Altitude 220m a.s.l
Last move to a desperate top out © GarethGibbons
Bouldering guide available at http://unknownstones.com/st-ives/
A local viewpoint and point of interest near the St. Ives Estate outside Bingley. Evidence of druidic activity is lacking but other earlier pioneers have left their marks: cleaned holds, ancient chips and, more recently, chalk.
Despite the aspect, the rock dries quickly, doesn't suffer much drainage and, in parts, stays dry in all but the heaviest rain.
The recorded trad routes are on the main face of the tallest rock but other smaller buttresses exist with some good, albeit short lines - the traditionalist is generally advised to bring some clippers and a trowel.
The bouldering has recently seen a renaissence with a lot of new lines cleaned and climbed in Spring/Summer 2014. Three main bouldering areas exist; the eastern flanks and lower tier area, beneath the main Druids' Altar block and around the Sundary Morning boulder. Other isolated climbs are present along the edge.
Accessible from Bingley train station via a long walk or else parking is to be had either at the pub 'The Brown Cow' (full suite of Timothy Taylor on offer), St Ives Estate (at the public car park beside the golf course and near Lady B's Cafe - good coffee and food) or the top, middle or bottom of Altar Lane via some off-roading. Altar Lane is a rough track but the quickest access, St Ives offers a delightful walk of some 10mins to get to the crag and the Brown Cow, the alpinist's option and offering the most rewarding finish.
Some old photos of early pioneers can be found here, here and here:
Once the access road (Altar Lane) opens up into a small woodland either cut down immediately right along the drystone wall to join a path that runs along the base of the crag (for the eastern flanks) or walk north-east towards the Druids' Altar itself (well walked paths) and boulder hop down to the crag/boulders. Additional craglets including the Sunday Morning boulder are present further along the edge. The Sunday Morning Boulder is reached after a 5mins walk along the footpath that continues away from Bingley towards Keighley - once the dry-stone wall kicks back in towards the path the Beech plantation opens up on the right. The Sunday Morning Boulder is 100m diagonally down the slope, just above the farmhouse. The boulders beneath the Druids' Altar are, on first encounters, tricky to navigate but straightforward once familiar with the place. Odd bits of litter scattered in places - fill a bag or two and it'll be clean in a couple of visits. The access situation is unknown - believed to be on council owned land - but respectful conduct, as ever, recommended to maintain good relations.
|The 6a climber is well catered for and will find a number of challenges. The 7a climber will get a good workout from the full circuit. The 8a climber is advised to head to the Sunday Morning boulder with a few pads.|
rice boy - 05/Sep/14