/ Southern Sandstone in winter
What's the best crag for winter climbing down there? How is Harrisons this time of year?
Probably Stone Farm or Bowles as the best in winter as they both get a lot of sun.
Unless there is a long dry period (rare) the rocks generally get very wet and lichen covered and are not suitable for climbing in winter months. As you know sandstone should not be climbed on when wet as it damages the rock.
last winter and spring was very dry and the rock was in condition for most the winter and spring accross most the crags.
Since when we've had the wettest year on record.
> As you know sandstone should not be climbed on when wet as it damages the rock.
Indeed. Suprised me to see it in the book as all year round. Might call the hut at Bowles if we have a little dry patch and see if they think it is climable before heading down. Wouldn't dream of getting on it if it's wet :)
thats the nice thing about life - you never know whats gonna happen next :)
Well when the rock dried briefly in late summer & I got back on some old favourites I certainly didn't expect to find them smashed up that badly by peeps climbing them when damp.
Not sure that counts s a nice thing though :-(
I'd rather not say on a public forum in case it directs more traffic to them.
Feel free to PM me if you want details.
However on most of the problems I tried I found the 'skin' on the starting footholds had been broken & on one problem I only found one hold (out of say 20+) that hadn't been !
Ok I sort of 'get' that there's a temptation to climb if the surface is dry-ish despite all the publicity
bit FFS once you've snapped half the holds on a boulder problem surely normal people would have the brains to stop.
theres a few spots on ss where you can boulder all year round because it's so overhanging and good quality rock.. however you are better off going to an indoor wall, you will get a lot more done.
I did climb last year in november during a dry bright spell but even then the rock was damp in places and you had to pick your routes.
the trouble is because the temperatures drop and the days get shorter even if it's been dry for a many days the rock holds it's moisture.
the weather in autumn last year was quite unsettled hence the damp rock you found in november, it got dry a bit later than this in fact it was a 6 month drought IIRC, the rock dried out nicely.
In well over 30 years of climbing there I can remember only one short period in (I think 1990) when that wasn't true. Although Bowles SF & harrison's dry out completely most summers.
unfortunately this summer the rock was generally in worse condition than mid winter until late spring and certainly never got as dry in the summer as it was in mid -> late spring. Really you're best trying to learn when the rock will be dry rather than using some blanket rules.
Theres a few sandstone outcrops that the guides recommend visiting when leaves won't be on the trees as it's the best chance you have of finding them in condition.
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