Clean, accessible mid-grade routes - Egerton Quarry, Lancashire

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 Andrew Smith 07 Jul 2004
Following on from 'Fiends' original(now archived)post. I was up at 'Egerton' last night, and can once again confirm the quality of the routes we climbed.

Open book (E1 5b) Good varied climbing, worth a star.

Gallows Pole (HVS 5a) A route with good intrest throughout, definatley a three star gem, and a climb you must do when visiting the quarry.

I know this place has come in for some critisicm in the past, but once you wander round, and check out the place, the quality lines begin to pop out. This place is certainly worthy of a visit, get yourself down there.
 r0b 07 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

Andyyyy kindly neglected to say that we (well, I) also tried Dizzy The Desert Snake (E1 5b) but I backed off it from the crux. Seemed stiff for the grade to me (but I would say that!) and harder than "benchmark" E1 5b's at the Wiltons... But it's clean and a good line, and I'll be back for another go sometime.

Gallows Pole, though, was an ace climb. Very reminiscent of Cameo but with better gear - so HVS 5a seemed spot on.

OP Andrew Smith 08 Jul 2004
In reply to r0b: I ommited them facts to protect the innocent!

It looks like every one is busy next week, so I may go over and clean a couple of routes after work.

There are a couple of routes in the grooved wall area that look fairly appealing, and I may clean/find 'Precious Cargo' which gets a couple of stars in the guide, so it may well be worth seeking out.

If the above dont look good, there is always that nice looking crack in the pool area....emmmm big off widths, lovely
 Fiend 10 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

Cheers for reposting this (damn, I knew I should have bumped the original recently).

Glad you enjoyed the routes there. Dunno who cleaned Open Book but good that it's in climbable condition.

Dizzy is pretty solid at the grade and quite tricky. No give-away that's for sure, and definitely worth the effort.

If you do get down there cleaning, the corners on the right of Wood Buttress are an obvious target for serious cleaning as they're great lines. If you're cleaning anything on the Prow, I'd be really grateful if you gave Ice Cool Acid Test a quick brush, it was cleaned recently but that was before the last few weeks of rain so some dust will have almost certainly washed down.
 Fiend 14 Jul 2004
THE LATEST REPORT (bigass post warning =))

Following on from - please refer to that for general quarry information.

Personal routes report:

Had a good day out with an unfortunately unwell Anni, she was impressed with the quarry and the climbing there too.

Zoot Chute VS 4b ** - Anni led this, the lower groove is still a little bit dirty (sorry, this was the route I "warmed up" my cleaning on), so giving it a quick brush whilst climbing would be helpful, thanks. Aside from that, a good, well protected but committing, climb up a good line which looks particularly impressive from the recess opposite.

Lubalin E2 5b ** - definitely two stars now, excellent committing wall climbing on small but positive holds. You could probably miss out the detour left for side-runners as the climbing from the ledges to the peg is steady. Anni liked this one too.

Confusion E3 5c ** - definitely two stars now, just a really good climb, committing but safe, nice start, intricate traverse, and it's not all over when you get the first jug...

(I'm chuffed with both of these because they are in very good condition now except a solitary easy earthy pull to top-out)

Ice Cool Acid Test E3 6a *** - not E4 6a if you place the guidebook-recommended friend in the HS crack from standing on the ledge. Would be E4 without this but probably inferior. Very nice route, a bit of a one move wonder past the overlap, but a hell of a move and then pleasant wall climbing above. It's in fine condition, thanks for the brushing Karl.

Other reports:

- A Lancaster Uni group turned up and got stuck into the routes around this area. Some guys led the classic Gallows Pole HVS 5a and Ten Minutes Before The Worm VS 4c and said they were both great, and a girl led Zoot Chute as her first VS, nice one. Others (not sure if they were Uni people) were top-roping stuff on Wood Buttress, a bit of a waste but the traffic is still useful.

- We had a look over at Guillotine E3 5c (a right laugh up a steep crack, just needs a few ferns removing), and someone was there having just cleaned Shudabindun E1 5b, a nice little wall climbing - good for them.

- Chalk on Nobody Wept For Alec Trench E5 6a and ICAT, hopefully from onsights of course, good that they're getting ascents.

Last great project questions:

Saw two mega-lines...

- Arete right of Cherry Bomb, had chalk down it!! Has this been done?? Great imposing line but can't tell how desperate it is.

- Blank wall left of NWFAT, brushed but obviously not done. A fearsomely blank wall from a ledge passing a thin seam far too low for any real use....although if there's gear in the seam, a (very) sacrificial belayer might be able to do something jumping off the ledge. What's the status??

Cleaning suggestions:

For anyone who's tempted to help out...


Ab ropes, comfy harness.
Cord to attach your tools to so they don't fall down.
Large screw driver or long chisel for chopping off and gouging out plants.
Nutkey for chopping smaller plants and cleaning out cracks.
Toothbrush for thin cracks.
Stiff scrubbing brush for scrubbing lichenous holds.
Large normal brush for brushing loose dirt off.
Thick rag for scrubbing holds and wrapping around brambles to tear them out.


DON'T just brush off a few holds.
DON'T just pull the tops of the plants off.
DON'T leave earth on ledges.

DO clean the top-outs carefully, removing heather and loose rock if necessary, BUT be very careful as too much cleaning will expose a load of loose shit.
DO hack out the main bulk and roots of any plants to prevent regrowth.
DO dig out the earth that accumulates in ledges to prevent more plants springing up.
DO scrap out cracks AND then thoroughly brush them to reduce the dirt that will wash down.
DO thoroughly brush the route as you go down - the above cleaning will generate a lot of loose dirt.
DO expect it to take an hour or so for each route....and DO post about it here so people will climb it and make your work worthwhile =).

Thought for the day:

OP Andrew Smith 14 Jul 2004
In reply to Fiend: That was me cleaning 'Shudabindun', nice to meet you, and put a face to the poster.

The climb in question is now looking pretty good. However, it still requires a bit more a dusting, and a bit more earth removing from the top ledges (may pop over this weekend, time pending)

What is a shame about this climb, is that it is just pure neglect which has allowed it to get so dirty, as it is not even under a drainage line, and the run of from the top is pretty low. On this front, I can see your point about honeypotting guides.

Also, on either side of this climb are two good looking VS climbs, which with a bit of cleaning would further increase the number of lower grade climbs in the quarry.

In addition, there is a new line available (with a bit of cleaning)to the left of 'Shudabindun' just past the VS crack, and before the rotten arete. The line is completley independant, and the rock looks good to.

Cheers Andy
 Fiend 14 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

Hello! I guessed it might be you but one has to be cautious of course...
 R Spisser 14 Jul 2004
So were you "that Fiend character" all along then?

Five of us went down from Lancaster yesterday afternoon. Here are some pictures of Dan on Cherry Bomb (VS):

and of Gemma's first VS lead on Zoot Chute:

All the routes on that big south wall are real treats. We'll definitely be back.
 Fiend 14 Jul 2004
In reply to R Spisser:

Hey, I just know him, okay...
 Anni 15 Jul 2004
In reply to Fiend:
> (In reply to R Spisser)
> Hey, I just know him, okay...

Never met him before in my life. Bit of a weirdo if you ask me...

Fantastic place to climb. Needs some TLC in places but the routes we did were of fantastic quality, and more to the point UNPOLISHED! Well worth the visit. The line of Cherry Bomb has to be possibly the most inspiring VS Ive come accross. Definately one to tick this year.

OP Andrew Smith 20 Jul 2004
In reply to Fiend: 'Shudabindun', is now clean, although a quick dust before leading it would be advised.

All the earth has been removed from the top ledges, and a big loose block has been dispatched to the quarry floor.

I hope this gets a few ascents before the winter as it is a good line.

Cheers Andy
 kevin stephens 20 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

How are the midges and general conditions at present?
Have you done Initiation?
OP Andrew Smith 21 Jul 2004
In reply to kevin stephens: Midges weren't to bad last night, and the rock was suprisingly clean considering all the rain we have had recently.

I haven,t done Initiation as it is a bit top end for me on my current form (weak and a wussy)

Cheers Andy
Anonymous 21 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

I'll go there next week. I'll take a brush.
SiHo 21 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

I'll go there next week. I'll take a brush.
anonymous1 22 Jul 2004
In reply to Fiend:

will you stop bringing the last great problems to everyones attention. They are there 'cause not many people know about them or can climb them.

A lot of new routes are obvious when they are pointed out to people , whereas prior to that the whole world could walk pass and no one sees them.

You are obviuoly not aware that any new route is jealiously gaurded by the potential new router.Till he/she has done it.So back off sunny before you off every new router in the whole country.
Anonymous 22 Jul 2004
In reply to anonymous1:

Cage = rattled!

For years people have complained that the Lancs crags get very little traffic and not much outside interest. Now Fiend does a bit of advertising in an effort to draw attention to some hidden fruits still ripe for picking and you complain? Anonymously as well!

New routes have no owner - if you can't be bothered to get out and try them and mark territory, that's your lookout, not Fiend's.

Now, that wall above the flake at the start of Wilton Wall over the valley has been eyed for years.....
OP Andrew Smith 22 Jul 2004
In reply to Anonymous: Agreed....

A new route is the property of the person who first climbed it. As opposed to the person who first saw it and couldn,t do it.

Cheers Andy
Anonymous 22 Jul 2004
In reply to andyyyy:

A new route is not the property of the first ascentionist - it never 'belongs' to anybody except the collective.

Even MORE reason why the comments of Anonymous1, decrying the bringing to the public's attention of Egerton's potential, are even more out of order.

I expect Anonymous1 has to be an Egerton regular. Someone who doesn't want their lines publicised. Hmmm, I wonder who would be that sensitive???

Answers on a postcard to....
OP Andrew Smith 25 Jul 2004
In reply to SiHo:Try 'Cholera' whilst you are there. Its another Egerton gem, and before I did it yesterday, I dont think it has been climbed this year.

Worth its two stars, and like the guide book says, it is harder than it looks.

Cheers Andy
 Fiend 01 Aug 2004
In reply to anonymous1:


Sorry, not interested in politics, just inspired by seeing future lines.

They're pretty damn obvious, any open-minded climber visiting Egerton would see them whether I point them out or not.

So....are you going to spill any beans then??

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