/ ARTICLE: The Lost Outcrop - Mick Ward's Dream Crag

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UKC Articles - on 23 Sep 2016
Ravenstones, Chew Valley, 3 kbMick Ward used to dream of a secret crag: 'It was never in the same place twice. And, when I'd wake up, it seemed so real, yet I couldn't remember where it was. (Well, of course, it wasn't anywhere...but let's not spoil the illusion!) The only person I ever told was Geoff Birtles and he came straight back with, "Well I've got two crags I dream of - one on grit and one on limestone." Typical...'

Perhaps, for many climbers, there's a dream crag; an archetype which we yearn for. This was Mick's dream crag - with dream routes to match.

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Christheclimber - on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Brilliant article Mick.
I used to day dream about secret new routes when I was younger imaging fantastic moves on desperate but perfect routes.
alan moore - on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Best crag I've never been to.
The stuff of legend.
Thanks for that!
James Mann - on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to UKC Articles:

Fantastic Mick. Really enjoyed this. Thought provoking and unusual!

dominic lee - on 18:42 Sat
In reply to UKC Articles:

I too have dreamt of undiscovered crags. High tor in nature, glimpsed through the trees in sylvan dales, based on reality but subtly altered. I'm always walking, no climbing is ever done and l wonder how this part of the dale could have been missed. The scene seems so real. The sense of excitement and possibility so palpable . On Waking it takes a few moments....to realise.
Hardonicus - on 23:18 Sun
In reply to dominic lee:

+1 for crag dreams!
abseil on 03:03 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

EXCELLENT article, Mick! I really enjoyed it, please write some more soon.
Will Hunt - on 08:52 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

Good writing that, Mick. I enjoyed it a lot.

The secret crag you're thinking of is Yeadon Crag. When I visited there was only one route on the mighty Prune. It was a very highball Font 5+. The next 2 easiest lines are 7A+! There's more to go but they'll be harder again!

Yeadon Crag

johnl - on 11:36 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great stuff Mick. I'm still having that dream and still searching - I know it exists. Maybe it's hiding in plain sight, rather like a certain new route I can think of.
C Witter on 11:44 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

Enjoyed this too! Nice to see more creative pieces on UKC, as opposed to Buzzfeed-esque '10 things you're only reading because you're bored' articles and 'news' pieces, like 'Sponsored elite climber climbs something hard', which after a while are as dull as such Westmoreland Gazette classics as 'Sheep escapes from field' and ''Tidy up weeds at Carnforth railway station car park' plea' (http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/14764460.__39_Tidy_up_weeds_at_Carnforth_railway_station... Which is a somewhat negative way of saying, more creative writing please!
Goucho on 11:49 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

Cracker Mick.

Of course, I've always known where 'Crag X' really is?
Mick Ward - on 17:50 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

Many thanks to people for their kind comments (keep any unkind ones to yourself, please!) I'm somewhat relieved to find that quite a few of us have our own dream crags. Dominic Lee perfectly captured the feeling of excitement. 'How can this possibly have been missed?' And then you wake up and realise... like dreaming of a lost love. She's not there.

Confession - the amount of time spent dithering on this has (narrowly) broken my previous record. 24 years dithering! Please don't anybody else do this - you can drive yourself crazy.

And - sweet irony - while dithering about writing about a dream crag, a little piece of reality was staring me in the face, week after week, year after year, just as John says, hiding in plain sight. About three weeks ago, I finally abbed in and started digging... and, err, digging... followed by yet more digging.

Memo to self: dreaming's fine - but sometimes you've just got to go digging.


cheese@4p - on 21:25 Mon
In reply to Mick Ward:

Just stay away from the crags of My dreams Wardy!
Mick Ward - on 09:01 Tue
In reply to cheese@4p:

I think they're pretty safe from me, Ian. As Will Hunt notes, standards have risen sharply in your neck of the woods. We should go back to Ogden Clough though - what a lovely little place that was. I think it was the first crag that the late Harold Drasdo went to.

Keep the fire burning!

SuperstarDJ - on 13:10 Tue
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great piece, really enjoyed it.

Dom Whillans on 21:56 Tue
In reply to UKC Articles:

Lovely article; that's the kind of writing that pulled me into climbing in the first place... More of that please, much, much more of that. Seriously, even I'd pay good money for that quality of article ;)

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