Monday, 8 December 2014

Hold Breakage at St. Bees North

Jack Metcalfe reports some hold breakage on the recently developed Modulator Block, located close to the base of St. Bees North's Northern Descent. Jack re-climbed the relevant lines and added a couple of other variants. He explains:

While repeating 'Modulator' last week a hold broke off unfortunately - this is the 'spikey edge' that you make a difficult dead point move to with your left hand while your right hand is still on the jug at the base of the bloc. Fortunately the problem is still possible but it now involves the use of a 2 finger pocket on the right-hand face in order to bring your left hand up to the good edges on the blunt arete. With the use of a right heel toe in the white rock it's possible to reach the pocket quite steadily.

After repeating the other problems on the bloc I added 2 variation finishes to both Salvage and Modulator. For Salvage, after making the crux move out to the far right-hand pocket, instead of crossing over with you left-hand as Tom does into the Modulator holds, I went straight up to the top of the bloc and topped out directly. This is a touch easier than Tom's full problem. For Modulator, after gaining the good holds on the blunt arete, instead of popping out to the rib on the right, I went straight up and left to the top of the bloc and topped out slightly left after a bit of shuffling to find some holds for use rocking over. This goes at about the same grade.

After a number of repeats from the guys on this side of t'Lakes the grades have settled a bit and are now roughly as follows:

Modulator (after hold breakage and new beta) - 7A
Modulator (LH finish) - 7A
Buoyz in the Hood - 7B
Salvage - 7B+
Salvage (direct finish) - 7B

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Fleswick Bay Path Closure

The path which most people use to gain access to Fleswick Bay, at St. Bees Head, has been closed by the farmer and the signs marking its way removed. I'm not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this or if it is just a seasonal thing but for the time being (whilst the signs are not there) it is probably best to access the bay via the (longer) cliff top approach. This involves carrying on as though you were going to the normal Northern Head sectors, but once at the top of the cliffs follow the cliff top path south to where it is possible to gain access to the shoreline and the bay itself.

To be fair, whatever the reasoning, the path is not designated a public right of way on the OS map, so the farmer is probably well within his rights to do this.

Chipping at Rolling Rock

Some misguided individual has rather selfishly chipped, and in doing so improved, the reasonable low edge/side pull at the base of the Jungle Hobo arete on the Rolling Rock, Patterdale. Whilst it is not impossible that this is natural breakage it seems unlikely looking at the multiple scarring and improved hold.

It is believed that the damage to the hold has reduced the grade of both the stand and sit (Grand Unification) by a whole grade or so.

It is a sad day when people start chipping classic lines like this, lets hope it was a visitor to the area and someone who is unlikely to return any time soon!

[Thanks to Chris Arthur for the information and image.]

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Got the Poison, Got the Remedy

I have repaired and and re-sent Poison at Warton Pinnacle Crag. The crucial good hold on the lip, just before the final lay-back crack section, had deteriorated to a point where it was no longer usable and thus the problem had become defunct. Obviously this was a shame as this is one of the better high 7's on South Lakes Limestone.

Right: Me resending Poison (7C+) via the repaired hold.

As there was nothing really left to glue back (the mainstay of the hold had crumbled away), I scraped out the remaining loose bits and completely re-stabilised the hold with epoxy resin, meaning it shouldn't deteriorate again. The hold is not as juggy as it once was, however it is perfectly serviceable and pleasant enough to use. Plus it is now totally solid. The reduced positivity of the hold makes the line a fair bit tougher and it is probably now in the 7C+ ballpark.

Repaired hold...

Monday, 21 April 2014

Lost Buoys Lost

Liam Halsay reports the demise of another quality St. Bees problem, due to winter-storm damage. It appears that 'Lost Buoys' at the Old Buoys Circuit of the Northern Head has been hit by some big blocks, resulting in it being moved and having a number of holds badly damaged. Liam said it may still be possible but the landing is less good and it would probably be easier. :o(

Sunday, 6 April 2014

New Dow Crag Bouldeirng Guide

There's a new 10 page guide to the Dow Crag area now available to download via the crag page on LakesBloc: 

The new guide cover 70+ problems from 2-8A and incorporates Nettle Crag, the Cove Stones and the Dow Crag boulders.

Have fun.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Download All Guides: One File

You can now download all 50+ LakesBloc bouldering guides as a single (105mb) Zip File via the page linked below. Then simply add to your smart phone or tablet and away you go...

Thursday, 13 March 2014

St. Bees Storm Damage

Chris Fisher has kindly passed on this information relating to the damage caused to the bouldering areas at St. Bees Head, after the recent winter storms.
Firstly the block featuring Izaro on has completely collapsed (see pic below), unlike it's namesake the problem has disappeared without a trace!

There's been some block shifting round where The Kraken is situated: the right-hand version of this can't really be done any more as there's a block in the way, the left-hand version could possibly still be done.

At Fleswick, the piece of rock housing Trash Vortex has separated totally from the crag and is tilted quite alarmingly, whilst this makes the problem harder it is quite likely to kill anyone who happens to be on it if it detached completely (see pic below).

Round Fisherman's steps there's been lot's of movement behind Fruits de Mer, this has created a couple of nice 6c+/7a problems for folk to explore.

Lastly the rock step between Apiary Wall and Scabby Back has disappeared, fortunately though it's still possible to get between the two.

Whilst this damage and 'reorganizing' of blocks is a bit disappointing, it could have been a whole lot worse. If anyone notices or has noticed any other changes please feel free to post a comment below...

NEW Brant Fell Guide

New Brant Fell Bouldering guide now available to download. Head to the site and click the PDF topo link at the base of the crag page.

This may be a small area but it is extremely popular with visitors and locals alike.

Thanks go to George North for the text and images, as well as John Kettle and Annette Smith for problem feedback and general area beta.