Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Higgar Tor

There are some great routes at this impressive feature of the Peak District the striking feature is the leaning block. It's also a great area for weaseling. Amongst the bolders there are many deep clefts and miniature ravines which the "weaseler" can explore.

We attempted four routes as follows
Lokis way (S4a) , this was avery satisying route although the top move was somewhat unprotected and required confidence, there is an easier escape to the left.

Zeus crack (S4a) , this is a rather wide crack requiring jaming of an assortment of body parts, usually ones own, I guess a team effort might make for an interesting attempt! We backed off this route and attempted

Canyon climb (HVD) this was much easier than the previous adjacent route on the other side of the arete. We both climbed this "outside the wide crack" but were aided by a fairly gentle jamming crack.

Our final route of the evening was
Wotans crack (S4a) This route requires the climber to follow a series of cracks up a slab. One should be careful not to place any rocks or walnuts in such a way that they use up a fairly useful
finger jamming crack. The key is to work your feet up by jamming your toes in a lower part of the crack.

We're both keen to return to this crag and we both have a keen eye on
the File (VS 4c) so we're keen to brush up techniques and strength for this classic route on the leaning block. It's probably fair to say that it is well deserving of its grade.

Panoramic view of Higgar Tor [slow but worth the wait!]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunny day in Dovedale

Today saw us all parking at Milldale after a beautiful drive through the white peak taking a detour to Hartington via Pilsbury through a lovely gated road. Parking in the carpark we made our way down to the bridge and to the start of dovedale. We quickly stopped in a sunny spot by the dale water and had a lovely picnic lunch with our little one using Daddy as a convenient seat. We then continued our walk along the trail in the blazing heat. This truly is a beautiful dale with many walks leading off it or you can just walk up to the dove stepping stones and come back again. The little one enjoyed climbing the stiles and found some convenient rocks to explore and climb, very proud that she could do it herself. We then headed back to the car and the air conditioning as it was extremely hot despite sunhats, suntan cream and plenty of water. A perfect day in the peak district

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Exploration at Curbar Edge

After spending the morning decorating a room in our house we decide that it is too nice to work indoors. We went to Curbar gap. Not far along Curbar edge, amongst the debris from old quarrying activities and the odd discarded millstone we found a convenient place to sit and play. This spot looks excellent for a picnic.

Our 2 year old has fun exploring amongst the smaller boulders and we are both amazed at her delicate footwork and the care with which she moves around the rocks. She is not being the over exuberent toddler with grazed knees! She runs most of the way back to the Curbar gap car park and we have an ice cream.

Another good feature of this spot is that I can play too! I brought my rock boots and attempted a few of the good climbing problems that are nearby. My 2 year old spotter is frequently reminding me to be careful!

The following website gives some good information about walks over the Peak District gritstone edges.

Walks over the Eastern Edges.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Climbing at Birchens

The good weather continues and after work this evening I headed for the first time this season to the delights of Birchen Edge. I did nine routes including Trafalgar Wall. The routes on Stokers wall are well worthwhile.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Climbing Meet at Curbar Edge

After a good weekend in the Lake District the continuing good weather made climbing this evening a must. This was the first
CMC evening climbing meet with good weather.

With a good turn out we climbed Polaris, Flying Buttress Right and Owl arete at
Curbar Edge. We finished with some bouldering on the trackside boulder.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Castle Mountaineering Club at Consiton

This weekend was the Castle Mountaineering club trip to Coniston Water in the lake district.
Arriving on the friday night at Coniston Hall campsite
we were encouraged by clear starry skies. A number of us headed out from Consiton along the Walna Scar road and visited Dow Crag on saturday.

Gordon and Craigs route
was good fun. The second pitch was a fairly vague grassy groove slanting to the left
and one must be careful to maintain this line. It's probably the only part of the route that doesn't have signs of wear enabling easier route finding. The route is good fun with an exciting traverse and culminating in a couple of fairly awkward and exposed moves, these ar about 4a in technical difficulty. The route was quite sociable we met a young family climbing as a group of three and offerin wine gums. Our friends had fun with the scramble on easy terrace and a climb up murrays route.

The second day was overcast and with the likelihood of rain we opted for a walk. Once again starting from the Walna Scar road and heading up through the mine workings to Low Water and then on to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston.

We continued towards the col above Goats Water and headed over the summit of Dow crag
before returning to the Walna Scar road and a cup of tea in Coniston. The rain really hammered it down in the afternoon and early evening.

We awoke on the Monday morning to bright blue skies, excellent...
We packed our camping equipment away. We had the intention of climbing at Raven Crag in Langdale but on days such as these it is always wise to arrive early. We were late and feeling somewhat dejected headed back towards Chapel Stile our luck changed as we perused the Langdale climbing guide. We were encouraged once again when we found that there was another Raven Crag at Walthwaite near Chapel Stile. We tried two single pitch routes Enterprize arete and Hardup Wall. Both routes were well worth doing.