/ Peak Limestone expertise needed

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TobyA on 16 Sep 2016
Hello all, we are considering trying some trad limestone tomorrow rather than the normal grit cragging, but I'm looking for advice on how quickly places like High Tor can be expected to dry? The forecast is looking pretty good for tomorrow but it's been soggy today. Any thoughts on whether things like Original Route (HVS 5a) is likely to be dry? It's been a dry week up to last night, but I don't know if that's particularly relevant.

After hardly doing any HVSs this year, compared to fair few last year, I had a trip to Scotland in late August where I managed to get up a number in pretty respectable style. So I don't want rest on my (admittedly, already very unimpressive) laurels and should try and do some more local to home (Sheffield). If anyone has any suggestions for Peak limestone HVSs that I just 'have to' do, I'd be interested. The perfect ones for me will be 1) covered in loads of great gear placements where I can compensate for my utter cowardice with a large rack and good stamina 2) not overhanging at all as I'm rubbish at them, and 3) probably soft touches too! I've done Minus Ten at Stoney, but I think that's my only Peak HVS. I thought John Peel was meant to be a super classic at that grade but looking in the logbooks its amazing how few logged ascents it seems to be getting. Is it not really that good?
Stu Tyrrell on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Try wildcat, loads of nice routes.
Luke90 on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Stoney certainly dries very quickly. We got caught out in torrential thunderstorms in Dovedale on Tuesday evening and when we went to Stoney on Wednesday morning it appeared to have suffered the same but the rock was bone dry. Didn't even find any seepage.

I've done several HVSs there recently, any of which I'd recommend in general, but none of them quite fit your criteria. Certainly don't do Mortuary Steps, it breaks all your criteria! (Great fun, though.)
Luke90 on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Stu Tyrrell:

Definitely nice routes at HVS but would it be dry?
GrahamD - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

High Tor is good for a couple of good HVS, not just Original Route. I doubt it takes any longer to dry than any other limestone crag.

John Peel is really good. The ones on the buttress up river and across (cant remember the butress) are also good but much tougher I think.

I think that Staden has the best selection of not steep HVS but I haven't a clue about access right now.

Beeston Tor has a few gems but the classic Thorn does have a steepish bit (but probably no worse than original route)

Ravenstor is also good but again, not sure what access is like currently.
Chris Craggs - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Get yourself on nay of the Top 50 in Peak Limestone.

The limestone crags trend to dry quickly unless it is very humid and some (Willersley) stay dry in the rain. Avoid Cheedale after rain, it will be a sloppy mess,

Chris

PS> Don't expect Diabeg quality rock!
the power - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

High tor will be dry tomorrow I recon if your planning on doing original route other peak hvs for you
Catastrophe grooves and Cataclysm both at wildcat do em in a 1er for the full hvs experience
Gangue grooves at willersley
Joint effort at staden
Have fun
deacondeacon - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
High tor is one of the quicker drying limestone crags, and if it doesn't rain tonight it'll be dry
Misha - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
No seepage and gets the wind and sun if there is any so dries quickly. Original Route is the best at the grade. The other HVS (somethinglight) is also good but best done in one pitch to avoid a high factor fall onto a hanging belay off the crux move. Joint Effort at Staden is good fun. Generally though HVS on Peak line doesn't compare to HVS on the grit or in North Wales or even Pembroke. Whereas in the low to mid E grades there's loads of great stuff on Peak Lime (it's still not Pembroke of course). High Tor is perfect for working up the grades as there's always something a bit harder to try and the rock and gear are good.
Martin Haworth on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Stoney is very quick drying. Routes that fit your requirements are Pendulum Pendulum (HVS 5a) and Cointreau (HVS 5a). Another good HVS is Padme (HVS 5a) but gear is slightly more tricky.
Martin Haworth on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Also, Original Route (HVS 5a) is quite a hard HVS, and Minus Ten is VS.
Jon Stewart - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Are your expectations of Peak lime suitably low? I don't think you'll find much fitting those criteria really

There are a few decent HVS's, but they're incredibly polished, and usually loose too.

The classic The Thorn (HVS 5a) is probably the best of all - it has a short overhanging crux on good holds, in an exposed position. Beeston is a good crag and if you go, you should also try Pocket Symphony (E1 5b), soft E1 (and really straightforward, like climbing a 5 in the wall) which has loads of threads (but isn't I'm afraid a gear-wherever-you-like crack).

Ravensdale is a nice place, but it is polished and loose. Conclusor (HVS 5a) is decent enough, Via Vita (E1 5c) is hard and worth the upgrade to E1 I think - it's got loads of gear, but the crux is an overhanging jamming crack in a wild position. The routes further right are pretty awful IMO.

The best rock is at Staden, where Joint Effort (HVS 5a) fits all your criteria - a nice route. The worst rock is at Stoney Middleton, for HVSs, the place is dreadful. I do like the VS Evasor (VS 4c) though.

Tough, and just about worth doing is Valhalla (HVS 5b). At least it's not loose. There's a VS and some bouldering to while away a couple of hours there, a nice spot.

The climbing on Peak lime gets better at E1 and above - but only a bit!
Wayne S - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Hi Toby,

Cataclysm at Wildcat is fairly soft at HVS with good gear. Not really as polished as some suggest and very good. Coyote Buttress also good and a tiny bit harder. Catastrophe grooves the hardest of the three (Top end HVS). Nine lives wall maybe the easiest HVS at wildcat but a fair bit bolder noting your criteria!

Gangue Grooves at Willersly is awesome but sustained at the grade, though perfect gear after the first 4-5 meters. A way better route than it looks from below. Lone tree groove also good but a little damp at times after rain. Edit.....ab off after pitch 1 for the best experience on LTG.

Getting tuned in to the gear is perhaps the hardest bit of adjustment.

Pothole wall at Willersly is good value at a modest VS, it's not far off HVS and could be a good yardstick.

Sorry not done enough at High Tor to add much about that!

Wayne
Post edited at 20:15
jimjimjim on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

If I were you I'd head to wildcat or stony. You can't go wrong there at that grade. Or if you get there early as parking is limited, Ravensdale (not tor) is a special crag with plenty at the grade. If it's not raining it should be good to go.
danm - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Haworth:
> Also, Original Route (HVS 5a) is quite a hard HVS, and Minus Ten is VS.
I beg to differ on both accounts! Joint Effort is my favourite of the Peak lime HVS's also I thought Gangue Grooves was very good albeit fairly stern.

Martin Haworth on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to danm:
I agree on Joint Effort, superb route, I think Pendulum is also excellent. As far as Minus Ten is concerned it is VS in the old definitive guide and VS in the new definitive guide!
In reply to TobyA:
Original Route and the Thorn. Then go to Malham.

(I've still to do West Window Groove)

TobyA on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> and Minus Ten is VS.

Not in my book it isn't! But yeah, compared to some nearby grit HVSs, I found it pretty straightforward.

johncook - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Cataclysm at wildcat, Compositae groove and mortuary steps at stoney are three great routes. There are many others of the same grade at both crags.
And yes, Minus Ten is VS, always was and should still be. It was my first limestone VS.
Post edited at 21:46
TobyA on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Are your expectations of Peak lime suitably low?

I've been trad climbing at Harpur Hill - that probably sets expectations suitably low. ;)
But actually, I've visited a fair number of Peak lime crags so I know what it's like, I went to Willerlsley and Colehill earlier this summer - I just haven't climbed HVS at any of them besides Stoney.

I tried the HVS at Harpur Hill but fell off it. I got the feeling that something helpful might had fallen off it.
Jon Stewart - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

> I've been trad climbing at Harpur Hill - that probably sets expectations suitably low. ;)

Wow.
heleno - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Staden might still be damp - we've been seeking shade on peak limestone twice this week and on both days the north facing sectors were too wet to climb on.

I'd second the suggestion for Wildcat. Dries quickly and less polished than you'd think.
deacondeacon - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

How did you get on?
Bet it was lovely and dry today
Graeme Hammond - on 17 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:
was high tor better than trad at harpur hill? Personally thought a few of the trad routes in the vicinity of coral seas were half decent. Even done a decent trad route at horseshit quarry once. My take on High Tor hvs is that highlight and original route are good at but lamplight which i found a bit loose and with crap gear isn't nearly as good.
Post edited at 21:26
Wood for Trees on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Joint effort at Staden, fantastic route, better than any hvs I've done at Pembroke. Bring an MP3 recording of the sea for all that's missing
TobyA on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to deacondeacon:

For various reasons we ended up changing the plan and 'going grit'. Went to Dovestone Tor though, which I had never visited before and did a whole bunch of routes there. So, no daring limestone deeds I'm afraid but a very nice day out.

I am coming to the conclusion though that Scottish grades seem rather soft and I'm flattering myself if I think I can climb HVS currently! Dovestone had a number of lessons in humility for me: firstly I backed off a VS - really can't remember the last time I did that; I could toss out a load of self exculpatory reasons for this but the end of the day I backed off a starred VS 4b!? Then, just to compound the shame and humiliation, I failed to lead a HS! I've happily onsight soloed quite a few routes of that grade and size at Stanage, Burbage etc. but this one I couldn't even do with a rope on and some ok gear in! A good time for a piece rhubarb pie methinks (for any Garrison Keillor fans out there).

I am though keeping all the limestone recommendations in mind - another climbing mate, Tony, is a bit of limestone maestro, so I'm sure he would be up for doing some classic "easy" routes with me when he is resting from his proj in Cheedale. So thanks all for the top advice! UKC at its best.
TobyA on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

> Personally thought a few of the trad routes in the vicinity of coral seas were half decent.

Yep, it was the Seven Deadly Sins that I tried - I see from the logbook you've done it. Quite enjoyed it up to where I fell off! One to go and try again sometime.

Jon Stewart - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Wood for Trees:

> Joint effort at Staden, fantastic route, better than any hvs I've done at Pembroke.

That's actually the most insane thing I've read on UKC.

> Bring an MP3 recording of the sea for all that's missing

A whole virtual reality headset might be a start...
deacondeacon - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:



> I am coming to the conclusion though that Scottish grades seem rather soft and I'm flattering myself if I think I can climb HVS currently! Dovestone had a number of lessons in humility for me: firstly I backed off a VS - really can't remember the last time I did that; I could toss out a load of self exculpatory reasons for this but the end of the day I backed off a starred VS 4b!? Then, just to compound the shame and humiliation, I failed to lead a HS! I've happily onsight soloed quite a few routes of that grade and size at Stanage, Burbage etc. but this one I couldn't even do with a rope on and some ok gear in! A good time for a piece rhubarb pie methinks (for any Garrison Keillor fans out there).

Has no one told you yet? Gritstone HVS is more a style of climbing rather than a level of difficulty. I'd advise you get stuck into some E1's and E2's instead. The hvs's will feel fine when you're an old rugged local that has climbed here for years.
But in all honesty gritstone will feel a fair bit easier once the temperature drops in a few weeks, a sweaty day at Dovestone Tor is going to feel tricky. If you go back again I'd recommend Lancaster Flyby. An E1 which is at the friendly end of the grade


TobyA on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to deacondeacon:

> Has no one told you yet? Gritstone HVS is more a style of climbing rather than a level of difficulty. I'd advise you get stuck into some E1's and E2's instead. The hvs's will feel fine when you're an old rugged local that has climbed here for years.

An old climbing partner in Finland who had spent a year or two in Leeds very strongly believed that the easy climbing in the UK started at E1 and above, and that all VSs and HVSs were just "horrible", so you might have support for your theory on grit HVS!

> But in all honesty gritstone will feel a fair bit easier once the temperature drops in a few weeks, a sweaty day at Dovestone Tor is going to feel tricky.

I don't think it was conditions, it was breezy and although not cold, it wasn't super warm either. I'm not sure if the friction on the luminous green bits of Barny Rubble is going to improve that much anyway in the cool either! I am pleased to see that UKC is giving Titania VS 4c, and that many other comments in the logbooks seem to suggest I'm not the first person to struggle on it!

> If you go back again I'd recommend Lancaster Flyby.

We did look at that after doing Route 1 and it looks really good. Perhaps one to put on the target list if I actually find the time to go to the wall a bit this winter!

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wilkesley - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to TobyA:

If you want to really dent your ego, try going to Kinder with the old guidebook!

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