Sun 19th Mar, 2006

Almscliff, Yorkshire Bouldering

Members Present: Scott Sadler, Duncan Lee, Vicky Alderton, Dave Wylie, Dan O'Brien.

Guests Present: Graham Hasselhurst, Richard Challinor, Carl Pulley and two of Carl's friends who's names I accidentally deleted.


Bouldering Terminology: Highball [hi'i baw'll] (adj) : A problem that thinks its a route.

After a late start the fun and games got underway. Carl and Scott headed off in the direction of Demon Wall (HVS) and a severe spanking while the rest of us descended to the lower tier for similar punishment. After a warm up on a lovely traverse with rounded holds (End Wall apparently) several team members made ascents of the classic, slightly-highball* Morrel's Wall(6a). After a short rest, to allow forearms to recover, the team attempted the "Three Swings Traverse". Although not the hardest problem we had attempted it certainly made up for it in length (~90ft). Most memorable would be the "Swings" themselves as the all involve feet-free moves at an alarming height off the ground. My arms were calling for another rest.

Next, a direct route through "Three Swings" was climbed by Duncan and myself. This I would describe as quite-highball** and certainly got the heart pounding. The team then moved over to the "Lower-Man" area in the hope of finding milder sport, but to no avail. By this time Scott and Carl had returned. Scott joined us bouldering whilst Carl started up "Whiskey Crack". The intrepid meet leader then attempted an ascent of the "classic" albeit very-highball*** "Matterhorn Arête". At about three-quarters height, Duncan (ever helpful) points out that I was higher off the ground than Carl was and he had two bits of gear in. As I topped out Scott shouted something about "Not scaring him like that again!" I didn't quite catch it. The day was rounded off with some slightly less harrowing problems to dispatch the last of our fingertips and at 5ish the rain started and stopped play, which coincided with the cows returning to reclaim the crag from the climbers. Carl and co managed one more route under full "Cow Assault" before beating a hasty retreat. A good time had by all.

*Something you wouldn't want to fall off.

**No seriously now, don't fall off.

***Almost certain death, equivalent to Derbyshire E5.

Daniel O'Brien

Meet Promo:

This year's bouldering masterclass will be held at the historic Almscliff (with emphasis on the "ARMS"). The usual rules apply, in order to get your tick you must either climb a boulder, "spot" a boulderer (telescopes frowned upon), or sit on a rock wearing a warm jacket, complaining about the friction and drinking Bovril® (Bovril® optional).

I will be at the first boulders near the stone wall (that is on the right as you get through the gate) at about 10.30. If that is unclear then just follow the crowds until you are standing in a bouncy play area (bunch of crash-pads).

Hope to see lots of you there.

Daniel O'Brien

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