapidly deteriorating right fingers for The Naked Edge E3 6a.

With the afternoon drawing in, and the temperatures just dropping slightly we called it a day and wandered back toward the car, via The Naked Edge. I re warmed up, had a good look at the line and then set off. About 1/3 of the way up I felt like i'd made a mistake, I was starting to sweat up the only hand hold available at that height. I didn't want to lose the onsight of this one. Fortunately a bit of clear thinking allowed an arete side swap and a continuation to the top. Which isn't at all as scary as the guidebook made it sound, finishing on good holds. Got me fairly psyched to try Dino-Mania E5 6b to the right as well. I felt fairly comfortable at that height so if i'm there with a glutton of pads or a mere towel i might give that a go. Great crag, can't wait to get there bouldering this winter - though by the events of today, perhaps my tips can?  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Halton Heights - Runt (E5 6a) & Greenham Cruisers (E4/5 6b)

A crag i'd often eyed, just beyond the scrappy-looking Eastby Crag, while driving towards the Limestone or such like, but I never thought i'd go. However, a new route online at E5 6a called Runt along side a couple of E1's and E2's made me think i'd give it a bash.

I got a bit of a shock.

I didn't really look at the crag heights in the guide, with most buttresses being 10 - 15m very much in the trad rather than boulder/soloing height range. I sort of thought it would be an extension to the Eastby Craglets. The routes looked to mostly be well supplied with gear though were mainly very heathery now; it was clearly was popular at some point in the past due to the abundance of stakes. The old quarry workings providing the usual square cut corners, aretes and slabs reminiscent of some of the Lancashire Quarries.

Anyhow, I warmed up soloing the "HVS 5b" which climbs the arete straight on whereas 'Runt' E5 6a climbs on its left side above a 8m fall zone into rocks. I found the HVS interesting, i backed off twice, before committing and upon doing so thought I might have done the E5! Necky route! HVS going on E3 i'd say, felt as hard as Veteran at Rylstone for example or at least how I remember it anyway. Perhaps I missed something, but it seemed pretty thin. Good slab climbers back in the day I suppose...?

I set up a top rope and tried Runt. I didn't like it. Up the dual arete, then swapping onto the left arete only dropping your weight over the abyss below. Foot smearing, bump the right up a tad to allow a final reach to a crimpy jug. I really didn't like it. Felt like, dare i say it, the hand holds needed a 'stiff brushing' to bring them into any sort of condition, and it also felt like I was chasing a grade not a route. I have to admit if it was E6 I might have thought again. I decided i'd leave it and come back after searching for another climb which i could stay warm on in the chilly breeze.

I found an E4 6b arete which i'd totally missed in the guide before setting off, so I was pretty happy about that. I rapped down, hoping to flash the line, but it looked a bit blank at around the 6m mark and I was padless. I noticed some old bolt holes too, so wondered if the line was lead using them originally?

I soloed up and down but the lower section is tricky to up and down and the higher section looked too blank to suss out for me. So i stuck a shunt down it. I read the move high up correctly, however I didn't flash the section so i suppose i made the right decision. The lower section is awkward 5c climbing up to an obvious rock scar which provides a good crimping ledge. Utilising this and some small crimps on the headwall one rocks over the overlap and up under the roof. Easy jug pulling leads to the top. E5 6b? There is a small pocket which might take a nut but i'm not sure how good it would be? I checked the guide, Derek Hargreaves soloed the FA along with several other routes - onsight? Nice one regardless!

I can see a return with some pads and chums to help keep this line clean, I liked it.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Moors Round Up & Windgate Nick

Franco recently wrote a Summer trad round up which can be seen below, added to this the FA of Damascus and the recent repeat of the White Scoop by Steve Ramsden and it's been a fairly fruitful year on the Moors.

Before departing the Moors for Leeds to continue my studies, I had a quick prospecting day at Thorgill. After discounting the right hand finish to Parochial Dream as being 'a bit whack' and another buttress as being too eliminate (but with good climbing), I set my sights on the tall red wall. This untouched buttress was scoped out last visit, but a tricky looking start and lack of gear made us shift our attentions elsewhere. I rapped and cleaned the line, then shunted back up. The start is a tricky 6a? move on small crimps to a lurch for a sidepull, smears for feet, above a ski-slope landing. From here, another two tricky 5c/6a moves lead to gear in a break. From here its a bit of a shame, as you follow the easiest ground to the arete, up which it finishes with a bold feeling 5a/b move. There is a continuation of hard wall to the left but there is no point.

Grade is a guess, but i've already stuck it on my wishlist at E6 6a - cooler conditions might make the start feel less grim as i didn't like the crimps the other day. Good climbing, looking forward to putting up the hardest non-highball at Thorgill.

Windgate Nick:

Returning to Leeds in order to study for an MSc, i've picked up where I left off climbing wise; venturing to forgotten and often excellent esoteric gems, which are dotted around close-to the more well known venues. A bright sunny day, I fancied somewhere north facing; Hawkcliffe? Guisecliffe? I'd forgotten my crag beta from last year, I wasn't sure how dry or wet it had been inland compared to the dry NY Moors and I fancied somewhere with a view as it was such a nice day to be out of the sun. I flicked through the pages and found Windgate Nick - a crag i'd fancied going to previously.

The guidebook speaks of parking below the crag and needing a chairlift to get to it - or alternatively walking in from Ilkley with a 40 min approach. Me, not really knowing the area, decided it would be easier to park as close to the ridge of the Ilkley Moor hills as possible, so I did so and walked in pleasantly in around 10 mins... No wonder folk don't go!

The crag is green in general, except from where the very obvious signs of cleaning holds is apparent. Green/red gritstone is steel grey and clean in little patches. What the fuck did they use? A solid 'tick mark' is also beautifully clean - not the work of chalk alone surely?

Anyway, I rapped down the E3 5c ** and cleaned the top out which was lichenous, before having a bit of a warm up and dispatching. Starting on the right of a jutting buttress, it climbs up pleasant flakes with the use of the arete for a move or two before a bit of heel jiggerypokery allows a reach to a crimp and top out. Good route, if a tad bold. I then took a second to look at Pans Meadow, E5 6b * which climbed the arete of the same buttress, however I couldn't really make sense of where it went - the guide says start on the left and move around to the right at half height, but does that mean half buttress height or half arete height and is the right hand side joining the high moves of the E3? Not sure so i sacked it off - not keen on the unknowns.

Next up was a rap down 'Tell Mick Ryan Nowt', E4 6b **. This was one of the 'very clean' walls up to the break above which its disgusting severe grade territory. I decided the best course of action would be to climb to the break and escape. So, after a false start trying to reach the crimps from the chipped footholds (which are useless), I got it second go 'outside edging' and reaching... bugger. E3 6a for me, the upper move is bold solo but could be protected and probably only 5c/6a? Good conditions today though.

I then gave Red Alpha a shunt. Not really sure about this, as i don't climb the arete at all, tackling the wall. The reach at the end is tricky and a shunt gets in the way, so i hope it will feel a tad easier on solo - managed it anyway, so one to go back for E6 6c? Gets E7 6c which i won't argue with but I believe that climbs the arete? Not sure, great moves anyway.

I finished the day, with a quick abseil down 'Ariadne's Thread', E5 6b which I knew was an interesting name. The blunt rib looks fine, i thought? Looking from the floor the bottom section looked easy, it was the top which looked very blank/big moves. I abseiled and found I was possibly correct - negative holds with nothing on the left wall and no feet above the sloping layaway. I checked the span I'd perhaps manage to span it with a millimetre to spare... OK, so it's either a massive span to finish or the route is hiding something, which judging by the name is probably true. Still good for the ground up on this (looks ok with 2-3 pads) but might wait for my arms to grow a tad...

Good day out. The grand plan is to get a train my fitness (very difficult to do in the Moors with very little longer than 10 - 12m and no wall) and hopefully get some good bouldering/highballs in this winter and pick up the trad again come spring.  

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Stoupe Brow - The shorter walls

Stoupe Brow is home to a large expanse of rock, some of which are still untouched. Today, Sam and I went back for a scoping trip and also to climb an FA on the left hand 'shorter buttresses'.

The line which climbs on the buttress immediately to the left of the first line of glue-in bolts, "Drilled Sacrilege", struck me as being a possible highball - until i actually looked at it... its 10-12m i should think.

I have previously abseiled down it and found it was extremely clayey, so after a good clean, I shunted the moves as they didn't look too easy...Knacky climbing but fortunately very well protected - should make an ace ground up climb/all guns blazing onsight!

After a lovely start to a pocket which takes gear, a very tricky move gains an OK break and another gear deposit. From here climb straight up the 'headwall' via good crimps/edges. I originally thought it would be E6 6c from the floor however the gear is perfect after I spent an age cleaning out the clay from the pockets, however I subsequently decided its 'only' 6b, albeit a tenuous one, which will provide a hard onsight. The upper wall adds some pump. E5 6b?

Stoupe Brow in morning sunshine (8am) - its shady for the rest of the day

Central Crack E2 climb the middle of the buttress, Fire Dance E6 / F6c climbs the large arete
I warmed up and upped and downed the lower wall twice to get some strength in the old fingers. Then, managed the move first go without re-rehearsal, which surprised me. I plugged some cams in and raced up the upper wall just about avoiding a crippling onset of flash pump. Nice one.

Sam then logically set about disecting the crux move, via very intricate upping and downing until fortunately slipping during a backing out maneuver... He didnt't get it flash or, after the fall, ground up - I think i've got a tad more reach than the young upstart - and obviously I headpointed it !!
The lower walls - The new E5 6b climbs the right most flat buttress of rock in this photo.

Beyond the main buttress, there is much, much more rock

Saturday, 7 September 2013

There are no more crags

The question has been asked - is there any more crags to be found on the Moors? I suspect not, though perhaps if you count one of the forgotten crags being 're-opened'. There is certainly scope for crags such as Rud Scar to get a more modern look?

Anyway, what I do think is that the Moors still holds some 'one climb crags' and short buttresses and this has been proved this week, with the Moors still giving in the form of three separate 'craglets' or 'buttresses'.

Gill Wath, visible from Round Crag was developed by Sam and Matthew with the creation of Gill Wath Eliminate E2 6a * and Wang(?) Wall E3 6b **. Gill Wath climbs a short 5m, vertical wall with a tricky sequence to a break and protectable top out. Wang Wall, tackles all together more technical terrain to the right with poor sidepulls leading to a lurch for a crimp. Both providing explosive short outings ready made for the more boulder-orientated climber... there are a few easier lines to be claimed here too.

Matt making the crux move of Wang Wall  E3 6b **

Matt on the final tricky moves of Wang Wall - E3 6b **

I went to search some rock in Rosedale, which may provide something for the future (its not futuristic climbing, I just can't be arsed to go back) but while there spotted some rock near Middle Ridge Crag. I checked with the oracle of the Rosedale area that is Sam Marks and he indicated there was indeed a piece of rock containing an arete of quality... Tailor made for an after work drop in parking at the Lion Inn. Anyway, after a false start on a dark and midgey horror-fest the main arete was despatched the following evening with a logical easiest-ground following E2 5c and a more strict, but equally as good E3 6a which tackles the right hand side throughout. A great feature. Similarly the central wall, which stands around 6m, is going to provide a tricky route with a long reach to finish!

Hillhouse Nab from Mirage Crag

Hillhouse Nab - King of the Hill E4 5c ***

Finally, while prospecting a weekend or so ago with Sam and Matthew we checked out Hillhouse Nab. A cracking arete sat, untouched and I knew it would provide 'lonely solo'. I returned, on my own, on a windy and chilly afternoon and abseiled the line to clean the holds and have a good look at what was on offer higher up in the hand and foothold department. I was pleasantly surprised and after a good scrub, to remove the stubble-like lichen from the important looking holds, I got psyched for my lonely solo.

Hillhouse Nab - E4 5c *** from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

It climbs like a dream. Really excellent. I gave it 3 stars, even though its only about 6m or so (maybe 7?) and a grade of E4 5c. I gave the central wall a quick check too... ooh yea, another test piece at E7 7a? with a 6c variation coming in from the arete... Not sure i'll be racing back for that one though, might need cooler conditions! - that said, the recent temperature drop has seen a drastic improvement in my psyche! Autumn is here!
A poor lamb, whose demise can be attributed to the stoat(?) trap it has attached to its rear leg.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Stoupe Brow - Panda To The Masses (E6 6c)

Franco and I had oft-eyed the thin cracklines tackling the steep wall left of 'Waves of Inspiration', however on a previous visit the bottom crux was slightly damp. This climb fell off the radar really, but we remembered about it and popped in for a half day bash, with Matt Ferrier for company.

A quick clean on abseil and we were grounding it up, the starting boulder sequence is 7b or something which feels pretty hard and fairly on-off. Franco taking a large solo jump when he succeeded in completing the boulder problem start, bolding it out on the iffy middle section and then attempted the un-known quantity which was the top out... Hilarious action as he wiped out the spotter and camera man.

Setting out on lead, rather than highball solo, was a much better idea and a couple of wires later so a safe top sequence unlocked for a ground up F.A.

I tried the line now, pretty stoked for a safe & hard route on the moors (they are usually ground fall routes at this grade) and after succeeding with the start faultered higher up. A quick rest and I was at the break where it became apparent the final move is an absolute beaut - but so reachy! Great stuff, what a way to finish a sustained testpiece.... It took me about four go's to nail the big reach at the end, by which time I was spent...

One to come back for, with the ground up gone it will be a RP...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A delayed round up...

I've managed to squeeze in a fair amount of climbing recently, at Stoupe, Tarn Hole, Highcliffe, Eavestone, Broughton Bank, Upper Huller Stones, Wensleydale (Hagg Wood/Redmire), Great Wanney, Ravenscar, Thimbleby and Clemmitt's...

A lot of decent stuff, with a nice mix of chilled out easy trad and some harder stuff that tested me. Nothing major (for me) to shout about, mind you! Still, the highlights are most definitely a highball of A Reach Too Far E4 6a at Tarn Hole, a quick lead on a warm day of Fat Chance E3 5c at Eavestone and the butch and bold Quantum Leap E3 5c at Broughton Bank. The two routes i've enjoyed most however were of a similar ilk. Short, sharp and adequately protected, first off the close to home, Rock Bottom E4 6b at Ravenscar - This Shorter and Redhead test piece has been forgotten for too long. Then secondly, Solitude E3 6a at Upper Huller Stones, which was a perfect lost gem.

I think the best 'cleaned and regained' climb was probably Hooker E2 5c at Ravenscar, which while still being far from pristine has now seen a few more ascents which is always a great feeling when you've just cleaned it. Hopefully it gets a few more ascents this year - so more folk can 'enjoy' the very wierd end moves!

Stoupe&Tarnhole mishmash from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

One or two for the future...

Fame E3 6a going on E5 6a is a carbon copy, if a tad easier, of No Expectations E5/6 on Landslip Buttress. I've given this a quick clean and shunt and it climbs well - not one for the onsight but a worthwhile RP for another day.

A quick repeat...

A Pack of Fibbing Beavers E3 5c climbs a thin crack before launching left to the arete. A good addition from the Moors young-team and i'll do the direct at some point soon as well, I think.

Danby Dyno from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

So what's next....

Not sure. Still fancy the Ravenswick Traverse which i'm touting is a equivalent to F8a - though i've no idea really. I fancy a ground up crackline at Stoupe and perhaps a FA or two at Smugglers Terrace...

A couple of trips to the lakes/Northumberland/Limestone? would be nice too to mix things up.

Need to give Franco a spot on les Mono Wall too, hopefully the start of a new order of hard route upon the moors...

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Ravenswick Proj... + some recent activity....

Clemmitts morons from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Round Crag - Side Kick & Variation from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

After a couple of nice sessions at Thorgill climbing the right arete of 'The Diamond' block, Torsang 6c and then managing to tick Derailed 7b (which had stumped me previously), then we popped over to Body Torque 7a+ which Sam quickly despatched after working out some good beta that worked for him.

However, my attentions have now turned to Ravenswick. Once the 'training venue of choice' for myself and Franco - often during shitty weather - I now drive past this most nights on the way home from Scarborough... I have done most things there, with the exception of some of Lees additions which are on the lower portion of the main wall which for some reason i've never bothered with... Anyway, I had read there there was a 'Winter Traverse', one of the original circuit that i'd forgotten about and this got me thinking...

I rocked up with Sam, to find fellow local activists Phil and Dave resulting in a fairly crowded Ravenswick session...!  After warming up I climbed the Winter Traverse 6c+/7a which is all about matching on a sloper/blind layaway thing. It climbs well and made me twig that the whole Black Wall area is now traverse-able... The Black Wall Traverse (Gutter Crack to Flake Crack) is around 6c+/7a and this can lead into the reverse of the Main Wall Traverse (Destroyer Traverse) which is around Fr 7b or say font 7a+. Then after negotiating the very thin holds at what is now the finish of that particular traverse, you get a slight rest before launching into the 6c+/7a sloper which is totally droppable... Can't wait to get this done.

I rocked up yesterday and manged to make it 2/3 of the way along in a single push, but this is probably only 1/3 of the difficulty as there is still the very thin holds just after Black Magic and then the crux sloper moves at the end. No idea what grade it would be, but if feels harder than the sport 7c's i've tried so i'll give it a pop for Fr7c+ or Font 7c??? No idea its not really a boulder problem as there isn't any hard moves per say but it does all add up and the cross throughs are the cruxes throughout with a background pump...

Always look forward to dropping in to the 'wick now - so stovked for this.

After work sessions - Clemmitt's...

The clocks going back and generally dry weather has allowed me a couple of sessions on the local crags after work. Thorgill, Clemmitt's & Ravenswick are all high on the list for crags achieveable for an hour or so's intensive effort.

I decided I would go for some of the boulder problems that had never previously interested me on previous day-hits. First on the list was The Lip 7b at Clemmitt's, a traverse on the Liberate Block. I warmed up on the 6c  Liberate which is a powerful starting and finish up a steep pocketed but short wall. I then quickly linked the traverse but failed to latch the final hold twice. Frustrating. I returned, after a 3 day period down in Leicestershire where I climbed some easy stuff at Beacon Hill and quickly despatched The Lip which is a good little problem...

While there I was astounded by the friction afforded by the 3 degree temperatures and strong winds. So I wandered over to Seal of Approval 6c, which is a bit contentious as there's a block you can start on but the problem starts without - stacked pads will also make a difference. Anyway, off one pad I felt the arete and it was positively sticky. I'd held this arete before and found is shockingly bad so i simply pulled up and was soon matching the higher arete and mantling it out. Cool little problem with a high foot or a heel...

More importantly, this got me thinking that In The Bag 7b+ which climbs the same arete from the right, would probably be OK. I have tried this a couple of times before but mainly the right hand version, as I didn't really understand why it finished on the left in an illogical fashion. Anyway, I pulled up and soon found myself suction cupping the arete in a quite positive manner... I fell off, but I knew it would go. Several attempts later I was matching and scraping my way up the higher arete quite boxed. It feels good to do it, I have no doubt that the perfect conditions helped immensely.

Tired, but still psyched to make the most of the conditions I sat down under Jabba's Butt 7b. I couldn't quite do this a while back, trying it backwards to Mike Adams the FA. However, I soon reverted to the original beta, but starting one move earlier with both hands in the pocket. It's a cool little problem not to be overlooked.

I was pretty stoked about this evening and left with battered hands but brimming with confidence. I'm not the strongest by a long shot and 7b/7b+ is pretty good for me. I can definitely climb harder but at this moment in time its excellent for me.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Finkelstones - Auroras Encore

A lonely day was spent walking over to the newly discovered Finkelstones. I was tired, the Boro game was on the radio and the Grand National was on the box, but it was too nice a day not to get out, so I got stoked and said to myself I would definitely climb the project from the last visit, a direct variation to Labyrinth.

After warming up on the Chain Gang block, home to a terrific 6a+, I returned to the quarry walls. On the last visit I felt ill, dizzy, so decided not to try anything on this wall due to the sloped, rocky landing and slopey tops. I also couldn't fit my fingers or thumb into a useful mono hold. However, my week long thumb-toning exercises worked wonders and this time is slotted right in... Obviously my fingers were a bit puffy in the colder conditions last trip?

A quick direct start to the wall, which is around 6b+ and then the mono start to 'Bambino' which is around 7a. Both really good. Bambino is eliminate in nature but feels fine and packs a punch. I fell off a couple of times but managed to stich a video together having failed to catch a full ascent in between battery changes.

After this, I returned to the Labyrinth boulder and got cracking on the project. Franco and I got really close last visit with a left heel and crimp beta. I warmed up but soon lost interest in this method as my fingers began to hurt. I tried the lock off jam method and surprised myself with the results. However, I was still open to other methods and uncovered an excellent feeling right-heel method. This was hard, probs 7c, and i didn't manage it. I knew there was a 7b+? method somewhere and I eventually found it.

Chuffed to bits, I said I would call it whatever the winner of the National was; walking back to the car I was really hoping it wasn't 'Sea Bass'. Fortunately it wasn't and Auroras Encore was born.

Cool stuff.

Finkelstones - Auroras Encore 7b+ from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Limber Hill

Went to check out Steve Phelps Limber Hill boulder discovery on a warm, sunny day. After initially struggling to find the boulder and aimlessly walking around for two hours, i eventually found 'The Cutter' block. This was pretty much the boulder problem I wanted to do, an excellent 7a+ with what looked like a powerful, reachy move to a small crimp.

I arrived, tried to push as many of the pine needles off the holds with a stick from the top, and then set about flashing the line. I had seen Lee's video so knew the beta; so i warmed up and set to work. A short prelude, quick step up and I was soon up top in the pine needles... Felt closer to 6a+ and that was with all the holds having been wetted by soggy pine needles. Who knows? Perhaps it was the infamous 'sticky-damp'... Must have really suited my style, perhaps it was 6c or something?

After spending two hours finding the block and then 1 minute climbing it, I cleaned and climbed the short wall to the left, which if started low in the recess, gives a tricky first move. Could be easier if you start with your finger in the mono, or sat higher up the hill, but I gave it 6c? for the way i did it. A pleasant slopey top out awaits.

EDIT: Betaguides/Steven Phelps have already done the second problem, presumably from sit, at 6b and continued following the feature rather than direct. The crux is the low start, so there must be a 6b way of doing it!

Limber Hill from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Monday, 1 April 2013

More Fryup Dale Bouldering

Franco had returned from Manchester psyched as usual and quickly made his way to Danby Crag to his Mono Wall project. While there he checked out the rest of the hillside that splits Little Fryup from Great Fryup, and discovered a collection of bouldering venues. He was quite excited.

It has been good weather over the Easter weekend, however work commitments with the on going drilling program at York Potash, meant i didn't want to be too far from a road, my phone and Doves Nest site! That meant this local bouldering venue was the perfect balance between getting something done on my two days off and also not being uncontactable.

The location is top notch, a further continuation of the oft-eyed Freyr's Nab and together the 3 venues compliment each other well. First reached on the path from Little Fryup is 'Fairy Cross' which is home to two short buttresses with a collection of easy boulder problems and short solos. An unclimbed clean arete is the pick of the lines but requires non-snowy conditions for an ascent.

Gallop 6a+

5+ upper arete - Finkel Arete

From the top of the hill, where the troops of mythical wild moors horses dash about in and out of impressive Scot's Pines, you can either head north east to the Finkelstones or due south to the jutting Freyr's Nab. We wandered down to the Finkelstones, so called due to the proximity of Finkel Farm. This pleasant collection of boulders is in a medium-thick deciduous woodland and offers a view straight onto the hamlets of Great Fryup. Occasional wintry showers would pepper the slopes adding to the atmosphere.

Brainwashed Tory - 6b+

Brainwashed Tory - 6b+

The problems vary from bunched sit starts on small blocks to large, impressive roofs and craglets. We climbed a range of problems from 4+ to 7A+/7B on many of the blocks, with slabs, walls, aretes and jamming cracks, with gaps and new boulders surely still available. The odd project has been noted and will be dutifully returned too at some point.

Labyrinth - 7a+. Excellent compact arete

The highlight for me was the slopey arete, tackled from sit which became 'Labyrinth' 7A+. This looked when I first saw it and thought it might give a gentle 6-grade from sit. However it soon became apparent it had more to offer. Starting from sit with a jam in the roof, several height gaining slaps, toe hooks and high feet unlock the rising and curving arete-line. A direct through the roof also appealed and soon, after initally feeling impossible, turned out to perhaps be around 7C. I'll head back at some point with fresh arms and tips to give that a proper go i think.

Pocket Wall 6a+ / 7a for a right and direct finish, respectively

Some excellent stuff really, top notch location definiately a pleasant place to be in winter/spring but the bracken might cause some problems in summer? Certainly on the approach over the top but the Fairy Cross boulders will be OK and perhaps the Finkelstones will avoid high bracken in the trees?

Stone Wall 5+

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Video's bar - a selection of moors videos - plus a few extras

Created a second page to hold links to videos found below the top photo - quick fire video finding for you moor's psyche maybe.......