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Thought I’d retrieve this for posterity, and changed the date so it’s not way out of order chronologically.
Ravensdale – an atmospheric setting for a day’s climbing we walk along the valley with a view through the trees to catch a glimpse of an imposing limestone buttress (Raven Buttress) up to about 50 metres or so. Drop down by some splendidly isolated cottages to cross the river bed and climb through woods to come up at the foot of the buttress. Round to the left is Flying Buttress, although this one is twice the height of our beloved Pule Crag version. The position at the base of Flying Buttress already feels quite elevated and very secluded. This impression is only re-inforced when you get to the top of the climbs (even if it feels like you might never make it), great views along the sheer sided valley, across the tops of the tree cover and over the rolling moors above. Absolutely fantastic on a fine day. A few of the routes on the Raven Buttress are off limits due to nesting kestrels which we hear but don’t see. The flying buttress forms a cave (full of sheep shit) for sheltering in from the infrequent showers. The buttress forms a right angle to the crag at the summit. It’s in that 90 degree corner square of blue sky that I caught a glimpse of a pair of ravens wheeling round and disappearing round the top of their crag. We managed four climbs (all grades are purely speculative and subject to variation depending on your guidebook):

Tria  VS 4b 1* 18m. The right-hand corner of the alcove is worthwhile, giving enjoyable bridging marred only by the polished holds. [We used some in situ abseil tat round a tree at the top of Tria for all our descending needs on this trip, very handy and the abseil is modelled by Dr Mark and photographed by Dr Ali]

Ash Crack  VS 4b 2* 14m. Climb the central crack in the back wall of the alcove. Well-worn and well protected throughout! It eases with height. [No it bloody doesn’t – the first 12 metres on polished marble means the last two are a real struggle for numpties like me]

Gymnic  HVS 5a 1* 20m. Left of the through-cave, tackle the twin crack and the bulge to access the interesting groove above. Although highly polished, it remains popular [though possibly not with Dr Ali]! Exit either side of the final roof [give the tree a big hug]. [Protect the top – the top out as Dr Ali found out is a dome (doom?) of loose vegetation – fortunately this time it tested the Petzl helmet rather than the climber]

Cave Corner S 4a 0* 14m. The left corner of the square alcove is approached up the juggy wall. Care is needed with blocky rock near the top. [Another quality top -out]

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