/ Gritstone advice for visiting ex pat

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owensum - on 09 May 2013
Heh yall

Im a brit living in the states, but coming home (yorkshire) this summer for a few weeks. Id like to get some gritstone bouldering/climbing in, question is - whats the best logistics for this?

Can I rent boulder pads? I dont think I can bring one in my baggage allowance on the plane. I lead trad fine, but I dont want to bring my rack and rope back for similar reasons.

Although from yorkshire, I never really climbed much when I was living there sadly, so the crags arent terribly familiar with me, apart from almscliff which Ive TRd at a bunch early in my climbing career. Advice for classic areas which we can visit from york? Id like to do a day at stanage, just cos well known out here in the states.

Ill be here late june/early july.

Thanks in advance

Owen
hipyhop - on 09 May 2013
In reply to owensum:

Not sure about renting bouldering mats but, you could try and pick up a used one on these forums for cheap.

Another suggestion would be to post in the Lifts & Partners forum closer to the time and see if any people/groups wouldn't mind you tagging along.

I would be up for climbing with you but not sure if i'll still be in the peaks by late June.
andic - on 09 May 2013
In reply to owensum:
As above just post in lifts and partners nearer the time, I can no doubt take you around a couple of Sheffield crags.
Jon Stewart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to owensum:

Firstly, I'd try to choose your climbing days carefully if you can - when there's a cool breeze blowing, climbing on the grit is wonderful, but on a still humid day with the midges out, it is hell on earth.

For routes, I'd revisit Alsmcliff, which has a handful of classic routes, this video is a good guide to the best of them:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=1134

In Yorkshire generally the bouldering is far better than the routes. I think Bridestones is an amazing venue, with superb problems taking real lines (much of the bouldering at Almscliff, in contrast, is of the arse-scraping arbitrary eliminate variety). Another wonderful bouldering crag is Slipstones which is very easy to get to from York - you'd be best finding a partner with a couple of pads on here. People might go on about Caley, and while it is one of the best bouldering crags in the UK when in condition, it is right by a main road, covered in litter and graffiti and only really a nice place to climb in spring and autumn.

If you're wanting to do more routes, I would spend more time in the Peak if possible, where the routes are about a thousand times better and more plentiful. At Stanage, make sure you have a pad or two for the classic highball boulder problems at the Plantation: Crescent Arete and Not To Be Taken Away are arguably better than any of the routes on the crag. Cratcliffe is a must-visit crag, so is Hen Cloud - the routes at these two are big (for grit) satisfying pitches.

In summary, I reckon the best of grit is:

Slipstones and Bridestones for bouldering;
Almscliff, Cratcliffe and Hen Cloud for routes;
Stanage for famous names and convenience.

And if it's hot, humid and still (or of course raining) don't expect to have fun at all.

Jon Stewart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

And get in touch if you want to climb in Yorkshire on a weekend (but not the first one in July).
tri-nitro-toulumne on 09 May 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

"In Yorkshire generally the bouldering is far better than the routes"

But don't try telling a Yorkshireman this ;)
Jon Stewart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to tri-nitro-toulumne:

The juiciest bait of course was

> spend more time in the Peak if possible, where the routes are about a thousand times better and more plentiful.

Doesn't stop it being true though.
owensum - on 09 May 2013
Nice one, thanks that's a great bit of advice to get started with. Ill look for partners closer to the time.

Ive been to slipstones once, and it did occur to me that would be a good place to go with the boulder pad, also because masham is so beautiful and my american GF would love the scenery there! I think its around 40 mins drive from my parents place so thats good.

Hows brimham for bouldering? I used to run around that place a lot as a kid.

As for weather, yeah I know, its always a crap shoot. We'll just head out and make the most of it. I live in the new mexico desert, so it's unlikely that anything in the UK will feel genuinely hot to me, but the humidity can admittedly make things worse.

Ill look out for 2nd hand pads going for sale, get delivered to my folks' place.

Looking forward to seeing what gritstone feels like after half a decade of climbing at squamish, yosemite, bishop and hueco...
BnB - on 09 May 2013
In reply to owensum:
> >
> Looking forward to seeing what gritstone feels like after half a decade of climbing at squamish, yosemite, bishop and hueco...

It will feel cold and wet
duchessofmalfi - on 09 May 2013
Not aware of anywhere that rents pads but alpkit sell them at pretty reasonable prices that would cushion the blow of buying...
Jon Stewart - on 09 May 2013
In reply to owensum:


> Hows brimham for bouldering? I used to run around that place a lot as a kid.

Very good (apparently). I've only been a couple of times, and not really explored it. Quite 'uncompromising' from the bits I've done, many ugly rounded top-outs.

> As for weather, yeah I know, its always a crap shoot. We'll just head out and make the most of it. I live in the new mexico desert, so it's unlikely that anything in the UK will feel genuinely hot to me, but the humidity can admittedly make things worse.

The main problem in summer is that if there's no breeze it can be midgy. Plus on warm humid days, everything on grit is at least 3 grades harder (no joke).
owensum - on 09 May 2013
> Very good (apparently). I've only been a couple of times, and not really explored it. Quite 'uncompromising' from the bits I've done, many ugly rounded top-outs.

Well, all part of the challenge. Joes valley and yose have plenty of these techy topouts, not my forte, but could stand to improve on it

>
> The main problem in summer is that if there's no breeze it can be midgy. Plus on warm humid days, everything on grit is at least 3 grades harder (no joke).

Yeah, sloper effect. I dont care about grades, just quality. If it means sticking to easier problems/routes thats fine with me as it will mostly be all new.

owensum - on 09 May 2013

> It will feel cold and wet

Haha. Yes. Believe it or not Ive forgotten what wet rock is. Or water that comes out of the sky.

Dan Arkle - on 10 May 2013
In reply to owensum:
I've got three pads that l'll happily loan/rent out to you if you need it. I'm Sheffield based.
Hephaestus - on 10 May 2013
In reply to owensum:

I'd recommend Brimham - loads of variety, cool rock formations (definitely the most interesting gritstone crag I've been to) and all based round a cafe so great for the girlfriend, too ;)
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owensum - on 10 May 2013
I went hiking to brimham a few years ago during a brief christmas visit and saw a few lush lines. I like climbing on weird formations, Ill put this on the list.

Will the rockfax suffice guidebook wise, or should I get a more recent book?

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