Monday, 14 September 2009

Helsby Ramble 2009

Sunday 13th September 2009

The meet started promptly at 10am and proceeded up the wooded slopes of Helsby Hill to the base of the crags where members were able to inspect some of the famous and historic climbs including Eliminate 1 and Flake Crack.

Then followed an ascent of Clashooks Gulley, leading to a traverse of the Broadwalk giving good, but slightly misty, views out over Helsby and the Mersey estuary.

This also provided an opportunity to inspect the belays and discuss the technicalities of top-roping routes in this area.

After returning to the gulley, a short sharp scramble up a corner led directly to the summit.

There followed easy rambling, via sections of the Sandstone Trail and the Delamere Way, through birch woods, rolling green fields and leafy lanes, with a brief stop for blackberry picking. Arriving, at Overton, lunch was taken at the Bull's Head, accompanied by some fine real ale from their extensive selection.

The return journey, followed the Middle Walk across Frodsham Hill, where a descent of Jacob's Ladder led to Woodhouse Hill. After a little searching below the main path the Frodsham outcrops were eventually located in the trees. These provide a variety of top-rope and boulder problems at all grades. Due to the nature of the rock, many of the routes involve surmounting overhangs and roofs by "black arts" such as "heel hooking".

After this the route returned to the lower slopes of Helsby Hill and followed the broad lower path, parallel to the Old Chester Road back to the start.

An enjoyable day out with good food(and beer), good weather(after the mist had cleared), and much of interest to the rock climber. Hopefully this will inspire some return visits with a rope. It was also good to see some fresh faces attending the meet.