Posts Tagged ‘climbing’


OK from the headings below you can pretty much see where this is going. I’m trying to put together a guide of what you should do when you’re out enjoying the moors and you come across the various animals who make it their home, for their safety and yours. Please feel free to help me build this resource in the comments section.





Highland Cattle


Mountain Hares


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We’ve had a few Monday nights out, an unmemorable evening chez Den Lane midge pits and peat quarry, a more interesting time at Running Hill Pits which, with eight small quarries to go at and some bits and pieces in our grades will be somewhere to go back to, a lovely atmosphere atmosphere and setting as well. I think we snuck a quick Alderman’s in there as well. Dr Crowe and Steven Fraser managed a half day at Ravensdale reported on Farcebook. All these social media choices and instant web2.0 gratification, if only the quality of the climbing was as good as the reportage.

Knocking all that into a cocked hat was a plan hatched for Monday 9th August as Dr Crowe had an enforced change of work schedule and Steven was devoid of responsibility. In a blinding move master Jack Crowe made an 8.15 AM appearance at Marsden station (all the way from York where he’d been playing in the Anti-Racism World Cup) and the party was complete. Only deviating to the butchers for essential pies it was straight over Holme Moss and across the Woodhead Dam for the walk into Shining Clough. The weather was good the path was lousy but once up at the crag the full majesty of it became apparent. “Ahhh, cracks, ooooh chockstones – lovely!” Dr Crowe exclaimed.

The views were pretty cool too.

We started out on Atherton Brothers (S4a **) which was a delight for Dr Crowe to lead. With Fraser on only one pie there was a lot less hauling than at Ravensdale. Steven then took up the lead on Via Principia (S4a **). Making short work of an offwidth crack to a short ledge it began to rain, but he battled gamely on. An awkward moment above the second ledge as the rain came in more heavily and assorted alternatives were tried. Eventually he got a sling round a chockstone. The only problem was that it moved a bit under load. Confidence dented and clearly a bit pumped he carried on for a couple more moves but found the top out beyond his reach. Like any good dad Dr Crowe sent Jack up without any gear to finish off and Steven nobly popped round to the top to help him sort out the belay stance.  Seconding the route showed what a really great effort Steven put in to almost make the lead and it was clear that the weather and the feeling that a key bit of gear was a bit suspect made coming off the right thing to do.

Steven watches his own progress on Via Principia …

Steven ascends Via Principia

And comes back down again….

To round off we tried to up our game and have a go at Phoenix Climb (VS 4c***)

Phoenix Climb - the full length crack in the face

the fabulous vertical crack that stands out on the face. After the usual struggles Dr Crowe realised that with only one piece of gear that was big enough to hold in the crack below the hole there wasn’t much hope of getting further as the crack above the hole just got a bit wider and was unprotectable. So back to the hat trick: rain, downclimb and a bit of top roping. With the exuberance of youth Jack hauled himself up the climb forgetting that his feet would be of any use. But enjoying it nonetheless…

The grin says it all really – another quality Peak District day out, and back to the car before it really threw it down.

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Phew, finally caught up. With the lads up a Cairngorm at the weekend a reduced party (Diver Driver, Dr Crowe and Michael) took to the crags on Mother Pule. A first proper Monday night out, the longest day and a beautiful evening.

First up Flying Buttress, it still needs a minimum of 3 pieces of gear in the vertical crack, a bit of faith onto the ledge and some awkwardness to feel around the horizontal bulges but the handholds are as good as ever.

Fraser led a corner (next to the hideous green scoop) with aplomb and to round off Dr Crowe had a go at Square Buttress. The first go ended with a Dr Ali-like lunge for the main break. It was followed by a Dr Ali-like pendulum across the face. All the year’s experience came into play – if at first you don’t succeed then light a cheroot and have another go, and so it went, with bats flying around and a curlew and an owl calling at opposite ends of the hill. Dusk came and we went to the pub. Marvellous.

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“Where’s Pots and Pans?” … “In de cupboard under de sink”. Actually it’s here.

We’ve been twice – first time in the lower, right quarry with some enticing lines and some not very enticing lichen covering the rock. Woody and Dr Crowe emboldened by the Dr’s rercent downclimbing practice backed off a number of difficult routes. The Prof soloed the unprotectable arete. Steves Tuck and Fraser and Dr Ali sensibly led two severe(?) routes.

The second visit saw Sharpey, the Prof, Diver Driver, Mr Tuck, the two Drs and Michael take on assorted boulders and in various combinations attempt the obvious hs (?) route  in the left quarry. This was led by Dr Crowe who was then hauled up the adjacent HVS crack by Dr Ali in the spirit of some experimental cheating.

Better sport was to be had in the higher quarry behind on Pans led by Ali which had much better friction and turned out to be a quality lead. Tuck and the Prof took a route to the right which turned out to be challenging – not least because of loose rock on the route, loose rock coming onto the route from above and a spectacularly stuck pice of gear. A really atmospheric spot, great views and sheltered with loads of bouldering scattered about as well. We’ll be back…

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Our first trip to Pule, Drs Ali and Crowe, Mr Tuck and the Prof. A stark reminder of the off width and bulgy, slightly overhanging nature of the quarry. The forgotten art of downclimbing was retrieved from our collective unconscious. I think each pair only completed one climb as a pair. Certainly Dr Crowe and the Prof had to lay seige to a crack that was just out of their reach – a bit like the Ottomans trying to take Vienna – each attempt adding another piece of gear. The Prof finally hit the move needed to take the top. Dr Crowe in a fit of ambition demonstrated the lack of balance that keeps his belayers on their toes and fell off soimething he’d led last year. Truly going backwards. A beautiful evening and the first post-sunset finish needing headtorches in order to abseil down to retrieve (or not) bits of stuck gear.

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Our first Monday night out of the season saw a fine turnout of stout chaps. Mr Tuckle, Drs Ali & Crowe, Andy Wood and Diver Driver. Off we went up to Buckstones, without a guide, for a splendid evening of bouldering fun.

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A first outing in Dr Ali’s new camper van. And a fine day it was too.

Arrived at Idwal Cottage just after 10am for tea and toasties. A quick reccie of Tryfan Bach was enough to convince us that our original plan to include it was a bit optimistic. Parked up and set off for our first climb Milestone Buttress Approach a grade three scamble up the western side of Tryfan.

We arrived at the start of the route after a heavy shower which ensured the rock was suitably greasy. Dr Ali lead what would be an easy climb in good conditions to the ample stance before bringing me up followed by Diver Driver and the Prof. The next pitch – a traverse – began with an awkward looking flake. Though amply protected, after watching Dr Ali and Diver Driver slither and slide around the front of the flake I became determined to find an alternative move. This was easily achieved with a foot jam between the flake and the face which allowed for a simple step over. This lead to a simple walk over rough rock to the next huge stance where we paused for a spot of lunch.

Pitch 3, up the easier chimney to the right of the corner was again made more tricky by the wet conditions. Dr Ali led this to the stance and continued up the greasiest, greenest, wettest slab known to man. By the time we all arrived at the top of pitch 3 we realised that it had taken us nearly 3 hours. We had had some rope management and communication issues on the route but that’s what we were her to sort out after all. We decided to move onto the North Ridge for the easier Grade 1 scrambling.

After a little searching we managed to avoid the top of the scree ascent on the Eastern side of the mountain by finding the more interesting route up to the cannon stone where we stopped for the usual photos. With well practiced comedy scottish accents we made our way to lunch on the top of Tryfan and a leap across Adam & Eve by Stephen Fraser. We were quickly down the South Ridge and at the foot of Bristley Ridge where we were met by the wettest, slimiest, greasiest chimney entrance that I have ever seen.

Up to the to of Bristley without any problem but due to the slow going we had to withdraw from the full horseshoe and descended via ‘Bridget’s’ scree slope. Before we knew it we were back at Dr Ali’s camper van for a brew before stocking up with refreshments from the Spar at Bethesda for the journey home.

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A couple of videos I found that give a good idea of the ridge.

Some good footage of the whole route in this

Stick with this there’s a great footage from the TD Gap and some of the climbs

The Cuillin Ridge – Tips for success by Mike Lates

I think this is the one that Dr Ali emailed around.

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Shooters Nab

The BMC have organised access on Friday evenings and hopefully for 8 to 10 weekends in 2010: click here for the BMC website

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