Friday, May 29, 2009

Local Legend

Local Climbing Legend and Wolf Mountain Friend Nick Dixon has recently completed his new route at his home from home Nesscliffe in Shropshire. Here are a few words about the route as I was lucky enough to try this route earlier on this month. Since writing this he completed this route, but not with out a near ground fall.

Over Last few weeks I have been belaying Nick on his new route at Nesscliffe , there is no grade or name yet, that joy comes when he has finished the route. One Thursday evening myself and Andy went over to see what all the fuss was about. Nick had spent an hour building what looked like a giant birds nest under the route to flatten out the landing to put some bouldering mats on. After a quick chat about the moves on the route (I could hardly see any holds) and a nail he had placed low down and a peg he had just shorten at the local garage with a grinder, we threw our pads on the nest. With videos rolling and the humidity rising Nick set off leading the route. The first moves are OK and the "nail" was clipped and then he reached up to the first and last good hold next to the nail then straight into the first section of hard climbing. He gets his feet up really high next to his hands (and the nail) and starts to rock over, oops wrong foot hold, he down climbs half a move, gets the right foot hold and carries on. With the nail below his feet he gets a small pinch in his left and moves his feet gently up to poor footholds and crosses through to a one finger pocket, from this he clips the peg. I am not sure who was more relived, him or me belaying. You get a very brief pause here but then straight into the next move, one and a half finger pocket for the left hand. Damn! he tries to reposition for the next move he loses his balance and he is off and hanging off the peg. He his happy though, he was hoping to get to the peg and he did. It was a great effort and he looked solid. He could relax now and concentrate on working the next set of moves. The Next move I would say is the hardest move on the route, from the two one finger pockets you have to move you feet up and then slap or place ( depending how strong you feel) your right hand to a gaston, the thin lip on the small arrete and then again move your feet up really high whilst holding the gaston and one finger. As you rock on to your left foot you can then layoff the arrete with you left hand (your feet now level with the pegs) where you can kind of relax (ish) for a while. The next set of move should get you to the finish but there not straight forward. You outside edge your right foot on a small slopper and then reach high for a finger slot and pocket for your thumb with you right hand then bump you left foot onto the bottom edge of the arrete and force you way back across the arrete to left again and reach high for a small three finger crimp, hold that position and bump you left foot up the arrete again to a small foothold. Now you can reach again for the next slightly better crimp with you left hand then with a careful foot change you can rock over on the right leg you can catch a decent slopper and then gently reach the final hold or the tree root, Done!

Having tried the moves that evening, on my first go I could barely do the moves. This made what I had watched Nick do even more impressive. Having had two session on the route and done all the moves it was my turn to have a go. With the addition of a second peg now, I tied on with a rope clipped into each peg thinking I would not make it passed these. I made it through the first hard sequence and I was holding the two finger pockets and the pegs in front of my face, I made next power slap to the gaston and it stuck barely and then went straight into laying of the arrete! The pegs were now at my feet, what should I do. I knew the next moves were still hard I looked at the next hold then at the pegs then at the holds again. I bottled it, shouted take and slumped onto the pegs. I was happy though , it felt good to do all those moves.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inside Wolf Mountain

After all the Video clips of Climbing outside , I thought it was time to show you want goes on inside Wolf Mountain Climbing Center.

Another Bank Holiday Weekend

With another bank holiday weekend and some glorious weather gave us all a chance to get out and get some problem's/Route's ticked. Here is a brief account of who did what.

First off Tim Palmer did Zeke the Feak (8b) at Rubicon. A first for him at the Grade

Next Wolf Friend and Local Legend Dick Dixon has completed his new route at Nesscliffe. Hopefully I will get some more info on this soon. Outstanding effort.

Then in North Wales down Llanbreis pass I managed to do Bus Stop (7c/v9), sorry no Video apart from mt Failed Attempts. Deb almost managed this too just slipping on the last couple of moves, should go next time.

Leslie did Cave Route (7a)( also Louise did this) and Route Side Basic (7a).

And Finally unlucky Sie after spending most of the weekend on Cromlech Roof Crack (7a+) had to admit defeat at the end. But he did almost do it, just failing on the last couple of moves.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Churnet Valley

Churnet Valley is a small bouldering (and Traditional Routes) Venue that is quite local but not frequented by a large number of people. This makes it a ideal trip out if you feel like getting away from the usual crowds. The Boulder problems are spread out through out the Valleys forest (feels a bit like Font but with out the sand). Most of the problems are concentrated around Wrights Rock and Gentlemen's Rock. But if you are prepared to look further there are other little gems to be found.

Anyway I found myself there this weekend with lance, Lou and Leslie. The Weather was nice a warm but the Forest kept us in the shade. First we head over to Ousal Traverse ( Font 7a). Leslie had a score to settle has the day before she had fell off the final moves. It is a fiddly long traverse with the moves getting harder and harder the further you get. We all had a play but gave in apart from Leslie who stuck with it and after a few goes it was in the bag. Check out the Video below of her earlier attempts

Next we move onto a new boulder for me, Lance had been before and wanted to finish off a problem he had been trying. The problem was called Propeller Head (Font 7a) and as we walked up the hill to it through the trees we could the striking overhang and arête. After falling off the last move on my second go I quickly worked out a sequence that would work. Lance went up a did it first then I followed him. Leslie and Lou a quick play but one found a reachy move and other could not quite crimp the pebble.

The next obvious line was on the right side of the arête Google Earth (Font 7a /7b). This problem was proving to be slightly harder and it wasn’t helped with pebbles breaking off all the time. I finally worked out a sequence (after a quick phone call to the first ascentist). It seemed a pebble had fallen off since the first ascent, but it was still possible to do the original line and two other variations of the finish. Directly up the arête being the hardest and right of the arête with slopper in right hand then again easier with slopper in the left hand. Lance and Leslie (she did complete the left hand slopper version) both got close and I managed to finish the arête problem from standing. I tried to repeat it from the low start for the video but I was too tired.

There are some other lines there too but did not get chance to try them. The 7c looking awesome through the centre of roof and the also a new line up a thin seam/ripple. Maybe next time , but I must remember the midge spray

Next we popped over to Gentlemen’s Rock to catch up with some old friends. I did a new 6c just right of High Speed Impact (Font 7a) which was nice Lance tried both of these but was tired and called it a day. I also tried a new massive dyno but could not latch the hold and another 7b High ball but I was now too tired too and call it a day.

New Routes

New routes 1 - 13 (featured routes in main room) set by Mark Croxal range between 4 and 6b, with a tricky little 5+ on wall 2. This route is will test your balance as the crimped holds definitely make you dance using all the natural features for your feet!

Also the over hang room, routes 23 – 36, has been reset ranging between 4 and 7b, the 7b being the beige set on the overhang (wall 35) proving tougher than it’s predecessor. The favourite route by far proving to be the 6a+ blues and volumes skirting the edge of the over hang (wall 34) forcing you into awkward shapes and trusting moves - if the rope is free, definitely worth giving a go!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BMC Youth Climbing Series Round 3

Well done to all the young people that competed in the BMC Youth Climbing Series! Wolf Mountain had 27 young people competing which was just under half of all entrants for the Midlands Region. They all performed brilliantly and were a credit to themselves and Wolf Mountain. Eighteen people qualify from the Midlands for the British finals and seven of them are Wolf Mountain climbers.

Girls 8-10

Imogen Porter 2nd (Qualified)
Sophie Perrin 4th
Rebecca Lawton 5th
Katie Marshall 6th
Aofie Mcadam 7th
Georgia Woodcock 8th
Jodie Flowers 10th
Boys 8 -10

Dominic Vincent 1st (Qualified)
George Morris 2nd (Qualified)
Ciran Poole 4th
Menzies Campbell 6th
Girls 11 -13

Molly McAdam 4th
Carla Lambert 5th
Olivia Bolas 6th
Bethany Lim 8th
Ashleigh Bryant 9th

Boys 11 -13

Duncan Fisher 1st (Qualified)
Zack Porter 2nd (Qualified)
Jack Dyer 3rd (Qualified)
Jack Walker 6th
James Sharman 7th
Ben Perrin 8th
Jonathan Murphy 9th
Bradley Morris 11th
Tom Lawton 13th
Girls 14- 16

Libby Dodd 3rd (Qualified)
Emma Knight 4th
We wish all the qualifiers all the best for the finals which are being held in London.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May Bank Holiday

With the long Bank holiday Weekend weather looking promising Myself, Deb, Timmy and Leslie decided to start the weekend by meeting up at Rubicon at Water-Cum-Jolly in the Peak District. The weather was dry and overcast with sunny spells which was good. After doing the usual warm ups we puts some ropes up two routes, Timmy wanted to try Zeak the Feak (Fr 8b) and Leslie wanted try Rubicon (Fr 7a+).

Leslie quickly tried the moves to refresh her memory and get the clips in. She made the moves easily and after rest went for her first redpoint of the day. She cruised to the crux and went for the long move, but did not quite latch it and tried again and caught it ,but then couldn't quite force the next move and she was off. After another rest she got back and again cruise up through the crux to the chains. See the video below

Mean While Timmy had put the clips in Zeak the Feak and had started to work the moves again. He had tried this already earlier this year and had decided to try and lead it as it a pain to work on a top rope. He managed to do all the moves and link the crux moves too. But the the problem was making the clips. After trying a few times he was getting tired and the sun was making the holds a bit sweaty he decide to stop. He has sorted all the moves and decided to miss one clip out, so hopefully next time he will get it done.

While the rope was up I decide that I would give it a go on a top rope. The start is steady until you reach the bulge and the start of the crux then the holds get smaller and after a couple of egyptians you get either a ridiculous small crimp (that Timmy uses) and or a sloper with a thumb sprag. Neither really helping me make the long reach to the next hold. After various attempts I decided I could not do this move and pulled past it. Then from this there is a couple of tricky moves to a jug and then a couple of strenuous moves to the chain. I must work on my holding small holds. Next I seconded Rubicon to get the clips out. I also managed to repeat Kudos wall Traverse (Fnt 7b) and Caviar Start (fnt 7b).

Deb had another go out Hot Fun Closing (Fr 8a) but is still struggling with a bit of a Bicep injury , although she still cruising the bottom section and the top moves but just the long move is causing a few problems. This is a really shame and a few weeks back she got all the way to the last but one hold and slip off the crap sloper (which I can not even hold). Check out the Video below.

Tim's friend James managed to flash Rubicon and then had a play on Hot Fun Closing on a top rope and then went for a redpoint. He did well and forced his way through the bottom section to the break and then failed at the same point as Deb, that lonnng move to the crimp.

The day came to an end as it started to go dark and we hatch a plan to head for north wales and Llanberis pass on Sunday and headed off on the long drive home.

We woke up Sunday feeling tired but we had said we would meet them in the pass so we set off, also knowing Lance and Lou would be there spurred us on. The long 2 1/2 Hour journey seemed to take forever but will finally made there. Being bank holiday weekend it was rammed and after drive up a down the pass a few times we finally found some where to park. We started as usual warming up at the Cromlech boulders on the ramp on roadside. Deb Flashed Edges wall again , as usual, Myself and Lance has to have a few goes. Our Fingers were still sore from the day before and we all failed on johnny's wall. Lou Was doing well on her problem but could quite link it and split a tip.

Next we moved on to a problem Lance had been trying the day before Ultimate Retro Party (fnt 7b). It looked good and we had not tried it before. Lance showed us the beta and after a few more goes lance latched the top holds, his second font 7b. I was struggling on this , it felt quite hard or I was more tired from the day before then I thought. But I kept trying and choose another sequences missing out the small holds and powering between the better holds, and it paid off and I managed to get to the top. Next up was Deb and she quickly worked out another sequence and on her third go she was also topping out. While all this was going on it had been hailing on and off, it was like a winters day with a really cold wind blowing. Just to thing the day before we had been complaining it was too hot.

By this time Timmy and Leslie had arrived and after quickly warming , we left Lou and Leslie at roadside the rest of us head down to Jerry's Roof area. Timmy wanted to try Mr Fantastic (Fnt 8a+) again and I wanted to try Bus Stop (Fn 7c) and Deb wanted to try this and Jerry's Roof ( fnt 7c). Timmy started well by repeating both Jerry's roof and Bus Stop, then set to work on Mr Fantastic. The problem links the two previous problems together by starting on Jerry's roof and staying low and going into Bus Stop and finishing up this. Unfortunately he did not quite do it , he kept slipping out of the toe hook, but he was happy that it felt better than last time and he felt he was almost there.

Next I started trying Bus Stop, I had tried this before a while ago but could not remember much. Timmy showed me the beta , but I was finding it harder than I expected. I kept trying and although I was making progress I didn't really feel like it was one I was going to do. Luckily I had a flash of inspiration and a local confirm my beta for the long move was all wrong. After few more goes a this long move I could catch the finger jug (and not the stupid sloppy pocket as Timmy suggest). It felt like it was on and after quite a few one last goes I was getting really close, but I was just too tired.

Mean While Deb and been working on the two problems too. Bus Stop for Deb has a long move at the start that she almost did but the top section that I struggle with, Deb was making look easy. Definitely one she should do next time we are back there. Also on Jerry's Roof she again was making good progress, she has tried this before and the is a big move in the middle where most people come unstuck she almost did after exchanging beta with Mina on the part she could not do and Deb could. Again this should be another problem that she should get soon.

By now we were all cold and tired and called it a day and headed of home.

Friday, May 1, 2009




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from 1st July until 1st October Sunday opening times - 10am until 6pm