/ Kyloe-In-The-Woods ROUTES.
However, many people, myself included, will have seen the moss and pine needles at the finishes of many routes, and thought that they were not really in climbable condition.
Well, I went along with the intention of doing some cleaning, and found on closer inspection, that almost all the classic routes were in good enough condition anyway. So we did them and they were great. Obviously this is after some good, windy, weather, but with a whole summer ahead there should be some more of that.
The following classic routes are clean and dry enough to top out safely and enjoyably:
Elf Direct E1 5c * - Plenty of clean fluting jugs to finish. Good wall climbing with a thin first move and generally nice holds. I think the Elf VS 5a * might be in good enough condition too.
Bad Finger E2 5c ** (maybe E1 5c **?) - Plenty of clean fluting jugs to finish. Bouldery route that is steep, fun and amenable, nice flutings to aim for.
Bad Company E2 5c ** - Plenty of clean fluting jugs to finish, slightly dusty below but good enough crimps. A good, substantial, and powerful route. Well worth taking a rope and gear!
Monty Python's Flying Circus VS 6a *** (more like VS 6b **) - Good tree root and jugs to finish. Although no VS leader will get that far - absolutely desperate start that makes Red Rum (for example) look like a descent route. Fairly substantial above as it's still steep.
Crack Of Gloom MVS 4c *** - Easy finish with slight but unproblematic dampness. Big old traditionally crack climbing, good line.
Thin Hand Special E1 5c *** (more like E0 5b....okay, if you insist, HVS 5b ***) - Plenty of clean jugs to finish. Very amenable and enjoyable - steep climbing with excellent jams and jugs, who could ask for more ;).
The Flutings Direct VS 4c ** - Plenty of clean jugs to finish. Very nice climb up a lovely line / feature, good holds and elegant reaches.
Zed Climb VS 4c ** - Good jugs, there is a greasy hold but it doesn't affect the climbing. Striking line with easy climbing leading to quite a sting in the tail.
The Harp VS 5a *** (more like VS 5b ***) - Good clean slab to finish, traverse looks green but is dry and juggy. Great route with an unexpectedly adventurous feel. Start is desperate but the rest is pure fun.
Bobby Dazzler HVS 5c ** (maybe E1 5c **?) - Plenty of clean fluting jugs to finish. Another irresistable flutings line, with a bouldery crux and no gear, then an easy finish. Committing and satisfying.
The Crucifix HVS 5a *** (more like HVS 5b ***) - Clean jamming to finish. Another desperate start, then butch but solid jamming, a beefy classic.
The Gauntlet E1 5b *** - Enough clean rock to finish, good cams just below. Nice elegant line that lends itself to a technical and committing start. Watch out for the bold middle section!
Other routes of note:
Red Rum E2 6a *** (more like V1 5c **) - Despite the blatant lying photo caption in the recent guide, the top few metres are filthy and unclimbable.
High T E3 5c *** - This wall can look very damp and actually be almost completely dry. However whilst most of the route is in good condition, the ridiculously reachy-looking finish has some damp pockets and slightly damp finishing holds.
Next time you're in Northumberland, you can either join the queues at Bowden, Kyloe Out, and Corby's, increase the over-use and erosion of those honeypots....OR you can go somewhere more peaceful, with the excellent routes listed, help keep a great crag in good condition, and amaze the boulderers by being able to climb cracks and getting more than 3m off the deck. You know what to do.
I cleaned the Elf up last year and Karl Telfer was cleaning up a couple of the harder lines at the same time. Nice to know they're staying clean and that it was worth the effort! I'd add Verticality E1 5a to your list, the softest touch E1 in the county and the mossy looking finish isn't nearly as bad as it looks. Also, in the lower grades, these three are fun and celan enough:
Right Hand Recess Crack VD Easy, protectable
Piccolo S I seem to recall the protection's a bit thin, but a classic corner crack.
Primitive Crack MS Well protected out and out jamming to juggy finish.
The good routes there are very good indeed, and it's obvious from the bottom which ones they are. No need for stars.
When you're there, pull up any seedling conifers at the bottom & top of the crag. Sounds a bit unenvironmental, but the forest management have spent a good bit of dosh thinning the crag area out recently, and there's not much point in letting it get overgrown again. I think the thinning has contributed to the routes staying clean.
Heh, well, it keeps the lichen at bay. Nothing compared to the vast amount of un-brushed-off chalk that's ground into the bouldering bits, though =/.
Nice one with the cleaning and route recommendations.
BTW, I think this is a case where there is definitely a need for star ratings - people trust them as an indication of quality so it will help people trust that KITW routes are quality ones. If, say, Bowden didn't have any stars, people would still go there because, well, people just go there. But for KITW the star ratings are important to get people to give it a go.
unless they use the original method of ascent, ie combined tactics ;-)
It would be the sensible option to be fair!
The only time I've been there, the only sensible option was to turn round and go somewhere else instead! Must go back now it's been cleared a bit - and preferably not when it's pouring with rain :-)
Do it! I'm sure you'll love it, although the climbable finishes might be a bit tame for a Whitestonecliffe devotee ;)
I climb a similar grade to you, I went up last weekend and turned arouind adn went to kyloe out!
Then again I don't climb very well on the sandstone stuff, it's grits evil twin sister if you ask me. Pumpy, unrelenting and with poorer gear.
Really? Easter weekend? I was there Friday evening and Saturday.
You missed out! Although if you hadn't been to Out before then it's a fair choice...
P.S. Most of the mid-grade routes at Kyloe In have lots of good gear!
Sounds fun, may have to check it out along with one of the more popular places for a comparison when I finally make it up that way!
Bump for anyone who might be heading County-wards this weekend ;)
And if you are, the Ranges crags (S Yardhope, Linshiels) are accessible until the middle of next month.
Good call. Had a drive under South Yardhope when I was up there (the drive was bloody eerie going across the MOD land!), looked good and sounds like it has some top routes. Will need to go back...
A bit of a hijack, but I hope to be heading to Simonside on sunday: given its northerly aspect is it likely to be in condition? Also will Rothley be dry?
(Apologies for my ignorance, but have never been to these crags yet)
Bobby Dazzler, must surely be E0 5c?
*nods wisely* could be, could be ;) V0 or V1 to you sir though.
Both crags should be in condition - there will be a few days of dry weather and Northerly winds - if the winds stay on Sunday Simonside at least could be ferociously windswept! Monday's forecast doesn't look so hot.
Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me, got another soft touch:
Rothley Crack VS 5a oh come on was this graded by an indoor wall climber, VS 4c tops. Nice route though!
It's been dry in Coquetdale all week. You'll be ok, Simonside should be dry as a bone. As will Rothley. Unless, of course it pisses down between now and then!
And another soft one, from Peel, which I remembered last night. Certificate X. We did it in the damp in 1971 and it seemed ok, one cacky moment at the tiny crux which was a deckout job. It used to get HVS. It's now E1 and lathered with gear. I retract an earlier statement about the easiest E1 in the county being at Kyloe, Certificate X is it. Maybe HVS 5a, but that's being generous.
Cheers Fiend, useful post :-)
Good call, have been wanting to top out a few of those for quite a while, but was unsure about the undergrowth.
Really eerie up there amongst the pines, that pine needle filled gully is a real quick descent, i think a lot of folks think the descent will be a real mare, in reality there are no Indiana Jones antics required.
I think to be fair Bad finger is worth E2, steep unrelenting and really a bold solo, as is Elf direct.
It is good to see people climbing in the Bobby Dazzler area too, as these routes have been neglected for a while now, i did Robbers dog, quite nice climbing.
Hopefully more people will venture up into the canopy, watch out for Head hunters.
Yeah the forest is really eerie, especially when all the boulderers have gone home....so quiet and....well who knows what could lurk in there ;)
Well, since I'll be up there soon, I may well be trying some of the above routes...
...thanks for persevering and trying them & reporting back.
PS. You sound seriously made up about your N Wales weekend; you'll have to tell me about it sometime; I'd love to know what you did.
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