31 Dec 2012

With a Bang

What a way end a brilliant climbing/exploring/getting on stuff that was not dry at last! year.
This last trip was a flying visit to Scotland, The Coastal blocks near Aberdeen (Thanks to Mike's wiliness to Drive 18 hours there and back)
 It's a place of endless beauty and geology that will probably be still left totally unchartered even in ten of my lifetimes. What a resource if you are prepared to put the effort in.
We had a perfectly crazy day, beating the sun to rise then voluntarily getting stranded by the tide
As always I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Anyway, happy new year and a big thanks to all that I have climbed with, been inspired by or just plain out there doing it, without you all I would be lost. Cheers, I tip my bobble hat off to you.
Bagging an 8 on sunrise, not too shabby
What a block I'll be back for the arete on the right, Optimus Prime
Quickly moving on to 'Big Grey' block
Not another 8! must have ate too many sweets
Sublime golden arete glittering with mica in the sun
Also had a foam party
Skye wanted the tide to go out, Mike just carried on

16 Dec 2012

Into the Darkness

A darkness has been rising on the Moors, weather systems that hold you back, frozen blocks waiting for the solstice, gaining more time every day to bathe longer in sunlight. 
Time to fight back and embrace the dark side, The thing is you need more than a trial of bread crumbs when you wander into the wooded canopy of Ingleby woods, like the Incline the blocks are spread out quite randomly, making the place hard to map, not the place for the roadside boulderer. 
But s*d it, I'm determined to map the woods, even if it gets done after the guide is finished, I'll put it up free on the web when it's done.
Quality rock hidden under the dense canopy
Sports Directs greatest athlete Steve Phelps on a classy arete

9 Dec 2012

On the Fence

Things to finish off, yet still looking at stuff I've seen before, some out of reach, some maybe in the realms of delusion, some just plain slimy, but as always I am the ever optimist, putting stuff in the bank to go back to later, things just need to climbed, because it's there and the physical puzzle of the problem looks good, why care if anyone else is inspired, its just there 

Finally the Wainstones is sorted! quite a circuit up there, partly in condition as always, letting you  enjoy some problems even after the dumping of snow

Sunday for the first time walked up to Highcliffe, which was I think quite dry considering, some very slopey landings, with some fine high-ball problems/routes with no gear. Yes and some bouldering!? again in the category of are you inspired to clean, how often is it in condition? and the landings are terrible, still some lines will be ticking away in the back of my mind, maybe my best friend the spade will spend a week up there with me after the guide is finished and sort the landings out?

After this returned to the Earthworks ridge, a spread out mixed up set of edges, some blocks are green, others are finely blackened weathered sandstone, Plenty of problems for the roaming connoisseur, nothing fantasy league, but a good day out when in condition.
The left arete on the 'Do' boulder
Earthworks Slab, windy, cold and wet boggy ground (Check out the wet pant bottoms) The plan was to go to Roseberry but that would be Artic!

1 Dec 2012

Snow Way

In the same boat as most climbers at the moment, trying to keep one step ahead of the H2O falling; Good job we have plenty of stuff to check over. 
Fighting against a change in forecast, we managed to get on a surprisingly dry Smugglers' Terrace, this will be a good little Winter venue, the rock is so good. Got the shots I needed there and then managed a frustrating slab problem border-line ascent. Not my style at all - quite a wrestle. You could hear the angry shouting in Whitby! Then moved on to Stoupe Brow, which suffers this time of year from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as it's in a bit of an amphitheater. I also really need a shot of someone on Requiem, what a line. If anyone has one please send it to me.
As we left, the clouds were brewing from the west and the frozen cliffs were too dangerous to risk a drop into Rocky Point; a mad cluster that is very risky, but I love those kind of venues, maybe because you feel like you've earned any ascent just by making it there?
So headed to Ingleby Incline with high hopes of exposed blocks in the sun; but down came the snow and put the dampers on that, so time for a wander on the longest stretch of rock in the moors.....
Biotic Crisis on Smugglers - 7a possibly after a 3 hour grade debate with Steve. Check out the public footpath arrow on the block to the right, or is it a font traverse?
Bed for the night Ingleby woods
Looking back at the incline - a place once called 'Siberia' by the workers up there
Incline Top was known locally as "Siberia" due to the exposed position on the moor top. Here workers pose for the camera. The gentleman top left is believed to be John Willy Featherstone who lived and worked at Incline Top and later Battersby Junction. The 1891 census records Joe Featherstone and John Collier living in houses at Incline Top - courtesy Alan Collier.
As it is today - Industrial Archaeology 
Two lovers hiding in Ingleby woods, well it is shooting season.

29 Nov 2012

Up High

Late nights staring at pixels at the moment, it's quite nice re-living all the experiences of the days out climbing as we put the finishing touches to each venue, ready to put them in there place in the guide.

Last weekend was spent at High Crag, on the boulders out of the woods on the right end. A quick drying set of blocks with a fine 40 circuit on up to 7b.

Also some good news... We now have pads on the website shop, courtesy of Momentum Bouldering, quality hardware built to last, all home grown in the UK, Three sizes from large down to the handy small filler/sitter pad. Have a look, postage is free to the UK. Click Here
Steve obsessed with the Elephant Boulder 
Mike on Skyfall 7a+, sweet moves on the arete
The Large Rylstone Pad
Momentum Mini
Pads for all you needs

19 Nov 2012

No One Can Here You Scream

Despite the erratic weather I'm enjoying climbing so much at the moment, training hard and whittling away my own projects.
Most of the time we are going back to areas to get shots and finish the guide off, sometimes the re-visits are proving fruitful climbing stuff we had dismissed, missed or just felt they were damned hard. pretty rewarding.

Talking about rewarding, Mike Adams has finally climbed the sharp arete at Kay Nest, my favorite venue in the Moors, He has called it 'Mixed Emotions' and it weighs in at a heavy 8b+
I am thinking of having a get together there when the guide is released next spring, what a place to camp look at the stars and wake up to sun kissed boulders.

Never ever heard Mike scream before!
14 hours of walking in and out, 7 sessions later 'Mixed Emotions 8b+' what a line.
 Friday's misty session along the Earthworks ridge.
 Sunday James got smashed in and obsessed on this classy lip/arete
didn't even manage one problem. must try harder, see me after class.
So close ran out of juice, now have three projects to go at, got the moves sorted, keen to go back,
just drawing it all up tonight.

12 Nov 2012

Sailing on a breath of a wind

A jam packed weekend, absolutely knackered!
Straight after work on Friday drove up to the Borough to set a nasty set of problems at the Rock Antics Wall  
I've given the wall a few little prizes for the person that gets the most problems done. Then they made me climb most of them! it hurt.
Bagged some more good shots at Cooks Saturday and managed to win the £10 bet off Steve by climbing the little roof direct at Potters quarry, It took a while.
Sunday saw a frog march to Kay Nest then high crag climbing stuff I had forgotten about, It nearly broke me especially the walk back.
The only way to fly
A Potters quarry classic Borbeletta 6a
New World 7a, tackles the roof direct, worth a tenner any day
Dave who I met at the wall joined us for a circuit
got a good shot of him on First of Many 5+ Potters Quarry
Looking out on a tempting ridge I've not yet checked?

4 Nov 2012

Happy Place

It's been a bit wet on the Moor of late, A perfect time to explore or clean some projects.
Today the weather inverted, giving us a glimpse of bracken free dry conditions, with high hopes for the coming weeks to get back to that happy place, were projects can be worked and excuses of conditions are gone, another taste of the elation of success, then a few days later, was it that hard? So on to the next fix, bring on a cold dry winter?
A 7b sit start to an old school HVS
VS slab eliminate very sketchy!
Mist pouring over the Moor
I cannot see where I parked?
Half an hour ago I was in the dip in the ridge, whipped across the moor to try a recently discovered project, really close, worth the mad dash.

28 Oct 2012

A Tip of the Hat

I really don't feel like blogging at the moment, too much wasted time? while I should be getting on with the guide, Oh well it's a good way to keep a diary of when you did stuff so f**k it.
Planned a two day trip working out venues I have have yet to sort out, this ended up in disaster as a monster front of snow clouds were blowing in from the north east, destination the North Yorkshire  Moors. Bugger! So decided to go for it, even though everywhere west was in clear skies.
Spent friday at the wall at Middlesbrough (http://www.rockantics.co.uk/) running around like a kid in a sweet shop, this is how a new wall makes me feel, new problems, lets have it..., still aching now

Taken to sleeping in the car, the flex seats and a big pad make for a good nights sleep, woke up the next day to a blanket of snow, which also made it difficult to cook sausages outside the car door with massive snow flakes falling down.

Ended up getting some good shots and spied some lines to go back for, one involving a £10 bet that it won't get done by me, watch this space.......
This weekends snowy divide with a view of the monument to Captain James Cook. A legendary explorer, navigator, cartographer. A hero of mine and an inspirational historical Moors resident.

14 Oct 2012

Time to make sense of it all

So after over a five year love affair with the Moors, its time to knuckle down and make sense of it all. 
The bones of the guide are their, the journey in how to present it has changed.
 Mike working a sublime line, falling upwards at it's best
 A cheeky little block with a good sit start prow diversion on the way in, thin holds on good feet.
The 'Ship Stone' at Kay Nest, the block holds one of the best 5-6's workouts in the moors, bold and technical, in a stunning valley, it definitely has the X factor.

7 Oct 2012

Who What Why When Where

Who: Who would want to climb this?
What: The hell am I doing here climbing this?
Why: Did I travel 3 hours to climb this?
When: Did this get climbed? without pads?!
Where: Shall we explore next?
Perfect pink Leicestershire granite 
James working a project
Steve firing up for the slopers
A problem unintentionally trained for, thanks to Steve McClure, setting a similar problem on the local wall, Cheers Steve.

23 Sep 2012

What's in the Carrier Bag

A couple of years ago Steve Ramsden and I walked for 11 hours to look at the blocks strewn across the edges of Urra Moor - a vast amount of blocks and crags meandering into the distance.  This trip left me feeling uncertain wether I would publicise what I had seen in a guide; but I knew the solace of the ridge would draw me back, not caring how remote, clean or spread out the climbing was.

The latest visits have been very worthwhile, due to the fact that James, Steve and Mike have a similar attitude towards climbing. The 'make the most of what's there approach' It's a bit like Ready Steady Cook. The TV show were chefs are given a carrier bag full of mystery ingredients and they have to make the best dish out of what they have got.

The end result was a tasty mixed menu of problems.
Best not park here
James sticking the sloper
Incredible slopers - Mike on a new problem - Point of Inertia
At last I win a pint off Mike - No Flash
Dave on a fine little Tranmire crag problem
James bags his project

17 Sep 2012

He's a Legend

A big 40 for Jame's this weekend! It was a good excuse to get away and have a big social.
We all decided to have a blast on the sunny Scuggy blocks and crag.
We were joined by the local Legend and grade Connoisseur Steven Phelps, showing us the way on most of the classics.
Mike Kenyon On Stewer.
He's a Legend.
Mike Adams on Grandmaster Flash.
We Close our Eyes, the central line on the west wall at the lesser trodden White Stone blocks at Scugdale.
James burning off the birthday cake calories at White Stone.