8th May 2004, organised by Les Ainsworth. Unfortunately and for no good reason, Egerton had fallen into relative neglect, paths had been obscured by brambles and some routes had got vegetated through lack of attention. Some of this has now been rectified to help expose the quality climbing on offer. Activities I noticed:
(Participants please post and highlight what else you did)
Paths above and below the Cholera and Lonely areas (if not many more) were cleared, exposing good mid-extreme grade climbs.
Litter was cleared up.
Trees and brambles were cut back.
Les and Squeak excavated huge grass ledges of the Amphitheatre (this area will need more serious cleaning though).
Kevin Stephens cleaned a good looking E2 and E3, reporting the E2 looked as good as Supercrack in Wilton but easier (for those who don't know, Supercrack is a superb finger crack that makes Regent Street look like a polished ramble).
High quality, clean, mid-grade routes:
This is what I did so I recommend these absolutely. Please, please, take time away from Burbage Popular End, explore a bit further afield, and treat yourself to some great mid-grade wall/crack climbing. Egerton needs traffic to keep the high quality climbing accessible to all, and if it falls into neglect again it will be YOUR fault for letting it happen.
Anyway, try these routes on Wood Buttress, they have been properly cleaned i.e. not a quick whisk with a toothbrush, but heathery finishes landscaped into amenable jugs, any grass and earth gouged off ledges, cracks scraped clean, all holds thoroughly brushed - they were good before as I can report from doing Gallows Pole....they're probably worth a star extra now:
Zoot Chute VS 4b ** - a solid groove leading to a bolder finish on good holds, good line and good position.
I Shot Jason King E5 6a ** (maybe ***?)- a superb and very bold arete....there are holds up there....but not gear =). Great line. (This and The Reaper next door should still have a quick brush from your mate on abseil before the onsight, the grass has gone but there is a little bit of lichen.)
Confusion E3 5c ** (was no stars) - great looking combination of wall climbing and a thin crack gained by a delicate traverse.
Ten Minutes Before The Worm VS 4c ** (was*) - great looking combination of steady crack climbing gained by a bold but steady traverse. Parallels Confusion in an adventurous way.
Lubalin E2 5b ** (was *) - great looking steady wall climbing on hidden holds with just enough gear.
God Save The Queen HVS 5a ** (was *) - good looking and varied bold wall climbing up a occasional crack system, strong line.
Gallows Pole HVS 5a *** (was **) - as good an HVS wall climb as you'll find anywhere, easy but bold climbing to gain a steady crack with a delightful committing finish.
Other participants and Lancs climbers, please post what you did, highlight routes people should do, and keep bumping this up (I had considered a Premier Post but I don't think it's fair to fork out £20 to announce a non-commercial service).
In reply to Fiend: Well done to all involved but this sort of info really gets the likes of me fired up, so well done Fiend. I'll be making a visit soon.
What is also great is to see the combination of BMC and RT folk(many of us in both), making it happen. I got the two original emails from Les first asking for help, then begging for help, I simply couldn't make it. But at least Les came to RT to muster up more help and Alan James also encouraging people to go along. Great to see it really is one world when it comes getting something done.
Again, well done all of you.
I use to live near by (Bury) but was restricted in climbing there in 1999-2000. Someone (new landowner ?) had erected large wire fences along the road that seperates the main area from the smaller area down on the left (walking up the road).
So access is no problem then ?
I might have a drive over from Yorkshire, always liked Egerton, less noise & traffic (hence the clean up) than the Wiltons.
Has anyone visited Deepley Vale , just outside Bury recently, nice small quarry with a gem of an arete "Half Penny", E1 5a in the guide, not really (treat it as a high-ball boulder problem )just bold as there's bugger all protection.
Access seems to be no problem, there's a clear path around the fence at the left hand end. I vaguely heard something about Les talking to the landowner so I think there might be some official access there, at any rate there doesn't seem to be any problem.
> Has anyone visited Deepley Vale , just outside Bury recently, nice small quarry with a gem of an arete "Half Penny", E1 5a in the guide, not really (treat it as a high-ball boulder problem )just bold as there's bugger all protection.
Yup. Nice place. Could do with a little clean as well. Very pleasant and peaceful though. As for HP Arete....well I got 4 bits of good gear in the slot at mid-height. So perhaps worth leading =). More waffle here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=23723
Did MK in 1998 when the bolts under the roof were then very rusty, hmmm, probably will not support a bag of sugar now, assuming they've not been replaced.
But there are two lines, one using the bolt the other if my mind serves me right goes left under the roof with a swing out and a pull up on to the wall.
My favorites are, HP arete, Scoop & Traverse (the scoop being a pig to start I seem to remember) to the left and the 6a wall to the right. RC is ok when dry.
But nice setting.
Anyone old enough to recall the free festivals further along in the vale itself?
I remember going climbing during the afternoon then getting very stoned listening to Here & Now (and other bands) @ 3 am later that day !!!!!
They were the days
15-20m in the bit I cleaned. Some 15-20m routes nearby, but mostly 10-15m in the rest of the quarry.
The mid-grade routes are protectable but pretty steady, and there are a few classic proper solos in the harder grades e.g. Jason King.
clm14 May 2004
bottoms of lonely wall and cholera area cleared of saplings and brambles, same over round phantom zone, stepping stones built thriugh the marsh to improve access to phantom zone area. belay stake replaced on VS arete right of cherry bomb
GEOFFH19 May 2004
In reply to Fiend: At the Egerton clean up the other day I was reminded of a few unclimbed lines and went to look at one last week. Last night me and Adam Richardson climbed the overhanging arete/prow just right of Cholera. We thought it was really good/scary and gave it E6 6b. Adam said it was the scariest belay of his life but he would say that if he thought, at any second, my 15.5 stone body might land on him!
Thanks for highlighting the plight of Egerton - the same fate is befalling a few other Lancs venues which is ironic given the numbers of climbers I saw in Wilton 3 last Thursday evening! A route I did several years ago in Egerton which I'd recommend was on the wall left of Cherry Bomb (itself very good): "Silk Cut", a well-protected and sound E2 which doesn't even get a star in the current guide and which we thought was worth on or even two? Anybody else done it?
As a member of the local MRT I was under the impression that this quarry was (technically) still active and therefore subject to legislation concerning quarrying and other associated activities, hence the fencing and general air of neglect.
We are aware that a limited amount of climbing was taking place but this was restricted to a relatively small number of climbers. If this location is to benefit from more traffic on the routes available then so much the better, why get stuck in the rut of visiting one of the Wiltons when there is a chance of climbing a non polished route less than a mile away?
For those unfortunate enough to come unstuck, you might want to remind GMAS that you are in a quarry off COX GREEN LANE as locally the quarry is know as Cox Green and not Egerton.
Hope we don't have to turn out to you, but be assured that we are familiar with the location as it is used as an occasional training venue.
The newly cleaned Initiation got its first two ascents in , I guess, several years. Excellent quality confirmed for this classic E2 5c finger crack. I also enjoyed God Save The Queen, which Fiend Cleaned along with others on the same wall, many of which were enjoyed by the Fylde MC this evening.
The Flag pub on the road up to the crag is excellent with a wide choice of quality real ales.
I'll be back with my brush after I return from Ceuse
was there last week, got chatting to a guy who lives just by the quarry - he was saying that access is a bit sketchy at the moment due to the quarry being owned privately. The new owner has turned a substantial area into a garden for himself (fair enough - looks good from above!) but he knows not what to do with the rest of it, this is the reason for the fencing and 'danger' signs. The owner is concerned mainly about kids in the quarry (certainly there were many kids there last wed evening, many of them off their heads on god knows what), but he is also concerend about the legal repurcussions of climbers falling and claiming compo. I really think the Beardy Mountaineers Club (BMC) could do with a few smoothing words here (the guy might even give the place away; he's got what he wanted - his garden). With a bit of effort from everyone involved this place could become as sweet as Anglezarke or Pex Hill (this wouyld be a good thing in my book).
The climbing.... Ok-ish grit, cherry bomb is a good route, short but sweet. Silk Cut is a brilliant little climb with some high steps and odd moves to get up the crack with a boss heelhook to get past the last difficult bit. didn't get to any of the other bays except to look, but it all seems pretty sweet.
> The new owner has turned a substantial area into a garden for himself (fair enough - looks good from above!)
Yes I saw that section, around the outside of the quarry, don't think anyone climbs there any more as it's quite crap anyway.
> this is the reason for the fencing and 'danger' signs.
They have been there for 2-3 years.
> but he is also concerend about the legal repurcussions of climbers falling and claiming compo
AFAIK, there are NO legal repercussions unless he charges for access for climbing...
> I really think the Beardy Mountaineers Club (BMC) could do with a few smoothing words here
geoffm01 Jun 2004
In reply to Chris Moody:
The quarry is on Cox Reen Road not lane
The rights for re-working of the quarry where given up many
years ago in exchange for permission to work the quarries at Horwich
The signs and fencing where put in place after a couple of
suicides many years back, and not to prevent Geoff Hibbert getting in.
The outside face on the old entrance side was an excellent
bouldering area and was always well used during the quarries climbing hey day
It would be great to see the place being used again and well done to those involved in the clean up
aren't all the routes in there sunday school outings
GEOFFH02 Jun 2004
In reply to geoffm:
I like to think that a competent climber experienced in the full spectrum of climbing would find most of the routes at Egerton a Sunday School Outing.
Of course when a route is described as such the potential ascentionist should consider the describers potential for having a sense of humour.
A few memories of climbing with you spring to mind
e.g. 1980 Climber G. Hibbert Sandbagger G. Mann Route Ann
"You can only use the right hand crack"
(Barndoor followed by backward swan dive onto hex 2 and banging my head on ledge. your response whilst belaying round waist "Oooh mi back"
e.g. 1983 Climber G. Hibbert Sandbagger G. Mann Route Nothing Fantastic
"It's a really nice route and the gears good"
e.g. 1984 Climber G. Hibbert Sandbagger G. Mann Route Grader
"You only decked out on the stretch" (From the niche!)
e.g. 1987 Climber G. Hibbert Sandbagger G. Mann Route Sleepwalk
"The wires are small but really good" (I fell from the finishing break to 5 foot off the floor after stripping the small wires)
e.g. 2003 Climber G. Hibbert Sandbagger G. Mann Route Daring Dan
"I've given it a good clean, the rocks good and there's a bomber 2.5 friend on the crux" (Terrifying, you couldn't glue a friend in that blind, flared groove)
Whilst many routes at Egerton are in the Sunday School Outing bracket a handful scrape through into the next bracket known as "quite tricky".
These are:- Vortex E8, Terminal Velocity E6, The Reaper E6, Alec Trench E5, I Shot Jason King, Renaissance E5, Lucky Heather E4, Falling off the Edge of the World E3 and Nasty Little Lonely HVS!
The routes aren't sunday school outings for some of us, though...
GEOFFH03 Jun 2004
In reply to Fiend:
Just to clarify in climbing terms a Sunday School Outing is a route where you are unlikely to die. It may be hideously technical and you may get up it by the skin of your teeth, however having done so and knowing you are unlikely to terminaly sandbag someone, you may recommend it as an S.S.O.
This should not be confused with an S.O.S. which refers to the Quite Tricky category.
Dave Barrans03 Jun 2004
Went down last Thursday evening, onsighted I Shot Jason king, absolutley superb and certainly as good as Edge Lane, if you like that sort of thing. My mate did the HVS right of God Save the Queen, which was also very good, alot like Cameo at wilton only steeper and better holds.
Some awsome looking lines there but they all need some traffic, aslo quite alot of rubbish so it might be worth taking a plastic bag and taking a small amount away with you!
Wot's the difference between Jason King and I'm Alright Jack?
Last I remember, JK was E2 5b and a route to lead.
Have I missed summat?
Dave Barrans03 Jun 2004
In reply to Fiend:
most of the rubbish is under neath the bits on the right hand side underneath the trees, not too pleasant under there!
GEOFFH03 Jun 2004
In reply to Anonymous:
I'm Alright Jack, I think, was climbed by Mark Liptrot in about 1987 and is the same arete as I shot JK which was climbed by Mick Johnson a few years before. The description for ISJK in the previous pink supplement described ISJK as gaining the crack just right of the arete by a rising traverse from the direct start of ten minutes before the worm.
On visiting the quarry with Mick in 1991 he pointed out that he had climbed the arete starting just right of it and maybe used the crack to finish but the line was the arete and not as the pink guide description.
The next guide ammended this and the previous description for ISJK was climbed at E3 5c and called Confusion.
It does seem a bit odd that ISJK was given E25b originally but Mick can be quite good on a good day and climbers were much tougher then tee hee.
Hmmmm in fact anyone up for a bit of climbing there this week??
GEOFFH09 Jun 2004
In reply to Anonymous: Aye, the direct start to the Worm - I did this
Was this the first ascent as I don't think the direct start is credited to anyone?
The direct start is pokey enough at 5b and the thin traverse left is harder and higher. Did you carry on up ten minutes until you got gear as I don't remember being gear before the traverse, or was there a small wire on the direct start?
Can't have been the FA because I did the line described in the Les Ainsworth '82 guide for ISJK.
There was gear for the traverse, at about waidst height, so maybe a different level of traverse?
I wouldn't have said the start was 5b tho!
Anyway, you need to buy some tickets... real soon!
Anonymous10 Jun 2004
In reply to Anonymous:
Oh Yea I forgot but I'm off to Fontainbleau sorry "FONT" for a few days so I'll give you a shout when I get back.
RE ISJK who cares, but that other lad onsighting the current ISJK is a pretty good effort. Mind you we didn't have bouldering mats in our day blah, blah, fossilised rant, blah, blah
If someone could give Ice Cool Acid Test a brush on abseil sometime soon I would be very grateful and owe them a pint. It's the sort of thing I'd love to try but the greeness puts me off as it's probably too hard anyway =). Out of interest, I presume one places a the recommended large cam from the obvious ledge before trending left (I don't wish to shirk the full challenge)??
I should really actually do some climbing here lol, still haven't got round to it...
Ice Cool Acid Test - Karl cleaned this one on abseil (and I did a little gorse gardening at the top). Top is now much better and generally the whole route is reported to be clean. Nice one. Go to it chaps.
We had a look at the stuff Kevin Stephens cleaned:
Initiation - we both led this, a good solid route although not really comparable to Supercrack. Felt it was pretty mild for the grade although I had a minor wobbler. In pretty good condition except the top-out is a little gruesome.
Long Distance Runner - I failed miserably due to psychological inhibitions, sweatiness, and missing a useful hold; Karl manage to get up with two rests. The general conclusion was that it was bloody nails for the grade!! The climbing up to the peg was great though and indubitably a good route, the top is in better nick than Ini too.
Cheers for those.
Karl also did Gallows Pole which is a tiny bit dusty on the ledges and at the finish after my removal of the heather - sorry about that a bit of a botch job but it's still in good nick and a great route.
Gotta train for ICAT now =)
Oh one more thing - Satin Sapphire - total death or not??
Just VS, yes. Zoot Chute and TMBTW look very fine, and there's a classic VS 4c corner, Cherry Bomb over the other side. Plus something like Gallows Pole would make a good route to push yourself on if you don't mind the bold but juggy start.
There's not much below that though, well there's a few well-reputed easy routes but they mostly tend to be wide cracks in a vaguely vegetated condition....good lines tho....if you wanted to take a broom and crowbar to them....=).
The best place for easier routes is probably Wilton3 although they might be a bit overused and polished. There's also some easier routes at Cadshaw Castle Rocks which is in a nice setting.
Guidebooks are the massive BMC Lancashire Rock tome which I'd recommend, and Western Grit which I wouldn't because their honeypotting approach left out Egerton thus further contributing to the neglect there.
Insipidity(VS 4c) and Wednesday Corner (VS 4b)on the right of Wood Buttress are excellent thought the latter seemed good value for 4b when we did it about 4 years ago. As far as I remember they are both excellent corner climbs like 999 and The Corner at Wilton 1