Sunday, 16 March 2014

Maiden's Bluff - Another new venue on the coast!

The coast is a treasure trove for the North York Moors climbing scene... Boulby bouldering, Stoupe Brow, Smugglers Terrace and now near the village of Goldsborough harbours a crag unlike any other on the 'Moors'. A collection of natural sea craglets and just off vertical slabby quarry faces... akin you might say to Pex Hill (but not urban). Matt Ferrier was the first of our group to get reconnaissance on the area and his time spent came up trumps.

Franco has been there a fair bit, just cleaning and shunting stuff. The rock is scrittly, but it soon cleans up and the main quarry wall provides 8m solos on crimps, pockets, nubbins, smears and usually involves 'popping' for a break at the top of the wall - exciting!

Maidens Bluff - Looking slightly more slabby than it is...

After a couple of days getting more samples for my ongoing university work, I dropped in on sunny afternoon to meet up with Franco. It faces East, so it doesn't get the sun during the day, but this means the conditions were grand. The easiest line on the wall climbs up a series of pockets on the left hand side. A tricky start deposits you at some juggy pockets. A lovely set of moves jugging between these pockets allows a scary rock over on a crimp and mono to be made and thus the top to be gained. There is gear, though its in a slightly hollow pocket. We both elected to solo the line which is excellent and weighs in somewhere around the E5 6b mark - quite tricky but hopefully it will clean up nicely with time and repeats! It was an absolute joy to climb this route!

The tech. 6c/7a routes are all wicked. I shunted a couple which I reckon i'll be able to solo at some point but may have to become long term projects. It's not all going to be in the mid to high E grades either, some easier lines could be achieved, plucked from the cliffs high above the North Sea. 

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