Family Celebrations and a New Crag!

The beginning of this week brought some days of welcome warmth and sunshine. On the Sunday  I was in Manchester to celebrate my youngest son’s 39th birthday. Eight of us went out for an Indian buffet meal, greatly enjoyed by the family with ages ranging from 4 to 94yrs. The waiters made a great fuss of the oldest and youngest, whilst the rest of us stuffed ourselves on the delicious curries.

The 4yr old!

I had only been back home 5mins when the phone went and one of my climbing partners was enthusing about the weather [we have had little to enthuse over this ‘summer’]. It was soon agreed to have a climbing day on the Monday. As we are both long in the tooth finding somewhere new to climb in the area is difficult. He mentioned that on a winter’s walk in the dry valley above Malham Cove he had noticed a crag with bolted lines, not in any guide book. This was news to us and a bit of detective work was needed to glean the necessary information. Monday dawned bright and sunny and after coffee we were soon walking through impressive Yorkshire scenery to Comb Hill.

Approach to Comb Hill.

   On the approach we thought the cliff looked a bit short and scruffy but once below  we realised it was about 16m [50ft] high. The sun was just reaching the crag as we arrived. Without all the full information, choosing a first route was a bit of guess work. Setting off up the promising line proved rather difficult and the rock was ‘awkward’ but led to a satisfying steep finale. Encouraged we spent a pleasant afternoon on the face relishing in the warm conditions and the superb Dale’s limestone scenery. It so happens that the popular Pennine Way path goes beneath the crag so we had a steady banter with passing walkers wondering how we had got the rope to the top in the first place!!!

Give us a clue. 6a+

It’s always difficult getting decent crag photos when there are only two climbing. Anyhow we’ll be back in the spring to explore further.

The next day, Tuesday, dawned sparkling again. This was the occasion for another family event — 7yrs since my characterful father passed away. To remember the date I took my mother, the 94yr old, out for a scenic drive into the Bowland countryside. We enjoyed a grand lunch at the beautifully situated Inn at Whitewell.  Cheers Dad.

The 94yr old!

Three great days with something different to remember and take from each of them.


3 thoughts on “Family Celebrations and a New Crag!

  1. Conrad Robinson (Blogonym - SirHugh)

    I always liked Dry Valley above Malham Cove – it seems to have an atmosphere all of its own.

    When you click on your photos and get the enlargement there is a further facility to zoom in. That gave terrific detail on the climbing photo. There seems to be plenty of scope for placing traditional protection but I suppose we must move with the times.

    I always thought it would not be wholly bad to have bolts on dubious belays on traditional climbs. One in particular I remember was the pitch below the crack on Paragon (Bosigran) where I was sure the belay would not hold if my leader fell, which I felt was an odds on likelihood. I think that was the most frightened I have ever been.

  2. bowlandclimber

    Don’t be deceived by the picture even in high magnification, it is much steeper than it looks. The rock was surprisingly compact for 40ft but then you could have fiddled some nuts in for the sustained steep finish. Even on sports climbs I often take half a dozen nuts to supplement the bolts if they are spaced and I’m getting frightened. Call them my “get out of jail free” rack.
    You must have a good memory of Paragon or as you say were very worried! Haven’t done that route but remember rescuing a couple who were lost on it and ended up moving rightwards to our belay below the top pitch of Suicide Wall E1 5C. They were glad of a top rope after I had finished! Was with Pete Lecoustre that day — happy memories.


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