Sunday, August 17, 2014


What's that nice Mr Garry doing?

Oh No! Dave you're not going to...

Now you've gone and done it! Get yourself out of that.

Er? I think this is climbing?

This definitely isn't.

Don't worry Dave the belay is bomber.

Hmm looks a bit like White Goods?

Steep, tiny holds... that's better.

It's a three star route but not the three star many might know - Vulture (E4 5b,5a,5c,6a) Cilan Main, Lleyn.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Mighty Hoghton

Hoghton Quarry near Blackburn in Lancashire had long been on my 'to visit list'. It's often claimed as the finest Grit quarry but tricky access restrictions (only two months climbing a year) have meant much less traffic and the place has gained a reputation as very overgrown. A recent thread on UKC concerning potentially controversial new bolts brought Hoghton back to mind and I easily recruited Jon for a visit.

Both of us love visiting new places and I for one find that post industrial lost world of British Quarries strangely attractive. After a short but squelchy approach the first views didn't disappoint - this place is BIG.

The quarry doesn't just include the big main walls which are 40m high, but there are numerous other levels linked by old stone steps and overgrown retaining walls. There's that lovely feeling of man's touch being reclaimed by nature, such as this abandoned log pile.

We only ended up climbing one route - but what a route. Mandarin a 40m E2 was worth the trip in it's own right and I reckon is one of the best E2s in the country and was pretty spotless. I then spent 45mins on ab digging out all the cracks on Boadicea a three star finger crack but didn't have time to climb it although hopefully I'll get back before the end of the month to have a go.

The soaring grooves of Mandarin with in situ cleaning brush in the foreground 
As a nice bonus just as we were wrapping up we got to meet local legend Les Ainsworth giving the crag a quick crag guardian check up.