Monday, 17 October 2011

Thorn Crag Bouldering

Saturday 22nd October 2011

Thorn Crag, in the Forest of Bowland, is natural gritstone in a pleasant moorland setting with distant views of the sea and is easily accessible from Junction No.33 on the M6.

There are links to photos and videos of routes at Thorn Crag on the Lakes Bloc website.

See the Rock and Run website for printable PDF guides to the Thorn Crag Bouldering and also for Thorn Crag Rock-Climbing.

[Don't forget that you can view an enlarged version of the map by clicking on the picture above.]

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Anglesey Camping Meet 2015

Friday 18 to Sunday 20th September 2015

The site is convenient for all the classic crags around Gogarth, in addition to Holyhead Mountain and the sea cliffs at Rhoscolyn. It is approximately seven miles from the parking at South Stack via Trearddur and Porth Dafarch, and it is a similar distance through Holyhead to the Breakwater Country Park for access to Wen Zawn and North Stack.

The nearest pub, the White Eagle at Rhoscolyn, is just a short walk away along the sandy beach at Borthwen. This is usually a very busy pub, popular with the recently married royal couple, and serves good but quite expensive food(main courses shown on their website currently range from £11 to £16). If people prefer, we might be better off investigating other pubs around Four Mile Bridge.

Low tide will be approximately 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon. You can check the tide times for yourself on the Climbers' Club website.

For anyone seeking inspiration, on our website there are lots of photos and reports from previous trips to Anglesey.

For all enquiries contact Ken Fyles on

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Wet and Wild

Mid-Wales Camping Meet - Friday 26th to Monday 29th August 2011

A report from Graham about his past meet over the August Bank Holiday Weekend:

I was starting to wonder if it was something to do with me, or whether it’s just what it’s like down in Mid Wales, because over the course of two previous weekend club meets there seems to have been a disproportionate amount of rain, wind, heather-bashing, and bog-trotting. Thankfully, there were several other keen club members willing to suffer for a flavour of what rock climbing in Southern Snowdonia is like.

I joined Andy G and Chris M at the campsite[Editor's Note: You actually met us in the pub, Graham! The Unicorn, remember?] on Friday, with Andy C and Mike A arriving hand-in-hand with the rain on Saturday morning. A decision was made – over a morning cuppa, naturally – to go bouldering down the coast at Cae Du, in the hope that it might see better weather than the hills further inland.

Good decision! The rock was dry, there was a handy cave for the one brief rain shower, the tide was out, and plenty of problems got done along with a couple of cheeky solos of a few easier and longer up lines.

Sheila B and Sian(who some members will remember from a few years ago) sailed in with the overnight rain, but it did dry out enough to goad us into the Rhinogs for a sample of the not-so-famed Welsh grit(really!). An expedition was launched last year to do the same, but a slight miscalculation led to a three hour detour to the crag, through heather and bog, only to not climb because we were all so knackered! However, we found we could get back to the car in only 20 minutes! So, everyone on this year’s trip was duly informed that it’s virtually road-side. But it turns out it's harder going uphill and takes more like an hour or so.

Anyway, we arrived at the crag to be greeted by our old pal Mr Rain. Shelter was sought but not really found, cake was shared, the rain subsided, the crag was inspected and the rock slowly dried out enough for three teams to cover more ground in one afternoon than this crag probably sees in a year. As Andy G said, it was Welsh and it was gritty, and Chris M certainly seemed to enjoy his lead of Endangered Species (VS 4c, 1*).

Amazingly it only rained a little bit overnight on Sunday evening. But the chances of any of the big crags of the area being dry on Monday were slim to none. A brief morning shower was enough to convince Mike A and Sheila B to head home. Andy C drove over to Llangollen for a blast on his mountain bike. And for some crazy reason Sian opted for a run up CadairIdris.

That left Chris M, Andy G and myself to meet Ste M near Bala to make the supposed leisurely 30 minute stroll to Simdde Du. Ste M drifted in from St. Helens on a strong wind, shortly after we’d arrived at the parking, and we duly headed up the  track to the small reservoir under the crag. This alone took 20 minutes, and the crag was high on the hillside, separated from us by a swathe of heather, boulders, and boggy ground. Andy G clocked the approach time as 1hr 45mins – so be warned!

Still, this part of the crag faces south, it was sheltered from the wind, and The Emperor’s New Toes (VS 4c, 2*) and the first pitch of Gyllion (HVS 5a, 3*) provided a large enough sample of quality rock and climbing to justify the effort. Given a day or so of dry weather the upper parts of the crag would also dry out and it would be a magnificent place to climb, with some excellent looking routes(look at the cover of the Meirionydd guide for a sample view).

And that kind of sums up what I’ve learnt about climbing in this part of Wales. Take what the guide says with a pinch of salt, put in the effort and persevere on the overgrown approaches, and allow a suitable dry spell beforehand (this can apparently be up to weeks for parts of Crag Cywarch!). Do all this and there is some excellent climbing to be found in remote and stunning locations, with an almost 100% guarantee of having a crag to yourself. Perfect.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Cornwall 2011 - Part 2

28th Apr - 2nd May 2011

That's why we were there.

Thursday 28th, From Warrington to Bosigran -

Following an early start, leaving Warrington at 5:30am, Chris and Andy arrived in Botallack just before noon. They quickly pitched their tents at the well appointed Trevaylor Caravan and Camping Park and by 2pm were already at Bosigran.


Black Slab 33m Diff. 2*.

Climbers on Doorpost.

After a full  afternoon's climbing, including an ascent of Doorway, they headed back to Botallack for dinner at the Queen's Arms and to await the arrival of Malcolm.

Friday 29th, Commando Ridge -

Bosigran again, this time with Malcolm for an ascent of the huge and magnificent Commando Ridge.

Malcolm on the belay at the start of the first pitch.

The first pitch, from the sea, up the side, to the crest of the ridge.

Commando Ridge 198m V.Diff. 3*.

Saturday 30th, Chair Ladder -

After driving to the tiny hamlet of Porthgwarra, Chris, Andy and Malcolm walked up to the old coastguard lookout on Gwennap Head above the cliff known to climbers as Chair Ladder.

Malcolm abseiling to start of Terrier's Tooth.

The tidal ledges below Chair Ladder.

The Pinnacle, home of Terrier's Tooth 39m HS. 3*.

Malc and Chris by the Runnelstone markers.

After the ascent of Terrier's Tooth and another abseil to get back down off the pinnacle, the tide was coming  in rendering many other routes inaccessible. Also, since it was the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend, the remaining routes were busy. Eventually they opted for a walk along the cliffs back to Porthgwarra and some tea and cake.

Sunday 1st, Geevor and Sennen -

The day started with heavy cloud and constant rain, so after breakfast Malcolm went off to visit his son, leaving Chris and Andy to find something interesting to do. They settled on a visit to the Geevor Tin Mine, including an underground tour.

Victory Shaft at Geevor Tin Mine Museum.

A vibrator.

Vibrating tables in the mill.

After emerging from the mine, they found that it was still grey and drizzling so they went to Sennen Cove for a walk along the cliffs to show Chris some of the climbs that he should aspire to climb on another ocasion.

Demo Route at Sennen.

The wreck of the RMS Mulheim.

Lands End and the Longships Lighthouse.

Sennen Cove.

Monday 2nd, Gurnards Head and Right Angle -

Leaving Malcolm, who was intending to make his own way home later that morning, Andy and Chris set out early, in the face of gale force winds, to bag a sneaky ascent of Right Angle at Gurnard's Head. Fortunately, on arrival at the cliff they found that the route was sheltered and they were able to proceed with confidence. Right Angle is an unusual route in that the first two pitches traverse and down-climb to the bottom of a huge corner, on any other three-pitch route, at the end of the second pitch you would expect to be well on your way to safety, instead of at the bottom of a steep and imposing corner with the sea roiling at your feet.

Chris at the belay after the first pitch.

Chris down-climbing on the second pitch.

The view from the belay in the niche at the end of the second pitch.

The way out.

Just checking that the belayer is still there.

Right Angle 75m HS. 3*, Gurnard's Head.

Anyway, the route went smoothly on this occasion and they were back at the car in time to stop for an excellent cream tea at Rosemergy Farm. That was followed by a stop in Penzance to top up with fuel and by 2pm they were on their way home. It was a great introduction to Cornish climbing for Chris, a number of classic and potentially epic routes were despatched without mishap, and only one day out of four was lost to rain. A good result.

The tea garden at Rosemergy Farm.