Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bluebell Walk at Linacre

Prompted by seeing some bluebells at the Butterfly Farm yesterday, we hotfooted it down to Linacre to see the bluebells before they disappeared as quickly as they came. We parked in the upper car park at Linacre and made our way to Spire View with Keisha spotting bluebells straightaway, she was planning to collect some to press in her flowerpress. At spire view we went down the first small flight of steps and turned right and made our way down the top path close to the wall

Suddenly the landscape changed and the bluebell carpet disappeared to be replaced by a carpet of white and the wild garlic the smells from the bluebells and the garlic were intoxicating.
We carried on down the path and headed towards the top reservoir, an executive decision was made by Keisha to stop for a snack so Louis was duly let loose and their little feast began

Louis and Mike quickly disappeared so Keisha and I decided to hide from them and the play peekaboo with LouisWe continued on down the path toward the wood carvings and they enjoyed clambering over the wood carvings of the leaves and acorns and balancing upon the logs. We were particularly struck by a carving of the green man (see previous blog of woodland festival last year)

Keisha came across one of her preschool friends also out enjoying the bluebells and clambering over the wood carvings and logs. She decided that we should make our way back to the car via the steep wooden stairs which lead you back to spire view. She decided that it would make it easy if we held hands so we all counted our way to the top. 217 steps in total and a brief break was had by all at the top to eat some carefully saved flumps. A great afternoon at Linacre as always.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day Raid to the Carneddau

This was my first trip to Wales for a few years I've missed the Welsh mountains a lot it was good to get back and we were lucky, the weather was kind. We're planning a trip to the Highlands of Scotland our intention is to climb mountains around Ben Alder. We decided on a day raid to Wales and walk in the Carneddau.

Starting from the Ogwen valley (not far from the farm named Gwern Gof Uchaf) we headed in towards cwm lloer and up the eastern ridge of Pen-Yr-Ole wen , (OS grid SH655619). This was the start of our Carneddau ridge traverse. We stopped for lunch on the connecting ridge to Carnedd Dafydd there was a minor problem we only had one lunch between, ahh excellent training walking on reduced rations.

Carnedd Dafydd, (OS grid SH662630) was our next summit a favourite, I as reminded of a good scramble on its Northern ridge.

We continued towards Carnedd Llewelyn passing the winter climbing area called the Black Ladders (Ysgolion Duon), shown below.

Before we commenced the fairly long pull onto the highest summit of the Carneddauu we passes some grazing welsh mountain ponies.

A view back towards Carnedd Dafydd the black ladders are clearly seen lower than the main summit.

There was a strong wind chill with the wind chilling my teeth giving a feeling of biting into ice cream. The crown of the Carneddau named after the famous Welsh King Llewelyn ap Gruffydd.
Continuing we walked off along the western ridge and passing by amphitheatre buttress. Zooming on the picture below it may be possible to view climbers on the steep left wall.

Looking at the amphitheatre buttress ridge was good giving ideas about future climbs and possible day raids!
Amphitheatre buttress
route description and account

The image below shows the western ridge from Carnedd Llwelyn once you go past amphitheatre buttress and along the Bwlch Eryl Farchog, there is an interesting slab section.

The route we tried is detailed in the map shown below (which links to a good route description). The only diffrence is that we headed along and up to Pen Yr Helgi Du.

All in all an excellent day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chill Out at Chatsworth

Arrived at the Robin Hood in car park feeling fairly worn out, Gordon was waiting patiently. We were both unable to make the Castle Mountaineering Club meet on tuesday this evening was better bright and stll good for climbing, we strolled to Chatsworth Edge.

We walked along the track and decided to head for the right hand edge of the crag. The first route was Emperor Flake climb quite rounded up an initial arete at the left hand side of the buttress. Encouraged away from the difficulties of the arete one is tempted like a moth to light by a large flake providing a way to proceed up the wall. At this point I used a knee..... ooooohhhh naughty! But the move itself was fine and somewhat entertaining, the climb culminates by moving to the right hand edge back on to the arete and upto the top, a good finish.

Gordon suggested that I should lead another route, my immediate response, yes. Thinking on we agreed that it was Gordon's lead, almost convinced him, but he insisted that I should do the lead. The route was Empress Crack really enjoable laybacking not being as fit as normal I found it quite pumpy. Although the gear is good its fairly strenuous to place. The route is good deserving its one star and as indicated by the UK climbing logbooks slightly harder than HS4a.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Climbing at Yarncliffe and Scottish Trip Planning

Its good to get out and climb some decent routes especially when you are short on time to get out! This evening we climbed latecomer and Cardinals arete at Yarncliffe quarry.

The weather was cloudy but fine for climbing. There were grey wagtails nesting at the top of angular climb so this was off limits. Climbing was excellent fun latecomer is a good quality well graded climb at HS4b, the holds were a little sandy it steepens out at the top but there are sufficient footholds to ease the steep mantleshelf move.

Cardinals arete has a classic start which is undercut, there is a couple of good hand holds a long reach is required to make an excellent hand hold which can be used to start the pull onto the main arete. I was told that my body was angled slightly to the left when successfully making the move. The remainder of the route gives a good quality climb.

Later a group from Chesterfield college came well prepared with bucket barbeque and lots of food.

We headed for the Fox House Inn to discuss plans for a forthcoming trip to Scotland. Our plan involves catching a train to Corrour and walking to Loch Ossian youth hostel our intention is to walk the mountains around and including Ben Alder.