Saturday, July 29, 2006

Daryl was out climbing today with Jeiff, Neil, Guy, Lisa, Simon and Richard from the John Lewis Venture Club. They visited Stanage popular end to climb many of the classics as an introduction to gritstone. 'Heaven Crack' (VD), 'Inverted V' (VS), and 'Amazon Crack' (S) were amoung many of the routes climbed while practising the essential skills.

Its been another warm day in the Peak District, although a change is expected with rain overnight according to the Mountain Weather Information Service

This is likely to result in cooler but more changeable weather for the coming week..

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Andy Turner and myself took advantage of the continued fine weather by climbing three classic 'hard rock' routes in Eskdale (Lake District). Carrying all our kit we started with 'Gormenghast' (E1) on Heron Crag, before making our way up 'Central Pillar' (E2) on Esk Buttress. We finished the day by traversing over to Scafell's East Buttress and climbing 'Ichabod' (E2), before making the long walk back to the Hardknott Pass.

The weather was superb throughout, although hot at times, even high up on Scafell. All the major mountain crags are particularly dry at the moment and are well worth a visit...

In the Peak District many crags have been reopened, full details being listed at Latest news from the BMC suggests that the Peak Park Authority is preparing to close the open moorland areas (Access Land) again after the weekend - if the forecast rain does not reduce the Fire Severity Index.

This will include the moorland west of Longnor, the area south of The Cat and Fiddle road, Chew valley, Derwent Edges, Longdendale and Kinder. All remaining crags/areas directly accessible from a Public Right of Way remain unaffected. As a result of the Peak Ranger team currently fighting a number of fires, a number of the regions access points do not have restriction/warning signs in place. The Park Authority have expressed thanks to the climbing community for being vigilant during this period and reporting fires, but they have also expressed concern that climbers were seen at both Bamford and The Ravenstones during the ban.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Andy Lole and myself took advantage of the warm weather to visit Ben Nevis over the weekend. High up on the Carn Dearg buttress we were able to escape the heat, and climb 'Route II' (S) and the fantastic 'Torro' (E2).

The mountain was fairly busy with teams doing 'Tower Ridge' (D), 'Centurion' (HVS) and making ascents of the routes on the Douglas Boulder. As a whole the mountain is very dry and is definately worth a visit at the moment if you are interested in climbing some of the Ben's classic rock routes.

In the Peak District the weather is forecast to be cooler with the possibility of some isolated thunderstorms on wednesday.. Many venues remain closed due to fire risk although access has been negociated at some locations. The Open Access areas of the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors have similar restrictions.

Crags that are open - Roaches (all except the Five Clouds), Hen Cloud, Ramshaw, Windgather, Birchen, Curbar, Froggatt, Millstone, Burbage N and S, Higgar Tor, Stanage (Popular End to Causeway). All limestone venues.

Crags that are closed and in the National Park - Newstones, Baldstones, Castle Naze, Cratcliffe, Chatsworth, Gardom's, Baslow, Yarncliffe, Lawrencefield, Stanage (Causeway to Stanage End), Bamford, all Derwent Crags, all Kinder Crags, all Bleaklow Crags, all Chew Valley Crags.

Crags outside the National Park - Wharncliffe and Black Rocks - be guided by signs at crag, Rivelin (closed). This latest information is from UKC

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another warm day in the Peak District, and it's set to possibly be one of the hottest on record. As a result a number of the Peak District's gritstone crags are closed due to the high risk of fires starting. These are: Bamford, Baslow, Gardoms, Stanage - Between High Neb and Stanage End, and all the high moorland crags on open moorland such as Kinder, Bleaklow, Derwent and the Chew. All of the other gritstone edges accessible from public rights of way are unaffected e.g. Curbar, Froggatt, Stanage Popular End, The Roaches and limestone venues.

For more information visit

Further afield in the Lake District and North Wales the high level mountain crags such as Scafell Buttress and Cloggy are in good condition. Might be worth a visit...

Simon and myself visited Staden Quarry this morning, to do a few routes before it got too hot. This great little crag is ideal if you are operating from VS-E3 with loads to do. There was a gentle breeze which was ideal for climbing in the shade.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's been hot again in the Peak District, although it certainly hasn't stopped people climbing. Plenty of climbing teams have been out on the Eastern Edges and in the Limestone Dales, with the Peak being busy generally due to numerous village festivals.

With temperatures in the Hope Valley rising above 30 degrees for the next couple of days it might be worth going for some venues in the shade. Anywhere north facing will be a welcome relief at the moment e.g. Burbage South, Kinder Scout's northern edges, Wimberry, Staden Quarry, Willersley etc..

For anybody interested in a challenge Edale Mountain Rescue Team have recently arranged the "Nine Edges Endurance" on Sunday 17th September. This sponsored event is an opportunity to raise much needed funds by climbing routes on all the eastern edges. For more details visit

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has recently updated its Regional Access Database with new information regarding access agreements and restrictions. This fully updated service can be viewed at

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another busy day in the Peak District. This afternoon, Mark and myself visited the Roaches with a group to do some simple rock scrambling and bouldering. The crag was fairly busy with many groups and individual climbers on the Upper Tier.

Later on Dave and myself visited Stoney Middleton where we climbed the fantastic 'Armageddon' (E2) and 'Aurora/Tiger Trot' (HVS). It was really quite busy at this usually quiet crag, 'Scoop Wall' (E2), 'Windhover' (E2) and 'Kellogg' (E5) all receiving ascents from Toby and Dave.

Monday, July 10, 2006

On Sunday Morgan and Pete again joined me for some lead coaching, this time on Froggatt Edge. We managed to get plenty of routes ticked, including 'Gamma' (VD), 'Slab Recess' (D), 'Beta' (VD), 'Sickle Buttress' (VD), 'Sunset Crack' (VS) and 'Sundowner' (E2). Not a bad tally while practising essential leading skills and double rope technique.

Most of the middle grade classics also had ascents despite the rain showers. 'Long John's Slab' (E3) had two ascents from visiting French climbers and at least one brave sole tested the swinging fall from 'Heartless Hare' (E3 with a side runner).

Today has consisted of similar conditions with some minor showers. However, all the crags seem to be drying quickly in the wind, and temperatures are set to increase as the week goes on.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lead Coaching 8 July..

Morgan and Pete joined me for some Lead Coaching today at Stanage Edge. Making the most of the slightly milder temperatures, and strong breeze, we visited the High Neb area. We climbed a variety of routes before making our way to Crow Chin. The crag was fairly busy with many teams climbing the classics such as 'High Neb Buttress' (VS) and 'Jeepers Creepers' (HVS).

Tomorrow the forecast suggests similar conditions with a strong breeze and slightly increased temperatures. It should still be good out on the grit however...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's been a day of changeable weather in the Peak today with sunshine and some stormy showers. The showers have been fairly variable, so its just pot luck with which venues to choose! In the last few days the eastern edges have been popular despite the heat, along with Chee Dale and Water-Cum-Jolly. As expected Chee Dale is pretty much dry with parties climbing on all the popular crags such as Embankment Wall, Max Wall, Two Tier, Plumb Buttress, Chee Tor and the Cornice.

Pat and myself managed a brief visit to Willersley Castle Crag near Cromford which is pleasant in the shade and stays dry in the rain. We were surprised to see only one other climbing team. The Access situation still requires care and a low profile is recommended, definately worthwhile to ensure continued use of a great crag.

If it continues to stay hot the north facing venues are always a good choice e.g. Kinder's northern edges, Water-cum-Jolly, Willersley etc...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ben and Tamsin experienced cracking conditions at Derwent Edge on Saturday. It was red hot, but never overwhelming, as friction was good due to the well weathered rock and the slight breeze. 'Lancaster Flyby', 'Barney Rubble' and many other routes had ascents by the 8-10 climbing teams present. Sounds like it was a good, and popular, choice in the hot weather.

We experienced some heavy thunderstorms early on Sunday evening. The weather is likely to be very hot for the next couple of days..