Sun 1st Aug, 2010
Members Present: Dave Wylie, Jim & Judith Symon, Dave Shotton, Oi Ding Koy, Sheena Hendrie, Michelle Harvie, Jim & Sandy Gregson, Mark Garrod, Dave Garland, Roger Dyke, Midge Castick, Mark Ashley.
Guests: Andy Stratford, Kate Harvey, Laura Collier.
A select gathering of old hands and very welcome new-comers! Especially good to see Jim & Judith Symon. Jim, despite having not climbed for years, led Sheena up the strenuous Diamond Crack (HS) in fine style then followed Mark Ashley up Green Gut and Judith enjoyed a little cross-country travel in her wheelchair.
The weather was kind to us: warm without being sticky, and little wind. No sun, but no showers either despite the forecast.
Dave Shotton did sterling work taking half the party up Green Gut – then Dave Wylie took most of the rest of the party up it. Dave Shotton also led Dave Garland up Sunset Crack later on, and had a think about Tody's Wall… but decided to save this treat for the next Froggatt meet.
Midge and Roger fitted in a swift ascent of Sunset Crack early on (Midge: “This route hasn't got any easier…”). Roger then led Solomon's Crack (VD). He's been around long enough - should have known better. It's somewhat “traditional”! Laura, Michelle (who could just about remember how to put her harness on), Midge, Sheena, and Ding followed. Laura has added ”thrutching” to her vocabulary. Ding was the only one to climb it neatly and smoothly – the rest of us struggled.
Midge and Michelle did some crafty recruiting for their imminent Wild Wales Swimming Meet, and lunch was taken by the boulders up top before Jim, Sandy and Midge went off for a walk over the edges.
Andy Stratford had a brilliant day, leading Mark Ashley up Three Pebble Slab (HVS), Trapeze Direct (HS), Sickle Buttress Direct (VS 4c,) Tody's Wall (HVS) – which Mark followed in great style, too fast for the photographer – and Sunset Slab (HVS). Mark himself led three HS's - Green Gut, Slab Recess Direct, and Sunset Crack.
Sheena did sterling work at the top of Heather Wall (HVD) (you really should have put in more than two runners Sheena!), taking up most of the younger members of the party. Then, after a happy ten minutes disentangling his brand-new “Super-Tangle” rope (see right!), Mark Garrod took Michelle up the same route – his first lead for some time. Welcome back to climbing Mark!
Dave Garland showed that he had not lost his skills, leading Gamma (VD) early on and, when Trapeze (also VD) at last came free, led a keen team up that as well.
Dave Wylie rounded off the day's climbing for us all with a very smooth lead of the bold classic Severe, Allen's Slab.
A good day out!
Park at the National Trust's Haywood Pay&Display car park just off the A625, 400m S of the Grouse Inn. Free if you put your NT Membership card behind the windscreen. Or if you are early enough, free off the A625 near the start of the track to Froggatt Edge at SK255775. Fifteen minutes gentle level walk to the crag. Or if it is absolutely tipping down, 5 mins to the bar of the Grouse - and don't panic, the crag dries quickly after a shower and indeed after heavy rain.
Just for once I'll have a mobile with me. Meet below Tody's Wall, 10.30 onward. Move to Allen's Slab later?
Something for everyone here - twenty routes at Severe and below, some superb HS's, several days' climbing at VS and above: and classics at all standards. Six of the top 50 routes in Eastern Grit are here.
Scene of several of my minor triumphs, of one or two exciting moments, and a lot of just plain fun. Plenty of trees to give shelter from the sun, and it's child- and dog-friendly too.
Sample the well-protected delight of Sunset Crack HS 4b, or the unprotected thrill of Sunset Slab HVS 4b. The juggy delight of the steep Terrace Crack, another HS 4b. Or take a rest anywhere on the classic VD, Heather Wall.
Entertain the crowd as you struggle to gain the slab of Tody's Wall HVS 5a (guess why we're meeting there?) or test your nerve on Three Pebble Slab - another classic HVS 5a.
Show off your jamming skills on the superb HVS 5a, Valkyrie - or if your jamming is no better than mine, on Diamond Crack HS 4b.
To the right of Diamond Crack, Broken Crack VS 5a demands better jamming or a good first-aid kit. Further right still Sickle Buttress S 4a only needs one jam but does need confidence in friction on its little ramp, and careful thought to leave the comfortable ledge at the top of the ramp. It may only be Severe, but the route is far more polished below the ramp than above it?
Lovely open climbing with delicate moves on Allen's Slab S4a: in contrast, two athletic moves get you up Trapeze Direct HS 4c. Or traverse right for Trapeze itself - the popular well-protected VD.
Toward the RH end of the Edge is "arguably the best line on the crag" which our own Nat Allen and Bowdon Black dug out of the ferns in 1948: Green Gut HS 4a.
Further right, a good collection of strenuous high E numbers (more Elastoplast) then a final classic - the delightful Chequers Buttress, HVS 5a, which gets my vote as the best route on the crag. Pity I always fall off the move onto the arête?
Now, before we go home, there are the Froggatt boulders?