/ Crag Lough
The job of cleaning routes was found to be harder and more time consuming than anticipated however a good number of routes were given a make over and some resurrected from the undergrowth.
A list of what was done and by who is below. Many of these routes should be a lot more enjoyable than they were and some may now see regular accents after many years of being understandably ignored
Please be aware that there may be the odd loose bit around as a result of what was in some cases some pretty impressive gardening. The winter should help to stabilise things a bit
Helix S** (including a new path to it)
Face route, S
Cleaned by Mick Fischer and Alison Page
Pinnacle crack, D
Cleaned by Naomi Hatto
Pinnacle Face Obverse,S
Cleaned by Oliver Millington
Impossible wall, E4 6b
Cleaned by Oliver Millington (lower half) and Davey Briggs (top third)
Right Organ Pipe HS (top third)
Main wall Route 2, VS 5a* (top third)
Botany Crack, S (top third)
Cleaned Davey Briggs and Graeme Armstrong
Ash Tree Wall, S**
West Corner, S
Wall and Crack, D
Cleaned by David Chalmers
Tarzan Buttress (various routes)
a lot of turf removed from top third of the buttress by John Lowes
Spuggies Gully, VD**
Back Alley, D*
Cleaned by Steve Blake
Impossible Slab, E3 5c
Route Two, VD
Route One, HVS 5a **
Intermediate Treatment E2 5c
Route Three, VS 5a*
Cleaned by Cliff Lowther and Jayne Speight
Crescent Cracks, VS 5a**
Raven Crack, MVS 4b**
Cleaned by Dan Middleton
Left Organ Pipe, HVS 5a**
Cleaned by Richard Alderton
Central Organ Pipe, HS
Cleaned by Liam Dervey
Jezebel direct, MVS 4b
Sinister corner, S*
Main wall, HS***
Cleaned by Sarah Hawker and Bob McAdam
Why Not Direct, HVS 5b**
Why not, VS 5a**
Cleaned by Mark Anstiss
Excellent job guys n' gals.
If they are any good that would deffo be an option,
Excellent work! In lieu of partners I was tempted to do some shunting at Crag Lough this weekend but decided on Causey for ease and warmth. I might just have to reconsider...
It's also quite sad that the crag doesn't see more traffic. There are some fantastic routes on both Crag Lough and Peel Crag, and I'd head there over a lot of the sandstone crags in the county any day.
Brilliant, many thanks.
Great stuff, sorry I couldn't make it.
Nobody clean Wooden Tops? Oh well, I suppose I could do it on my tod!
Excellent work. We did Helix last month, and getting to the start was the hardest part. If you ignore the vegetated muddy top out to the layback crack - which hopefully is a little better now :-)
It should have gone in on the strength of the name alone!
> It's also quite sad that the crag doesn't see more traffic. There are some fantastic routes on both Crag Lough and Peel Crag, and I'd head there over a lot of the sandstone crags in the county any day.
In some ways THE best outcrop for severe-HVS anywhere. Maybe that long dull cliff in Derbyshire/Yorkshire border too but ....
single pitch sev-hvs obviously
The ommision from the Rockfax guide has not enticed visitors down to that end. Whinestone Churchhill is a classic
Left Organ Pipe took one lad about 6 hours top to bottom!
There was much talk of a repeat next year. If that happens the whole crag would be transformed
Let's see what nature does this coming year, one may need to clean some of this stuff again!
Just got back from outing to Crag Lough......bloomin' 'eck you left a right mess.....but seriously, thanks to everyone who ade the effort.
Amongst other stuff we did Neglect, omitted from your list, which I did 25+yrs ago but have not been tempted since. However , now clean (well actually, right pretty dirty with loads of soil & stuff covering edges, but will clear), it really is a great route with a crux right at the top.
But take a brush......
> I've heard Whinstone Churchill is a bit of a dolerite classic, surprised it isn't in your selective. Also surprised it didn't get a clean
> (In reply to JDal)
> It should have gone in on the strength of the name alone!
It's an excellent route Chris. My favourite at Crag Lough but you are right: it's a brilliant name!
botany crack & main wall route 2 now completed (tho need a brushing, which should get done tomorrow)
will keep posting updates as & when i clean others.
Hi, I am one of the climbers on Mian Wall, after Neglect, and used your ab rope this afternoon......just to say, thanks for doing what you're doing!
Right organ pipe now cleaned, tho it'll need brushing (or a heavy downpour)
This winter should finish the job off nicely
Kev came along today & made a start on another route (name escapes me at the mo)
Organ pipes area looking really promising!! Great looking routes now that They're clear of veg!!
How do you explain the state of Main Wall this summer? One of the country's best Severes (and included in Rockfax), yet we were pulling ferns off as we went.
My theory is that it's partly because of the peregrines that nest down that end, making climbing impossible during the spring and early summer when the plants are growing fastest.
Excellent effort guys
My point about the Rockfax guide was that the ommision didn't help matters, not that it was the sole cause of the problem for the neglect of routes like Helix and Whinestone Churchhill.
Re the Peregrine, at that site the bird tolerates lots of noisy humans at the top of the crag, I wonder how near sideways? Maybe the next buttress along? Maybe we could walk past the foot of the crag to stuff beyond the nest? Could we have a discussion with the NT about this and install signage at the bottom of the crag. Currently it is effectively ruling out the best bit of the crag for the best bit of the year when we may only need to lose a few routes.
Daniel Hirst has got in touch with me. He said he can't say exactly which routes he cleaned, but it was the two routes next to the Organ Pipes, so probably Brutus HVS 5b and Neglect HVS 5a **
This approach has worked well at crags in Yorkshire and in the Peak allowing climbers and nesting birds to happily co-exist
I don't know where it nests, but a year or two ago we were there in mid June, and headed for Main Wall. The bird made it abundantly clear that we weren't welcome! I can't remember how far right we had to go before the noise stopped, but it was a fair distance.
Looking forward to getting up there and climbing soon.
bear in mind its been raining today & yesterday/overnight, so the pics are showing some seepage, but once dried, these routes will be well worth a trip up. also, all the rain we`ve had recently has cleaned off all the soil from the smaller ledges :-)
great chimney HS***
impossible wall E4***
that should free up the whole of the main wall/organ pipes area.
i believe mole is planning on further cleaning of the dexter buttress area.
depending on how i feel, i may? have a look at the broken ash buttress area.
Great Chimney didn't seem too bad when we did it last month.
Anyone venturing to the left of Helix? A scythe might be useful!
im sure i spotted a lost tribe & a ruined temple in the undergrowth!!
I seem to remember - emphasis on 'seem' here! - that back in the early 80's most of the cliff was cleanish. Loved climbing there- one of the best outcrops in the land for severe to HVS
I once saw a brontosaurus just before the foot traverse on Crystal.
The access along the bottom of the crag was something that came up a lot in conversation on the restoration day. It's not too bad at all until Tarzan Buttress but thereafter it is quite broken and after Main Wall just disappears into the bracken. The Peregrine doesn't help matters at the Eastern end but also the lack of a convenient descent in that area is a factor as well. Deep Gully is reputedly a reasonable descent for the central part of the crag but is so overgrown now I wouldn't recommend it. Getting to and from the base of Deep Gully would be hard work as well.
Iím not really sure what the answer is, short of actually making an improved path from Tarzan Buttress to Main Wall and beyond which feels like overkill.
I thought the access path as far as Main Wall was fine, just a bit of bushwhacking when you left it to get to the routes.
We definitely followed a narrow path all the way to Main Wall.
All it needs is a bit more traffic to keep the bracken from obscuring the path. Though too much more traffic and the path will collapse (it's already begun to in a couple of places)!
Which one is Deep Gully? We descended one that was a couple of hundred metres left of the normal Hadrians descent, but never risked anything further left than that (so the descent from Main Wall took quite a while).
> All it needs is a bit more traffic to keep the bracken from obscuring the path. Though too much more traffic and the path will collapse (it's already begun to in a couple of places)!
That was rather my point about the path after Tarzan Buttress.
I had a look at it and it looks perfectly downclimable if clean and is in more or less the right place for Main Wall etc
There looks like there could be a descent route to the left of ravens tower, but its seriously overgrown to tell for sure, I,ll check the guide book when I finish work. I think mole mentioned cleaning this at some point in the future.
Just looked it up, and Deep Gully is the one we used for descent in August. Though only once, after I spotted it mentioned in the guidebook. Seemed clean enough, and less scary than the normal loose descent near Hadrian's Buttress!
Bisector 27m Severe
Previously cleaned routes weathering nicely after the recent rain, Why Not VS 5a was climbed today and only a little dusty, not bad considering the route was virtually unclimbable 4 weeks ago
Good route Why Not
Why Not Direct, however, is a sandbag.................my right pinkie is still bent after falling off the fecker 15 years ago!
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