Moorland Grit Meet 9th-10th June 2018

By Eugenie Blyth.

Michael and Tom took Friday off work to get a head start on the weekend and grab some routes at Rivelin before making their way to Holmfirth. They enjoyed Croton Oil and White Out, and Tom decided to have a go at Nonsuch, a route he had eyed up on his last visit. Abandoning his feet at the bottom of the route, he tried his best to haul his way up the tricky finger crack, which proved to be something of a challenge. Michael then got pumped on the direct start to Palm Charmer and after a few uncomfortably close to the ground falls decided it was time to go join the meet.

After pitching up at the Rising Sun, conversations of the weekend's activities commenced over dinner. Marie, Monika and Jill enjoyed a barbeque whilst the others ate their pre-prepared meals with envy. 

The following morning, Marie, Jill, Ron, Monika and Matt headed to Dovestones Edge, where they climbed Answer Crack and Question Mark, amongst others. Jill experienced her first trad fall on lead, and despite being a bit scraped and bruised, she got back on the route undeterred and completed it in good style.

Once they found a suitable parking spot, Michael, Tom, Vlad and Eugenie stumbled their way over the tussock-y ground, successfully avoiding the hidden holes in the ground, to reach Standing Stones. On approaching the crag, they heard some familiar voices, which turned out to belong to Pip and Duncan, who exclaimed that they thought they were going to have the crag to themselves - who'd have thought that half the LMC would turn up!

Vlad spotted a new looking no. 2 Camalot wedged in Smiler's Corner and fancied adding it to his growing rack, so without further ado Michael (the magpie) bounded up the appealing corner crack to attempt to free the shiny swag for Vlad. Alas, it was thoroughly jammed in, and despite his swag claim record, he decided it wasn't worth the time. Eugenie, lover of all things corner-y, decided she quite liked the look of it, so led the route. She didn't even attempt to free the cam, but, after remarking how shiny it was, confidently clipped it. Vlad and Tom, unable to resist the charm of the shiny piece of metal, decided that they also had to have a go. After a considerable amount of time on abseil, the shiny thing was released and proudly added to Vlad's gear collection -a preferable alternative to lonely in-situ life - it will surely go on to have many adventures. Meanwhile, Michael and Eugenie climbed Kremlin Wall, which proved to be a bit of a sandbag, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Next, lots of falling off occurred. Eugenie climbed in slow style on Fallen Heroes and was subsequently spat off, a source of much hilarity to the onlookers. Turns out the route didn't offer the pleasant hand jams it appeared to promise and didn't reward hesitation. Tom and Vlad, having heard the kerfuffle, decided that they wanted a go at this route too as it looked rather good and they fancied their chances. Vlad the giant decisively lanked through the bottom section, and once the holds ran out let out a yelp as he unexpectedly fell off. Tom then had a go and also fell off before pushing to the top. Meanwhile, Michael was getting bored and cunningly clipped an ancient goat's skull to Vlad's harness whilst he was belaying. He stood at the bottom of the crag chuckling to himself, causing Vlad to periodically turn around and laugh along; little did he know…  All feeling suitably humbled by their gritstone tussles, the team trudged back to the campsite, parting ways with their fellow LMC-ers.

Upon returning to the campsite, a rather late and hungry Vlad and Tom sprinted all the way from the campsite to meet the others for a very tasty Italian in the nearby town. When the waiter lit the candle on Tom & Vlad's table, Marie commented that it looked like a very romantic date. Meanwhile, J, Rachel, Michael and Eugenie shared whisky and conversation and enjoyed the stunning red sunset from the campsite's excellent vantage point. Later that evening, further shenanigans with Grendel Sarah the goat skull continued, although the less said about that the better… Suffice it to say that Tom was not allowed to share Matt's bacon for breakfast the following morning.

On Sunday, Monika went for a long run whilst Marie, Jill, Tom, Vlad, Matt, Michael & Eugenie went to Wimberry, lured in by its fierce reputation. Intrigued by the history of the surrounding landscape, J and Rachel went for a walk to Alderman Rocks via the WW1 war memorial, where they were disturbed to find a 'J P Shaw' listed. Whilst Alderman offers only a few worthwhile routes, the position is superb, the rock is good, it's sunny, and there are no midges.

Upon arrival at Wimberry, after considering the crag's offering, Marie decided to get straight on Route 1, where she practiced weighting the gear for mental training. Being a fairly dirty slab in need of some cleaning, completing the route with confidence was pleasing. Matt and Jill followed. Jill then decided on Twin Cracks, which turned out to not be the most pleasant route, and after a couple of slips she showed the route who was boss. Matt decided that sunbathing was more his thing and left them to it.

Eugenie climbed Ornithologist's Corner, a pleasant route of contrasts - delicate bridging up the corner followed by a short traverse and thuggy finish through the roof. Meanwhile Tom and Vlad fist jammed their way up the brutish Surprise before the two teams shared a belay at the top. Michael and Eugenie then enjoyed the fabulous Blasphemy, which offered quality finger jamming and a disappointingly gritty, lichenous exit, unfortunately a theme for many of the routes. Wimberry offered some excellent climbing, but appeared to have been sadly neglected for the easier access crags, so next time you get a couple of days free with warm weather, get yourself up there for some quality climbing.

Tom, looking for a challenge, fought his way up notorious Joe Brown test piece, Freddie's Finale. Turns out he's been watching too many 'Wide Boyz' videos. Once figuring out how to climb the brute, he fought his way up the wide crack, losing much sweat and blood (and nearly tears) along the way, to arrive elated and in need of a skin graft at the top. Spurred on by Tom's success, Vlad decided to go for the lead after securing an extended curfew of an hour from Matt, who proceeded to savour his ice cream in the sun. He was still putting up a fight after everyone else had left the crag - a valiant effort. The pair managed to get back to the car park for six and so weren't left to walk back to Lincoln… bonus!


Images: from top left to bottom right: Freddie's Finale, Jill at Dovestones Edge, Michael & Vlad with Ravenstones in the background, Tom & Vlad victory beer, Vlad pleased with new cam, Alderman Rocks, Wimberry from Alderman, setting sun from Rising Sun Farm campsite.

01 Freddie's Finale

Freddie's Finale

02 Jill at Dovestones Edge

Jill at Dovestones Edge

03 Michael & Vlad with Ravenstones in the background

Michael & Vlad with Ravenstones in the background

04 Tom & Vlad victory beer

Tom & Vlad victory beer

05 Vlad pleased with new cam

Vlad pleased with new cam

06 Alderman Rocks

Alderman Rocks

07 Wimberry from Alderman

Wimberry from Alderman

 08 Setting sun from Rising Sun Farm campsite

Setting sun from Rising Sun Farm campsite

  Eugenie Blyth, Ron Crowe, Monika Panczak, Vlad Pepper, Tom Redwood, Matt Roope, J Shaw, Rachel Shaw, Marie Skinner, Michael Teanby, Jill Zhao