29 May 2010

Looks Good from Space

"Looks good from space" refering to the Esklets Crag and the surrounding area. After a major Googlising session the Esklets looked like a very promising venue? After quite a trudge in from the parking on Blakey Ridge we dropped down on the crag. with an eye on the unclimbed arete on the right hand end of the crag, climbing it on left hand side. Steve Ramsden set up a top rope and soloed various routes while I set about a full sweep of the crag and beyond....
Steve Toping out Eskalation (After adding a sit start)
Not much to report really considering the amount of rock! except one small section with three arete/walls with a couple of undercut starts, it maybe worth the walk for such few problems? makes for good exercise.
After some efforts on the arete we both came to the conclusion it wasn't good value for money, so puntered up Slip and Fly - E3 6b - Good moves.
Uninspired by the Esklets it was time to check the nice looking cluster of boulders directly opposite on Howdale Hill. Nice Font like rock but not very high - too much effort to get there for me not to do anything so got the shoes on!
Steve on 'Big Hairy Caterpillar' Font 6a
After some hardy attempts at a sit start on a small rounded leaning block - a very satisfying one move wonder emerged
Steve on 'Setae' Font 6c -  The perfect sloper
Topping out 'Setae' very remote little boulders
After this a quick get away - over to Goathland, where Steve finished the extension link to 'The Huntsman' agreeing with it's *** and turning the Huntsman into 'The Hunted' Font 7a+ - and a little time left to clean the five metre roof in the woods.
Speedy roof cleaning whist getting midge bitten!
Legs like jelly and covered in midge bites it was time to make a hasty retreat.

22 May 2010

Sunrise over Goathland

With two social events to attend saturday and sunday were fully booked! So time for a friday afternoon-wild camp session mixed in with the exploration of five more Moors locations.
Having Googled blocks below Goathland -  followed up with a bit of O/S map info. It looked like it could be worthwhile?
My New Home! 4 Hunt House Crag
First stop Hunt House Crag - Broken prow edges, eroded Sandstone best left alone - Until..... just before Cropton forest as the crag runs round left - A boulder that looked quite out of place with the rest of the crag appeared....
The Huntsman Font 7a SS*** 
The block had some good lines on, firstly being drawn to the traverse without using the top of the block, after some striaght up warm ups. I initially want to start further left 7b? and hoping to end further right but this would need a stamina junkie to take this line, Eventually starting on the first hold in reach from sit. The Huntsman sequence took an hour and a half to work in the heat. But with Ram - Man in my head saying "you cannot leave this, rest get back on it" even with good foot holds the hand sequence was very tricky! It felt like a very good tick.
A bit further south the woods drew me in, like Hansel without Gretal and Instead of a gingerbread house Blawath Crag filled my belly with a big roof! Going back with Spotters.
Northwards next skimming along Skivick Crag heading towards Archy Crag and the Raven Stones passing strange Sandstone sculptures, no two blocks looked the same.
Dead Tree Boulder
Archy Crag was very pretty small but still went uphill for a look.
Archy Crag
Finally looking down the hill. The Ravenstones were visible, on the O/S map they stretched down hill and up on to the moor in and above the woods? This ended up to be the most insane trek I have ever done! Small boulders on the way down? so up to the Moor hoping for bigger blocks? The passage up was a very dense part of Bumble Wood, bumble indeed, with no fire break to get through! would I ever get out?
Half way through!
150 metre trek uphill - no light - mat on back!
Sunset on the Raven Stones
Anyway not much to report on the Raven Stones and questioning my sanity, I headed back down to Wheeldale Beck to Camp for the night. Rewarded in the morning with a perfect sunrise over Goathland.

16 May 2010

Out of Reach

Another big exploring session with Steve Ramsden- only nine hours this time!
This time checking out what lurks at Oak Crag? Deciding to leave no stone unturned? (maybe not) we crossed the full edge. Parking on the road just before Round Crag. A mistake really as the walk in was pretty bare of any interest until Oak Crag appeared... Our eyes quickly honed in on the steep looking wall that turned out to be the North Butress.
Steve ready to pounce to the sloper just 'Out of Reach'
 A project to train hard for
 Nice moves on the sit start
Steve working the left arete
After some full throttle efforts and a dabble on the left arete, time for me to shoot off and investigate....
Oak and rock fused together
Shooting off South a mile or so. A cluster of boulders appeared - the right way up with some high top outs and steep lines - after a quick sweep I ran back to Steve dragging him away from the projects with high expectations of the cluster? (Duck Boulders) The boulders were good mostly not the grade we wanted to test ourself on. Non the less a worthwhile Font 4/5 circuit could be developed here if that is your grade, with a left hand steeper buttress containing some harder lines - we tackled the best looking line an arete that proved to be a very interesting series of slapping moves from sit  'Beaucoup de Gifle SS Font 6b***' Seven slaps to small crimps and slopers.
Beacoup de Gifle SS F6b*** (French for 'a lot of slaps')
Finally to Round Crag to bag the steep arete on the boulder below the impressive pinnacle.
This fell very quickly to Steve with a impressive flash from stand! the sitter soon after - precise moves to an explosive finish.
Steve's signature move on -  Pannierman's Arete Font 6b** SS 6b+***
Fully satisfied and totally battered we left with thoughts of projects and more Moors classic sandstone days out to come.........

11 May 2010

Steve Ramsdens footage of Philleas Fogg***  Font 7a SS and Strict Arete Font 6c at Camp Hill - 
- North Yorkshire Moors - great additions to the circuit there

10 May 2010

Cabin Fever-Healing and Divine Limestone

Decided to rest this weekend! needed to heal. But it did not take long to get cabin fever, especially since Dooge (Dave Warburton) was keen to repeat Waylander - which he did with some finesse. check out his blog -  For a classic comedy video of Dave opening up a great looking extension line to Waylander.
After a one days rest the urge to view or wrestle with any kind of geology had overcome all of my rational brain functions. So a visit to Oaksi's additions to the South Cave Anomaly the St Austin's stone
St Austin's stone
The rock is is an agglomerate, a very hard chalky flint infused limestone, remnants of an ancient sea bed, and very different to the Flamborough Flint layers within the sea cliffs. The problems look very entertaining. Just hope the stone isn't cursed!
Amazing Chalky Limestone Agglomerate

6 May 2010

Earthworks Additions Video

Two worthwhile problems added to the already established circuit at Earthworks Rocks -  On the North Yorkshire Moors 

4 May 2010

42 and Pythagoreanism

Video of '42' a Moors Classic thanks to Steve Ramsden
42 from Ram Man on Vimeo.

2 May 2010

The Meaning of Life Part 1

After a little bit of planning and some of what I call Googlising (looking at boulders on Google Earth) Steve and I plotted a course from Clay Bank to High Crag, with high expectations of another classic gem hidden in the Moors?
First stop, the small cluster just above the woods before you get to Botton Head. A pleasant little cluster  containing grades in the Font 4/5+ range, with great views of the Ingleby Incline Boulders. (Don't be deceived  by the clean looking cluster on top of Ingleby Moor. The Boulders are around 3ft high - the best illusion I've ever come across. Steve named this the Magic Cluster! ) Anyway onwards.....
Next stop: Earthworks, we dropped down into the first North-facing crag to find a small higher tier bearing a small face with two rail features on it - something to warm up on!
Earthworm Jim Font 6b* SS Video still Steve Ramsden
Two good problems from sit, some hard pulls and a strong off balance crossover are needed on Earthworm Jim F6b*, The higher sloping rail is a bit easier: Slippery Jim F6a SS.
The lower crag tier contained some highball lines, some nice angles with dubious landings - not sure of the quality of climbing though, bold and in need of a clean! Following the ridge round eastwards to the established selection of bouldering was Earthwork Rocks. Better rock holding a selection of entertainment. The best being Red and White F6b** and Under the Arch F6b** These are Steve Crowe and Karin Magog ascents. Keen to make an addition Steve Ramsden added a sit start problem to the left hand of the Arch boulder. Good starting moves then a big pop into a large pocket with a nice spicy top out.
Steve on Holeshot F6b+*
Skirting further down the boulders on the ridge of Urra Moor above Bilsdale (before Weighill's plantation and the small quarry with a big slab boulder in it.) Things began to look quite promising? There were two lines with satisfying-looking angles on quality rock. Firstly on a lower boulder, Pythagoreanism F6a* SS good moves on slopers, top out left of the top arete.
Steve Stretching hard on Pythagoreanism F6a* SS
Whilst I scouted the small crag over the wall, Steve worked on what was to be what become 42 font 7a+ SS 6c+ from standing (The Meaning of Life', according to Douglas Adams) Absolute Bliss! Unlocking the sequence of moves proved difficult - sloping crimps, small crimps, a poor pinch and sloping top! Arghh, never mind the sit start, eventually the sit fell to a controlled rocking slap onto a crimp, due to some very precise body-positioning, giving the Moors another classic test piece.
42 Font 7a+*** SS
This was all less than halfway through a  knackering ten hour scouting boulderthon of the Moors.
Part Two to come and hopefully footage of the line 42  from Steve...........