Sunday, 25 April 2010

Farleton Abuse

Farleton was in good nick today, despite the intermittent drizzle.

On the down side I was disappointed to see scratch marks on the Family Planning area, as well as bucket loads of chalk on New Rose and the problems around The Coil.

Whilst it's great that people are visiting these areas, I would hope that people climbing in the 7s would know not to leave so much chalk, so many tick marks and so much rubbish (I've taken the finger tape and bottles away).

C'mon people, let's try to have some respect for our crags.

Ennerdale Bouldering Circuit

Yesterday I thought it was about time I got around to checking out a small, far flung bouldering circuit I was told about a number of years ago, by an intrepid explorer known only (to me at least) as “Pil”.

The circuit in question is a few miles down the valley of Ennerdale, in western Lakeland. For those unfamiliar with the valley it is extremely isolated, by UK standards at least, and takes a fair while to reach even from the nearest sizable town of Whitehaven. On top of this, the valley road terminates at the head of the lake, from which the valley derives its name. As such the only way to reach the end of the coulee is on foot or by mountain bike. Personally I think this is great, as the valley gives you a real sense of what the Lakes was like before the onslaught of tourism and all the cheese ball trimmings and litter loutish behavior that brings. Anyway I digress…

Tom Newberry on Visual Impact 7a+/V7

Let’s make one thing clear from the outset: this place is not a major destination; it’s not even a minor destination. However, from time to time we do get the odd request for bouldering information relating to Ennerdale, so in the interest of definitivism [sic] I thought we should recce the area and report the findings.

Pil, the aforementioned spiller of the beans, documented his information in way of a photographic journal of what he had sent and descriptions for the lines in question. Unfortunately though we didn’t have any real idea of where the blocks were, so we just had to head down the valley in exploratory mode hoping for the best. After a couple of miles of fruitless searching we had a piece of good fortune; two gents – obviously climbers – came pounding down the valley track on mountain bikes, after the obligatory “aye up” I realized I had met one of the gents before. It turned out to be a guy I had last met in Switzerland two years previously (Neil I believe is his name), who was out with his mate to do some routes on Pillar Rock. Fortuitously, Neil’s mate was a local who recognised, from my description, the trackside block, and kindly filled us in with location details. The game was afoot.

Tom Newberry on The Grinding Mind 7b+/V8

Once we had located the boulder by the track we pieced together the locations of the other boulders (all in the near vicinity) and in turn had a great day working our way through Pil’s circuit – I had printed off all his images, and as such identifying the blocks was easy enough once we were on the right track. Despite the isolation of the area, if you are a keen boulderer operating in the mid to higher grades (the best problems are 7a/+ and above) and are ever in the area for some reason, Pil’s lines are well worth seeking out. In particular, Visual Impact (7a+/V7) and The Grinding Mind (7b+/V8) are absoutly superb, and would be classics at any crag.

Due to the esoteric nature of the area I haven’t put together an actual topo as such. However, the following *Google map contains parking, approach, boulder locations, and problem descriptions, which should suffice if used in combination with a few printed off action shots.

View Ennerdale Boulders in a larger map

*Note: The forests on the Google map do not accurately represent those actually in place, as the area is deforested and replanted regularly - i.e. the tree cover changes depending on logging activities.

To check out Pil's original info/images click here.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Dry Crags

Conditions seem good across the Lakes and in light of the fact there is little rain on the horizon get out while you can.

Of the limestone crags, Woodwell is still the dampest venue. However that said, climbing is still easily possible on most buttresses.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Rakerigg Crag Finally Added

This is a crag Dave Birkett showed me a long time ago, and after a few visits (over a number of years) I thought it time I finally got around to sticking up a page and topo for the crag.

This venue has a somewhat unique past, full details of which can be found on the "Crag's Page"...

There are also a few action images on our Facebook page here...

Friday, 9 April 2010

Woodwell & Trowbarrow Conditions

Current south lakes conditions, according to various local activists, are mixed to say the least. By all accounts Trowbarrow is, as you would expect, pretty much completely dry, bar the odd hold. Whereas Woodwell is pretty much a wash out, with seepage lines on most climbs.

As an aside, the 'new' circuit at Windy Clough (recently reported) dries almost instantly the rain stops...

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

'New' Grit Crag & Guide

It’s not very often we get to add an entirely new area and guide to the ranks of the LakesBloc crag database, however thanks to Will Williamson and friends we have such an occurrence.

Find out more here.