Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Almscliff! Hail the yorkshire grit!

On sunday the 6th of february was bon! It was certainly a little learning curve and a great memory!

I was picked up bu Matt Capsey and off we went to almscliff crag near harogate for my first introduction to the legendary Yorkshire Grit! As we travelled nearer it began to rain...... and then the wind blew.... about 60mph! Matt did sujest a nice cosy climbing wall called harrogate climbing centre. But i didnt answer. lol! As we arrived, gods crag was directly under the edge of the cloud and had the first glimmer of sun we had seen since pickering. Must have been whatching over us ;-) .

Got out the car, bouldering matt blew away.

Regained matt, over style, guide book blew away.

regained guidebook. I blew away!

Joke haha!

With me regained, we stuffed the gear in a hollow and anchored the bouldering matt down with a cam size 2.
Then we whipped up fluted collumns, a classic vdiff on low man. After than i had a tour of the crag and started up stomach traverse. A jam some smeering and a stupid heel hook later i was three meters off the ground. Yeah! Then..... I fell off, right in a bloody cow pat as well, After a few more attempts i gave up. This Yorkshire VS really seems to haunt me.
Then Matt had a go, someone who has climbed up to E4, he fell off it, and again, and again. Now his lovely 5.10 climbing shoes resembled chocolate logs more than they did shoes so we moved to the next climb. I think we'll blame it on the wind ;-).

So, we moved leaft a climb or too (the wide crack in photo above just right of the person stood on the ground) known as central crack, as there was a handy rock to brace against to belay. I lead up through bottom crack getting various limbs stuck in the crack and at one point, my whole body. I then reached the top and placed some bomber gear. All this happened as Matt was being blown off the boulder into..... you guessed it! more cowpats. I caried on up the climb smearing up a small block and climging to two grooves as i was blown about the face. I placed a cam in a flared crack which was completely useless but made me feel better and i caried on to the top, untied and blew away again. All that effort for a HS.
Matt then lead up 'traditional climb' (the central crack of the three above) and then belayed me up. As I reched the centre of the wall I looked to the right and saw a fellow from leeds uni looking rather worried on the next climb. He was about 6 metres up and have gear at about 4 metres. His hands sweated more and more. Despite the wind he held on. He shouted "why oh why didnt i bring any cams". He then let out a shout, slipped off and due to the strech of his double rope, hit the ground! He was shaken but soon enough was back on the route!

As it began to rain i had a go at some severe on low man and then we packed up and looked in this cave.

After that, we went home as gods crag was finaly doused in its share of rain. As we drove home we rambled on the happenings of the day and concluded it was yet another good if not 'eventfull' day.

P.S. Artistic licensing must be taken into account when reading this blog post and you must realise that exaduration was kept down to a minimum.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Oak Crag! Our favourite blakey outing!

Me, Jake Hampshire and Tom Barr hit oak crag the other weekend and it was tres bon. Our aim was to have our first full day of constant leading or soloing after we had recently gained some gear! First up was Cote Crack, VS 4c which is more awquard than it looks, I set off and placed a solid bit of gear, and just as i made my way up the strechy lower moves, SLIP! I fell off (which was fairly unexpected) and stopped, sat in my harness, hanging from the rope, only 20cm above a rock! The yorkshire VS applies to sandstone aswell it seems!
Cote crack lower moves.
After a few speedy ascents from  jake and tom on multiple rouutes, I fancied a go at stump crack VS 4b on the larger main butress and found it slimy but good fun.

Stump crack is the line on the leaft with the tree at the top.

Jake making a speedy solo!

Me soloing

Bit more soloing.

Now it was jakes turn so he attampted captain birseye, HVS 5b, (the thin crack in the picture above) He began tentativly up the slab placing lots of useless gear in the crack, he made the hard moves up the slab but then got a bit freaked when his gear began falling out and so escaped right up the line of my solo.

I now felt psyced for the superb looking E1 5c (leaft hand crack above) which has hard lower moves but bomber gear when ure there. I began up the crack but then felt the pressure of having a big pointy boulder beneath me. I atempted the hard layback move and raced to get some gear in, unfortunately i needed to slump back and the 'half in' gear popped and i fell to the floor. FAIL!

Not to worry, we'll certainly be back soon, especially to get that done properly!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Exploration continued....

Two weekends later, I met up again with Lee Robinson, this time also with Rory Stead a local friend and fellow explorer of rocks! This time, we were in search of what seemed to be A mystery prow! and so we set off across the moors. First stop was a look beyond fryup dale head. As we hoped over the wall, we saw distanty boulders, but were they any good!..... No, there were some interesting highballs and frozen gullies and a hard looking roof but other than that there was a pretty meagre helping of boulderness to be had. We then began trudging back to fryup dale head and as we did found a few nice blocks.
Rory on the hard looking sit problem.

After that, we arrived at fryup dale head wich is simpley filled with aretes and walls but that wasnt what this trip was about, where was the prow!!
We turned a corner, and there it was, standing magnificently in below the main crag, it has one uber thin, slabby wall with a magnificent arete on either side, and then, round the back is a fantastic, fairly steep problem!

Lee on the steep problem with two of the four aretes, two of which are of great quality. The crag main is in the background.

We were quick to get our shoes on and try and tick some lines, however, as soon as we did, the sun went down and the cold became nithering. So, after gaining numb toes and fingers, we scrambled up the hill and back to the car, most definately a place to go back to!!!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


After a facebook message, it was time to meet up with Lee Robinson, (betaguides) to have a look at camphill. As we came over blakey ridge, the weather became dull and grey and within minutes it was raining  :(. After a quick ten minute stop to look at stormy hall bouders, with the impresive problems on the spike boulder, we traveled to clemmits crag. Clemmits crag is looked down on by many as a poor crag. Infact, in truth it is, but thats the crag, no one had really looked at it from a bouldering perspective. As we walked along the path, we began sighting boulders. At first they were just small, but then they began getting bigger, and bigger and bigger!!

A nice slab problem.

A large, slighly over hanging wall.

The mighty undercut!........

The hairy boulder, with an easy flake problem up the front face and a punishing roof problem :)

The roof problem close up. Hard!

These boulders were all laying below the tree line, there was also more bouders in the woods....

The mighty arete! A superb 8 metre long arere. There's also some great, hard up problems using pockets, crimps and flakes.

Yet another overhanging wall! using sloping rails and flakes! looks hard and needs a dry spell!

After that we explored the boulder field to the south and found yet more aretes, walls and roofs. There were also some good looking highball aretes in he hill side.

Then, as we walked over the last mound, A great prow was sighted! So, as the light dimmed and in true exploritary spirit..... we headed back to the car untill next time....................