Rocktype Sandstone (hard)
Altitude 50m a.s.l
Ewan sizes up a solo of The Knife © Will Hunt
Marvellous bouldering (if you have the head for it) on vertical faces up to 50ft (but down to 10ft too). Holds usually well-chalked but toprope recommended for longer ones. Do extend the belay if you use one to avoid eroding the rock.
Locals think it the best bouldering venue in the country. Walls face all aspects. The rock is usually of good quality and not given to large holds; climbing here breeds strong fingers! Routes are usually soloed or top roped. Although a resurgence in leading the routes has occurred in recent years. If you are going to lead remember that sandstone is soft and gear can blow, damaging holds and routes.
The quarry does get a little damp in the winter, though some areas remain unaffected and others dry quickly, allowing year-round climbing by the dedicated and addicted. Midges and mosquitoes can be distracting on humid, windless summer nights.
Grades go from 3a to 7a (English), with lots to play on in the 5a - 6b range. The grades here reflect those negotiated for the new definitive guide. V grades kind of stop when things get high and leading becomes a possibility. These grades are for in the main; Head Point Leads. If you are lucky to meet one of the locals whilst you are there who goes by the name of 'Buzz', you will have the benefit of ticking a BUZZ POINT ascent of your route, you will know what this when it happens.
Classics include; Hart's Arete, The Web, The Rack, The Knife, Dateline and Black Magic.
There is an almost never ending list of Eliminates and micro problems, with lots of 'you can't use that' or 'that's on the next route'. Hence some of the grades may feel a little over graded. (try it next time but without the massive hold off the previous route)
There are numerous traverses, from the easy (3a) to the improbable (6c) and bouldering in a similar range (up to 7a).
The quarry is owned by the water board which request that the railings at the top of the quarry are not used for belays. Occasional groups of scouts abseil down the Dateline wall to add local colour to the place.
An extensive programme of vegetation management by North West Water has recently allowed the sun to reach walls that were becoming dank and dark. North West Water wants to continue without vigilante action by climbers. Respect their wishes.
Some grades have been marked as XS this is simply because the are down right horrible and green and only recorded for historical reasons. If you want to climb these them some time and effort is needed to clean them before hand.
A small note on cleaning; covering damp / wet / dirty / slimy holds with copies amount of chalk does not clean them. In fact it produces a rather horrible paste that actually 'polishes' holds. Think of it like a rock Brasso. To clean them; use your beer towel (other types of towel will do)to dry off the hold and remove wet crud, then toothbrush *NOT* wire brush holds to finish. Chalk is for your hands.
Lady Jane Eliminate Bouldering Maps can be found at the links below. Please follow instructions that accompany the photo when submitting new problems.
Lady Jane Eliminate Map 1 Unicorn to Hart's Arete. http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=203765
Some nice Beta video's http://vimeo.com/65447814
M62 junction 7, head S on the A569. Turn R after 0.7mi onto the A5080. After 400m a Sixth Form College is passed on the L and almost immediately some old green gateposts can be seen on the R. Go up the track between these (beware speed bumps) to parking at the top of the track.
Exit car park via pedestrian gate and walk downhill and rightwards until the green railings surrounding the quarry can be seen. Follow these left or right to enter the quarry at its lowest point. 5 min walk.