Friday, 2 November 2012

St. Bees North: Central Descent Further Damage

I have heard reports that the main and most frequently used central descent at St. Bees Head North has suffered yet another fairly sizeable rockfall/mudslide.

Although the descent is still usable the insitu assurance ropes and anchor points should be treated with extreme caution. If you are at all usure and/or its extremely windy I would strongly recommended using the furthest northern descent.

Photo: Seen better days - Tom Burns ascending the then relatively pristine central descent some 8 years ago.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Lad Stones Guide Released

Finally, one of the last best bouldering areas to get documented properly is complete.

The Lad Stones offer a brilliant hard circuit, situated on the southern flanks of Wetherlam, east of Levers Water and the Coppermines Valley. Two vast 2000 ton blocks and a few smaller satellites provide a circuit of some 50 odd problems, nothing too unusual about that. However, where the Lad Stones stand apart from other areas with a similar quota of climbs is their grade spread ratio – 60% of the problems are in the 7’s and 8’s spectrum!

I have thoroughly enjoyed putting this guide together and climbing most of the problems in the process (all but 3 at the time of writing). Big thanks to the numerous individuals who have also been up there enjoying the venue and giving valuable feedback.

I've also updated the Lad Stones Gallery, which is also well worth checking out to get a better idea of the problems on offer.

Image goes directly to guide (PDF - 3.75mb):

Anyway without further ado here she blows, I hope you enjoy the area as much as I do:

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Improved Videos Section

I have completely overhauled the videos section of the site, so it is a proper database of clips. Now if you click on the 'Videos' link in the LH menu column, you will be greeted by a list of crags/venues, after selecting your desired venue you will see a list of the current additions by problem name and grade. Each of these has its own page and is embedded to a large scale where possible (i.e. when the clip quality allows) and the ability for the user to comment on any particular video.

Please feel free to submit additions via email, Facebook or commenting below this post.

New videos section:

Monday, 10 September 2012

Traci Lords Landing Improved

Over the weekend, myself and George North did a proper job of platforming out the landing below the excellent Traci Lords (8A) face at the Lad Stones.

It was previously a bit of stretch to pull on even with a very thick/folded pad, and the hole to the right made the landing a bit iffy. With the new groundwork complete it's now really easy to pull on and work the problem, plus the landing is much safer - i.e. it's good. You now only really need a single large pad to climb the problem if you have a spotter or two pads if you're on your own. I also added a couple of new problems hereabouts, which I'll write up on the site soon.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Carrock Fell Fell Gallery Updated

Added quite a few new images to the Carrock Fell gallery, hope they help you get psyched for autumn/winter...

Friday, 3 August 2012

St. Bees North: Central Descent Deterioration

Over the last couple of months there have been a number of minor and one sizeable rockfall/landslips on the cliffs on and around the central descent (above Apiary Wall) at St. Bees Head, North.

Whilst the descent is still usable the base has become quite traitorous and loose, so please be careful when using this access point. The ropes are, at the time of writing, still in place, however at least one anchor bolt has been squashed/damaged and may no longer be safe.

If you are at all unsure please use the easier northern descent.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Kentmere Guide Update

There were some issues with Mac users not being able to open the Kentmere guide without encountering some pretty major errors. I have mucked about with it and and updated the layout somewhat and it now seems ok on both Mac and PC. Unfortunately, thanks to some slight glitch in the original file I can't seem to convert it into a standard PDF without incurring some major degradation in the image and diagram quality. Therefore I have had to convert it into a Hi-Res PDF, thus it is now 25mb, rather than the original 8.5mb. On the upside it does look quite crisp once you have eventually  downloaded it.

Wet Wet Wet

Sadly everything on the South Lakes limestone is pretty awful at present, with all roof orientated venues being almost unclimbable and even ever reliable spots like Trowbarrow are fairly grim thanks to the proliferation of foliage combined with the humidity.

To paraphrase Homer Simpson: Water water everywhere so lets all have a drink... oh, and make it a strong one!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Broken Holds: Tourniquet & Kaizen

There have been a couple more hold breakages on well travelled crags in the South Lakes:

At Woodwell, a large hold has come off the base of Whats This For...! which whilst not really effecting the aformention problem may have some significance on Kaizen and Kaizen Lite.

At Kentmere, a sizeable chunk has come off the superb Tourniquet, dropping the grade from 8a/+ to around 7c+.

Both holds are intact and in safe hands. Hopefully they will be reattached at some point over the next month or so.

NEW CARROCK GUIDE: The new Carrock Fell guide will be out by the end of the month - 24 pages of gabbro magic. Some sample pages here: Carrock Fell 2012 - Sample Pages

Monday, 2 April 2012

NO Dogs, Walls, Restoration & Dry

NO DOGS: First up, remember the access to Woodwell O'ert Road is delicate, so please stick to the access rules:

1. Bouldering is only permitted on the 3 designated areas (signed).
2. Dogs are NOT allowed.
3. Climbers must not enter the field directly below the rock.

I am reenforcing this with everyone as I encountered some people with a loose dog there only last week.

DRYSTONE WALLS: With regards to the recent damage to the drystone wall surrounding Badger Rock; please could everyone make sure they use gates and stiles wherever possible, even if this does mean a slightly longer approach time. The repairs to the wall around Badger Rock are likely to cost in excess of £400, which will have to be paid for by the BMC. This is money that could have gone towards more worthwhile projects!

RESTORATION: I have improved a few landings at Carrock Fell and in particular the area around Beebop & Rocksteady (7C/V9), the superb high prow just up from Kits Boulder. I have removed three large branches from the adjacent sycamore, which should help keep the face clean and means the top out is no longer a bush whack. It has also opened a sit start (not done) to the high mossy prow to the right of B&R. I've also patioed out the landing to make it almost decent, bar the large block to the rear which still needs covering with a pad.

DRY: For all those keen on the South Lakes limestone pretty much everything is dry. The following crags are confirmed seep free: Woodwell, Trowbarrow, Fairy Steps and Farleton.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Carrock - Another 8A, Cleaned Lines & Broken Holds

Just a link to the latest news report, which describes some landing improvements (resulting in a new 8A), grade readjustments due to broken holds and cleaned up lines.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Badger Rock Access

There has been an incident at Badger Rock (Kentmere) whereby a group of individuals were witnessed endeavouring to climb over the dry stone wall which surrounds the field in which the block sits.

Apparently one of the individuals was climbing over the wall when it completely gave way and badly damaged the boundary between the Garburn Pass and the farmer’s field. One can only surmise they were coming from Little Font and trying to avoid the massive (irony intended) 100m walk to the gate which accesses the field. Access to the boulder has always been a bit delicate and this could cause a problem with the landowner.

I have emailed the BMC access rep for Kentmere asking if he could pre-empt the situation and try to diffuse any possible problems. In the meantime I think it would be wise to stay clear of the boulder, at least until the BMC have had a chance to contact the landowner.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

RIP Hold X

The infamous X-hold on the Bowderstone's Ladder Face has finally gone to a better place, after the years of strain finally caught up with it and it exploded whilst in foothold mode recently. This grip is best known as the 'off limits' handhold on the original eliminate sequence to Power Pinch, however it is also used on the popular Impropa RH and many of the links that cross this section of wall.

Local ‘Styan’ regular, Dan Turner, has been to the block since the demise of the hold and reports the following:

I repeated Impropa RH (via Power Pinch,) probably goes at hard V9/7c now. I also did all the moves to get you into the link ups (Lateral into Impropa, Lateral into Grand and TheLlink). Doubt it will change the grade but it will probably make them all fairly hard for the grade.

So in real terms, it sounds like Impropa RH is now defunct but other than that no major disruptions to other problems/links.

X-Hold Scar (Photo courtesy of Pete Wilkinson):

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Seathwaite Guide Updated

I have updated the popular Seathwaite Circuit guide to include some of the more recent additions, most notably the Fox Force Five (7c) and Screwball Scramble (7a+) blocks. I have also tweaked the accuracy of the map to help with locating boulders/problems.

The updated guide is available to download via the Crag Page here:

Sunday, 26 February 2012

New Guide, New Classic

Further to the recent report of the superb 'new' granite Tear Drop Boulder, in Eskdale, there have been further developments on the boulder. These have resulted in some new problems (including an amazing new 7m arete), a new topo-guide and 'crag page' for the block.

Find out more about this great new addition (offering a 15 problem circuit) to the Lakes District venue list via the following links:

Diamond Reign - News Report
Tear Drop Boulder - Crag Page

Thursday, 2 February 2012

50 Best List on UKClimbing

Keen local activist, George North, has kindly put together a "LakesBloc 50 Best Tick List" over on Now you can combine ticking some of the best lines the LakesBloc coverage zone has to offer with logging them directly into your UKC logbook. Nice one George!

The list is avaiable to view here.