Climbin’ on fossils – Walkin’ on snow white – Trowbarrow.

Walked into Trowbarrow just as Matus was topping out on Jean Jeanie [from Jean Genie and Jean Genet – look it up].  I happily tied in and pulled onto the steep wall knowing there would be little respite in the next 100ft. I haven’t climbed here for 15 years, on that occasion I led  this route for Dor who desperately wanted to do it as possibly her last climb. I didn’t mention the polish or loose holds. She climbed it without a rest, was knackered at the top but still able to celebrate in the beer garden of The New Inn.

Then that was a hot summer’s  afternoon, now today was cooler with a strong wind threatening to blow you off the wall. Bowie was “walkin’ on snow white”  [a different chalk!]  but for today we are climbing on fossils. The whole face is a bed of limestone encrusted with worm-like fossils which has been tilted 90 degrees to the vertical. You have to trust your feet on the protruding fossils to make good progress.

Climber midway on Jean Jeanie.

Climber midway on Jean Jeanie.

Nearing the top.

Nearing the top.

Jean Jeanie – classic track – classic route.

Despite Alan and I wanting a quick  snack Matus was ready for another route, Harijan. Farther right on this main wall is another crack system, but this time its base is barred by an overhung blocky niche. [Any further right and you are under the most unstable looking roofs – climb at your peril. See photos, though nothing much has fallen down recently.]  Awkward climbing leads up to the roof  from where a shuffle left takes you out onto the front face and up into the crack where easier progress is made to the top, again making good use of fossils for your feet.

Some little gems on the quarry floor………SAM_3559

4 thoughts on “Climbin’ on fossils – Walkin’ on snow white – Trowbarrow.


    Memories here. I did that with Pete. I seem to remember it getting a bit thin about two thirds of the way up.

    The Bowie track is brilliant. I missed all that stuff as a youth because we reared ourselves on modern jazz and we were dismissive of most pop music. It’s ok listening to it now but not the same as being INVOLVED at the time.

    Apart from the great music the sound quality is way better than average.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Conrad, Did you mean Pete LeCoustre?
      The crux is 2/3 way up where the crack does a dog leg right.
      Just right is a great climb called Major Tom, there is a 70’s Bowie theme on this wall.
      I was also into the Jazz at that time and hence some boulder problems I did with Pete up on Longridge Fell have that theme – Blue Haze, Silent Way, Milestones etc etc


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