Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Scugdale 360

     Had a bit of time on my hands today and so I made an interactive panorama of Scugdale.
     I'm pretty chuffed with it but have put it on a separate page as it is a couple of megabytes and loads automatically.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Day's End Buttress Topo

     My first attempt at a pdf topo.  Thought it would be interesting to try and make my own little guides to some of the places I visit.  Obviously they'll never be of the same calibre as betaguides or climbonline but I enjoy stuff like this.  
     Constructive criticism is appreciated.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Quiet Side Of Scugdale

     A little video of some problems at Barkers' Crag at Scugdale, Days End Buttress and Ampitheatre Buttress.  Although close to the 'popular' end of Scuggy it's always quiet at Barkers' and it's a rarity to see anyone else there.
     Had a good day on my own today, you wouldn't normally see me with my top off but it was so hot I was absolutely dripping.  Not the best of days for climbing to be honest, all the handholds felt really slippery and insecure because of the heat.  The last problem, Tall Tales, a route I did in 2010, is my only new route at Scugdale.  I've failed to repeat it on my last few visits so was surprised today with conditions being like they were.  If your wondering why I'm in my underpants it's because my jeans just wouldn't give me the flexibility to reach the first foothold.  I failed five times with trousers on, took them off and got it first time!
     I don't take myself too seriously, all the routes are pretty easy by today's standards and I put music over the top to break the silence.

Free guides to all of Scugdales crags available from climbonline here

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ravensdale / Stoupe Brow - East Coast Bouldering

Barry and Bervert (the boulders) looking out to Robin Hoods Bay
One of many failures
Barry - The biggest of big moors boulders

Left - Easier problems on the Little Boulder

Right - A great crack on Bervert
Steven doing a new problem on the Smugglers Block
Blue skies and good rock
     Ravensdale aka Stoupe Brow is high above the coast with a great outlook.  It's got two of the biggest boulders on the moors sat beneath a large cliff which has seen some development relatively recently.  It's also about a 2 minute walk-in/bushwhack.  Too much exercise is bad for me when it's hot and today was pretty warm.
     There were some great problems here on Bervert (the smaller boulder) but also on some of the other boulders that litter the hillside.  There were many failures for me but that only gives me a good reason to return.
     The seagulls didn't appreciate us going near the cliff today, unloading the occasional 'dirty bomb' as they tried to warn us away from their nests.  Ste managed a new line on the 'smugglers block', a short slopey lip traverse which I should have been able to do but couldn't.  The crack on the landward side of Bervert was a particular highlight, though apparently meant to be a sit-start it was great from standing.  I'm not a big fan of sit starts, most of the time they are all about strength rather than technique.  That's my excuse anyway, one of them, there's plenty more where that came from......
Photos and Video : NEClimber and Steven Phelps
A free guide to climbing at Stoupe Brow is available from climbonline here
A guide (50p) to bouldering at Stoupe Brow available from betaguides here

Monday, 21 May 2012

Back To Basics At The Stones

     The Wainstones are one of the more popular venues in North Yorkshire for climbing and bouldering.  With it's towers and the unique Sphinx there's nowhere else quite like it on the moors.  The rocks face a multitude of directions meaning it's easy to get out of the wind or find some shade and it's got a wide selection of good-sized routes across the grades all on good rock and many with decent protection.

    The crag was looking very atmospheric today with low cloud sweeping across the hills.  There were no views but there were also no other climbers.  The walk-in was cool and enjoyable, about 20 minutes from Clay Bank car park.

     I'd only led one climb this year and that hadn't gone too well.  Running through the basics and doing some easy routes was a perfect refresher, starting off with Wall and Ledge, an easy slabby scramble.  My gear placements were terrible but that wasn't too important, it's going to take a while to get anywhere near slick again.

     It was Dave's (BimbleBritain's) first day on the trad and he did well following me up Groove and Crack and so we decided to do Ling Buttress.  I had a little bit of a wobbler on the moves out of the niche, they felt much harder than I'd remembered, but fortunately it's one of the best protected routes at 'The Stones' and Dave's belaying seemed pretty good.

All in all a rather good day!

Photos : NEClimber & BimbleBritain

A free guide to climbing at the Wainstones is available here

Monday, 7 May 2012

Momentum Bouldering

     It's nice to see a grass roots business springing to life in Yorkshire in these austere times.  Gareth, the founder of Momentum Bouldering, works in his kitchen in the little village of Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales, a seemingly unlikely business premises when you consider the products he makes.  Creating a new range of chalk bags, buckets and bouldering mats, his ideas are to create top quality products, rugged and functional and using only the best materials.

Momentum was featured recently on UKClimbing.

VIDEO : Behind Every ChalkBag Lies A Story

     Having recently checked out some of Momentum's prototype mats I was incredibly impressed.  Not only were they looking and feeling great but it was good to hear about the effort that has gone into research and development, in particular using different foam types that will set them apart from many other mats.  More technical talk can be found on Momentum's Blog.

     Check out the website for their full product range :

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Momentum Bouldering are also on Facebook and Twitter
A short film of Gareth falling off at Brimham whilst testing his mats is here