On the border of Lancashire and Cumbria is a wooded hillside, Warton Fell, prominently seen from the M6. A great gash of the fell has been taken out by a large quarry, a scary place to climb. Above in the woods are limestone outcrops which dry quickly and give short climbs on some quality rock. It has rained most of this week but the forecast is improving so it was time for a revisit. The Pinnacle Crag was our aim. The paths seem to be disappearing under vegetation and it is not till the last minute that any sign of cliffs appear.
We are back up to a team of three as Rod has returned from the States and also we are joined by Sir Hugh as an interested spectator, bits of his body having curtailed his climbing. Talk about last of the summer wine but we did about 10 routes so not a bad effort. They were all in the VD-S range but each one was steep and cruxy.
The first buttress we arrived at was a bit gloomy but the rock was excellent and we squeezed three lines out of it; Simian VD, Free Stile HS, and Ming S.
We moved over to the main area, Plumb Buttress, to get some sun and eat lunch. Above us reared The Big Plumb, HVS 5c, tackling a large bulge and then steep rock, I could only ever do it by constructing a cairn of stones to start, not today thanks. After a couple more minor lines Rod worked out the sequence to start Lone Tree Groove which gave steep climbing on clean rock which has become polished on the crucial holds. I then enjoyed a couple of severes on the left wall climbed mainly on perfect flakes, Flake and Wall and Clare’s Crack. The descent route down a gully is becoming very polished and care is needed.Another pair of local climbers and their friendly dog were in the area and added to the sociability of the day.
We finished off with two nice short routes round and down to the left, the arete Gremp S and the flaky Skutch VD, and never made it to the actual pinnacle.
The day had been sunny and warm, the views to the Lakes across Morecambe Bay were clear, there was as much chat as climbing and at the end of the day we were well satisfied wandering back down to the village. Simple pleasures.
Sir Hugh’s account may be found here – https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1365582190126322848&postID=5013355740371114281
That was a good day. Thanks. All my photos were taken from the ground; at a more amenable crag some variation would be welcome getting shots from the sides and top.
Yes. My shots from the top didn’t come out well.
A pleasant day out with wonderful views across to the Cartmel and Furness peninsulas. I felt quite homesick.
I once spent a few hours crawling through the old iron mines beneath Warton Crag. They are incredibly dirty – but iron mines usually are. If I remember correctly,the heamatite ore from Warton was used in the (red) paint industry. Climbing seems like a much cleaner way to pass the time.
Never knew about that ferrous mine, yes for paint, but will have a look sometime. Thanks.
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