The forecast for Saturday 22nd was good. Cool in the morning but staying dry with sunshine and temps of 12 degrees. The definition of dry in case you have forgotten is “lacking moisture; not damp or wet” The night before Dave had said a trip was on – to do some climbing in Yorkshire.
It has been so wet this Summer that we doubted that anywhere in the south Lakes would be in condition. It is much easier to take the soft option and go to the more accessible crags near Settle which have the advantage of being bolted.
As the forecast was for cool in the morning, there was frost on my car at 7am, we had a leisurely start and drove over to Settle. Without any discussion I drove into the car park at The Watershed Mill, other cafes are available in Settle. Coffee has become an essential part of our pre-climbing ritual. It has the ability to stop the shakes from the previous night or start them for today!! A few early shoppers were in the cafe on our arrival but when the cafe begins to fill up you know the coach trips have started to arrive. Coach driver X was having his free tea and chips after depositing his charges.
Avoiding the shopping trap in the mill we drove up the valley to park for the short walk into Moughton Nab.
Moughton Nab above the Quarry.
Leisurely walk in.
The steep ascent goes round the side of a vast slate quarry which is always busy in the week but fortunately not at weekends.
Large Slate Quarry
Moughton Nab – Penyghent.
Once the crags had been reached we traversed below them to our selected area for the day. Penyghent was prominent in the background and brought a more scenic alternative to the industrial waste of the quarries. We started on a couple of F5’s to warm up. The rock was dry and the climbs were fairly easy.
Quarry Hill F6a
You can see from the photo the bolts that have been used to protect these climbs and convert the crag into a sport climbing area. Basically a lot of limestone crags were not getting climbed on and were becoming overgrown. Following a good clean up previously blank, unprotectable areas of rock now yielded new routes. There was some inevitable blurring of the demarcation of previous traditional climbs that had been lost to the invading vegetation. The popularity of some of these renovated Yorkshire crags says something about the possible future direction of climbing in the UK. A strong traditional ethic still holds on our mountain and gritstone crags but there is room for the Sport crags being developed. We would probably not have been climbing today on this small neglected crag if it wasn’t for the cleaning and bolting efforts of the local climbers. There is room for all sides of the sport without getting too bogged down in ethics.
The day progressed with a couple of F6a’s and an awkward F5+.
By now the sun had left the crag and hands were getting cold – time to pack up and head home, satisfied with some good climbing and the sunshine.
Pendle in the distance
The forecast was not good for today so we cancelled our planned climbing trip to Yorkshire limestone.Therefore to make use of the day set off this morning to start and reconnoiter a walk suitable for a charity walk I’m organising for next year. Usually find problems with stiles or access so like to plan well in advance. The drizzle started just after I’d left the car and it steadily worsened over the next half hour and then tossed it down! The field paths I was following were already waterlogged after this summer’s deluge and rapidly deteriorated. Difficult to avoid sinking in some of the worst fields.
That sinking feeling.
Progress was slow and in the end cut the days walk down. Didn’t come across too many access problems [only one illegal diversion] unless you include the local animals – guardians of the countryside.
That shrinking feeling.
Just to make things worse I began to pick up a dreadful acrid smell which turned out to be a farmer burning all sorts of ‘plasticy’ rubbish. Pollution on a small scale but if I did it in my back garden no doubt I would be prosecuted.
That stinking feeling.
Feeling a bit grumpy by now but its all in a good cause. The charity that is. Could be worse – my 16 year old Grandson is doing an 85 mile bike ride today from Blackpool through the The Trough of Bowland, best of luck! The Lancashire Hot Pot! – more like an icy gazpacho soup in these conditions. http://www.kilotogo.com/index.php?option=event_detail&event_id=46
As it was dry today went up to Kemple End to do some bouldering and ended up on Hodder Buttress.
Traversing the break is fun. Trying the start to the right hand side of the wall, but having difficulty leaving the break. This would give a start to a hard route up the wall right of Ribblesdale High.
Ribblesdale High is a route starting right of the arete, climbing past pockets to the break, then moves off a sloping ledge lead hopefully to the top. Given E3 6a. That reminded me that I had pictures of the first ascent by Simon Nevett.
Simon Nevett 1st ascent Ribblesdale High.
If you click onto the photo to enlarge, the sloping holds right of Simon would be the finish to my project – some hope.
PS. 3rd April 2017.
Probes has just crushed that problem at ?E3 6b Gin Rib.
Just returned from a trip up PARLICK [432M], above Chipping, with a friend who has recently lost his wife with cancer. He fancied a change of scenery.
How wrong were we with the weather forecast! Within minutes of setting off the cloud base dropped and we were in cold, wind driven, rain. Not so good in shorts.
We carried on hoping for a lifting of the weather, but arrived at the summit with no improvement or visibility
We met nobody but a few wet sheep looking for shelter.
Soaked to the skin we arrived back at the car resolving to return on a day of better weather.
Hope my wandering chat was of some diversion to my friend’s state of mind and normality – but as he says ‘what is normal at this time in his life’.
There are no pictures of the trip!!
Just back from a trip to the Lot Valley area of France. Stayed in a friend’s house near the beautiful medieval town of Puy L’Eveque :-
Hot and sunny all the stay, managed a few walks but mainly enjoying the deep red Cahor wines and food.
Too hot for climbing at this time of year although there are a lot of local crags which I’ve visited in the cooler months. Recommended!
Several GR routes traverse the area, the scenery is not mountainous but varied countryside with lots of well tended vineyards.