UKC

NEW ARTICLE: Tales of Windy Ledge

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 UKC Articles 03 Jun 2010
[Tom Proctor on Menopause, Stoney Middleton, 3 kb]In the 1960s and '70s, Stoney Middleton was the epicentre of British climbing. It boasted some of the hardest routes in the country, with a frenetic social life to match.

Before Malham’s catwalk was invented, Windy Ledge, neatly bisecting Stoney’s finest buttress, became the place to go and strut your stuff or, more likely - and very publicly - fail.

Here Mick Ward regales us with some Tales of Windy Ledge...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=2549

 Nic 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great writing as always from Mick - I've only been to Stoney once and it didn't do anything for me, but Mick's article held me from beginning to end.
 Scarab9 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

thanks loads Mick. Bloody brilliant article. Awesome.


 gribble 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Cheers for that - very enjoyable. I've climbed there a fair bit, and I drive past it every day on the way to work. It remains truly inspirational with a massive history.
 JJL 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wonderful article Mick
 Jonny2vests 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice one Mick. Still go to Stoney quite regularly, although I've pretty much done everything I can currently do.
 Ally Smith 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great writing Mick. Reminded me i need to go back to Stoney soon!
 Will Hunt 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Also there needs to be a name and shame for the first picture! Recognise Mr Evans but no others.
 Sash.C 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Really enjoyed that article
 sutty 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice article Mick, some more history on Chris Jackson's website here, if it holds up to many viewings;
http://www.zen68262.zen.co.uk/archives.html
 catt 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Very good, cheers for that.
 Monk 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A great article - I really enjoyed reading it.

 Mord 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great reading. Love Stoney. Never go there enough.

I remember sitting on the belay half way up The Flakes (I think) sheltering from the rain with a very good friend. As I looked up the road, all you could see was a large silver snake(the road) meandering through the dense tree canopy. I though 'this i what is must look like to see a rain forest from above' The sun had just stated to come out again and the light was amazing.

Stoney be special in many ways.

(Bloody har route for me though!!!)

M.
In reply to UKC Articles:

Brilliant piece of writing - thanks.
 Al Evans 03 Jun 2010
In reply to Tom Briggs: Nice merories Mick and a great article, some good pictures salvaged too
 Graham Hoey 03 Jun 2010
In reply to Will Hunt:

> Also there needs to be a name and shame for the first picture! Recognise Mr Evans but no others.

Right- to-left

Graham Hoey, Al Evans, Paul Cropper, Brian Cropper, Nadim (Big Sid) Siddiqui, Rehan Siddiqui, then don't know, until last figure standing far left: Jim Burton

A great article Mick, brought back many memories. I know the comment that 'climbing was hard in those days' is an often sneered at cliche, but looking at Jim Campbell on Our Father says it all.

Cheers
Graham
 Doug 03 Jun 2010
Thanks Mick, brought back memories of the crag, the cafe & the Moon. All seems so long ago....
 Dr_C 03 Jun 2010
I'd swear thats Jerry Garcia laid out smoking in a blue pit 5th from the right. Surely not
 Mick Ward 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Just got back from doing a couple of new routes. Thanks everyone for the kind comments. Stoney really was, in Brian Cropper's words, "the epicentre of British climbing". It's hard to convey just how iconic it was.

For me, the photos, beautifully laid out by Jack and Mick, bring it alive. The Pete Ogden/Graham Hoey shot (with our own Al taking pride of place) perfectly sets the scene. As Graham said, the shot of Willie on Our Father says it all. I remember doing that move and thinking, "There's no f*cking way back now!" John Kirk's shots of Tom Proctor and Andy Barker hung in the cafe for years. (How we all yearned to be as nonchalant as Andy!)

Anybody interested in British climbing history will enjoy Phil Kelly's rockarchivist site, as well as the photos of Brian Cropper (Brian a). Brian's shots are the most remarkable evocation of an era that I've ever seen.

Thanks again,

Mick
 Phil Kelly 03 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ward:

Great to see this finally seeing the light of day!

Stoney was a fantastic, if unforgiving place to climb in the 80s. I had many happy days there with Mark Leach and Paul Pritchard, ticking the classics and pushing ourselves on the harder stuff, often sitting in the Royal Oak or the Moon feeling thoroughly spanked.

I'm intrigued by the 6th(?) picture... the one with Al, Paul and Tom standing on the ledge. What is the guy doing in the background, below ledge height?

Well done Mick!

Phil
 Niall Grimes 03 Jun 2010
lovely stuff Mick, a great read
 madmats 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A truly great article. I love Stoney. Don't live in the peak anymore, but wish I'd tried some of the E4's there when I did, it sounds like back in the day people would just jump on owt!

I made do with the fantastic collection of E2's Windy ledge has to offer; Scoop wall, Armageddon and Flakes direct must be some of the best routes at the grade in the Peak and I've a particularly good memory of Alcasan one midsummer's evening too.
Stoney, I miss you!
 stewieatb 03 Jun 2010
In reply to phil kelly:
> (In reply to Mick Ward)
>
> I'm intrigued by the 6th(?) picture... the one with Al, Paul and Tom standing on the ledge. What is the guy doing in the background, below ledge height?

Looks like he's topping out from a route up to the ledge.
 Gturner71 03 Jun 2010
Awesome artical really well written, makes you wish you were there.
 Null 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Outstanding article for both content and style!
 stewieatb 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: I took a brief trip to Stoney at easter, it's a truly spectacular place. We did a couple of routes, the grades seemed nails hard and I had to lower off a peg on one due to seepage. I wanted to go up to Windy Ledge but we never got around to it. Garage Buttress must be among the most impressive bits of limestone in the UK. I'd love to go back, maybe when the new Peak Lime guide comes out in a year or two.

Does the Indian restaurant that used to be the Lover's Leap cafe still have a routes book?
 Michael Ryan 03 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
>


Thanks Mick Ward. Beautiful article.

Mick
 big john 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: awsome. thanks mick.
 1234None 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Superb article.

I'm currently stuck working in the USA for another month and this article has made me yearn for a trip to Stoney!

Thanks Mick...brilliant piece of writing.

In reply to UKC Articles:

Great article, thanks.
 Shona Menzies 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Waow ! These guys !doing such extreme climbs with no harness, no cams not even any chalk !!!and after kipping out all night on some freezing ledge ,and they all looked soooo cool as well.
Best read i've had in ages ,i love nothing more than reading about previous generations of climbers ,
thanks a lot.
 Epic Ebdon 03 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ward:

Brilliant Really enjoyed reading that, thanks.

Tim
 Rich Kirby 03 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Refreshingly interesting article. More of this guys.
 robandian 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Spent most of my school summer hols at Stoney in 77 to 78 - why is Sue and the cafe no more? I wince every time I drive past. Days out in the peak consisted of go to Stoney cafe and then......
My own memories include the toilet grafiti- "flush hard its a long way to the kitchen" "London wall 5a every move"- coming down from Leeds uni one rainy Saturday and getting Sue to put the telly from her front room into the cafe so we could watch the rugby- my mate doing the hardest route at Stoney on site with no rests - that was 2 chip butties one after the other!oh and trying to find the triangles in the table top formica patterns.Anyone else remember the sound of Sigue Sigue Sputnik blaring out from the bays with the bacher ladders and pull up bar.
 graeme jackson 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
Great article Mick. That brought back memories of driving down from the north east in the early 80's with members of the kinmont willies club. We'd usually spend friday night in the royal oak before heading up to the ledge for the night, saving the moon for saturday. As with most clubs of that era, there was always alot of derring-do (or drunken tomfoolery) resulting in us climbing things we'd not have considered otherwise. Think I'll dig out my old slides this weekend and wallow in reminiscence.
 Chris the Tall 04 Jun 2010
In reply to phil kelly:

> I'm intrigued by the 6th(?) picture... the one with Al, Paul and Tom standing on the ledge. What is the guy doing in the background, below ledge height?

Never mind that, those are some flares Al is wearing !

Great article
 David Rose 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Superb article. Really well written. You thought of writing a book - perhaps a (sub)cultural history of British climbing?

In the late 70s and early 80s when I was doing a lot of caving we always used to stop at the Stoney cafe before a Derbyshire trip. It still had its aura then, and you capture it brilliantly. A little while later I got into climbing. I remember Jim Perrin dragging me up Soapsuds when I was just about leading VS and finding it the most demanding thing I'd ever attempted. Many years later, during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, for a while it was about the only crag available. I remember thinking how it had for years been unjustly neglected and how much it had to offer.
 Al Randall 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Nice article Mick , it brought back many fond memories. I think I must have been one of the piss heads because I was no Rock Star and I don't think I was a Wannabe, well perhaps just a little bit.

Looking back I think we lived through a bit of a golden age in UK climbing.

Al
In reply to robandian:
>trying to find the triangles in the table top formica patterns.

Steve Bancroft used to play that game for hours ("Isolated Triangles"). Erm, fascinating!
Great article. We worried about Noddy and all the limestone soloing. He seemed obsessed with soloing a route called "Choss", and it was hard to understand his excitement. I hoped that the Pembroke incident would induce a more cautious approach but unfortunately it had the opposite effect.
 GeoffRadcliffe 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Thanks Mick for an inspiring and enjoyable article. I hadn't appreciated how much knowledge of those hedonistic days at Stoney you possessed. Good stuff.
 Wee Davie 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Excellent article. One of the best I've ever seen on here.
brian cropper 04 Jun 2010
we did it was a golden age and who remembers the full monty in the cafe stoney was not about climbing it was about life and being young
 butteredfrog 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Brilliant, really enjoyed that, going to read it again now!
 Pedro50 04 Jun 2010
In reply to Andy Stephenson:
> (In reply to robandian)
> >trying to find the triangles in the table top formica patterns.
>
> Steve Bancroft used to play that game for hours ("Isolated Triangles"). Erm, fascinating!

And its twin game, picking up an upsidedown ashtray with a pinch grip on the "dome" - about 6a.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 04 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Typical winter week-end day on Windy Ledge - towards the end of the 1970s:

http://www.pbase.com/chris_craggs/image/113649773


Chris
 kevin stephens 04 Jun 2010
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Can anyone post that classic cartoon (Crags mag?) of Stony Cafe showing the divide between sponsered climbers and the prolls?
 stewieatb 04 Jun 2010
In reply to kevin stephens: Proll? Is that like what happens when a Prole breeds with a Troll?
 Mick Dewsbury 05 Jun 2010
In reply: I'm pretty certain that from the left of the photo is actually Pete Lomax, me, Dave Banks(in undies as was usual)and Jed Storah.
 Michael Ryan 05 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Dewsbury:

Thanks Mick... so is this it from left to right...

Pete Lomax, Mick Dewsbury, Dave Banks (in undies) Jed Storah, Rehan Siddiqui, Nadim (Big Sid) Siddiqui, Brian Cropper, Paul Cropper, Al Evans, Graham Hoey

If so I can change that caption.
 Mick Dewsbury 05 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Mick, I'm not sure who the one in the white top is, between Little Sid and Jed - could be Black Nick. I would imagine it's Gabe Regan who's still in the orange pit!
 WillTaylor 05 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Great article. Cheers.
In reply to UKC Articles: That's a brilliant article Mick, thanks for sharing.
brian cropper 05 Jun 2010
In reply to Graham Hoey: hello graham jim had not climbed for two years
 Al Evans 05 Jun 2010
In reply to Andy Stephenson:
> (In reply to robandian)
> >trying to find the triangles in the table top formica patterns.
>
> Steve Bancroft used to play that game for hours ("Isolated Triangles"). Erm, fascinating!

Aye well, we had to make our own fun in those days The triangle game well pre-dated Steve btw, the other was attempts on setting the beer mat flipping record (bring your own beer mats), I think Jim Cambell was the record holder (enormous hands).
 Al Evans 05 Jun 2010
In reply to davidoldfart:
> (In reply to UKC Articles) Superb article. Really well written. You thought of writing a book - perhaps a (sub)cultural history of British climbing?
A little while later I got into climbing. I remember Jim Perrin dragging me up Soapsuds when I was just about leading VS and finding it the most demanding thing I'd ever attempted.

Soapsuds had a first ascent list of about a dozen seconds, it was started in the morning then finished in the afternoon, after a few pints and a game or two of darts we all went back and I completed it first go
In reply to UKC Articles:
Mick absolute classic article really loved it.
The first time my wife (ex) came to the peak I took her to the cafe for a pint of tea and to find the triangle on the formica table as it was the centre of the universe.
 Mick Dewsbury 05 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Dewsbury:
Class photo captures the atmosphere of the place perfectly. Think I will have a "Full Set and Mug of Tea"
 Mick Dewsbury 05 Jun 2010
In reply to PSmith1000:

Well listen for it or else Jean will have to put it in the oven...
In reply to UKC Articles:
Great stuff.
I went to Stoney once - vague to non-existant memories of with who, where we dossed or where we drank. Probably to excess for the latter. The one thing that seared itself into my brain was that it was scarier than Malham. That, I do remember. And that I didn't climb a thing. And that windy ledge was very cool.
 Jan Witkowski 06 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A great article, capturing what it was like to climb in that period and why it is important (and fun) to remember it.
In reply to UKC Articles: Thanks Mick, that was something special.
 Graeme Hammond 06 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

great, more articles like this please!
 Ian Jones 06 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A superb read young Michael. AS for the bogs graphitti you forgot to mention 'Soloers of the World Untie!'

You still clipping bolts in the sun?

Cheers

Ian Jones
 Phil Kelly 06 Jun 2010
In reply to The Purple Pimpernel:

it was "dyslexics of the world...."
 Phil Kelly 06 Jun 2010
In reply to phil kelly: But then again the bogs got whitewashed occasionally so there may have been more than one version!

I've asked the question before - did anyone take photos of those Walls?

Phil
 sutty 06 Jun 2010
In reply to phil kelly:

We never did, film, and flashbulbs cost money.

Seems funny to think that 40 years ago that was a serious consideration, and close up pics were for those with expensive cameras. Now you take a picture on your phone and post it straight away somewhere at virtually no cost.
 Mick Ward 06 Jun 2010
In reply to The Purple Pimpernel:

Hi Ian,

Great to hear from you. Glad you liked it. Yeah, still sunboltclipping, but Return to Trad's looming on the horizon. Gulp!

Re the 'wisdom of the bog', Brian Cropper curses himself for not having snapped the various versions. As Sutty rightly says, it was expensive to develop film, so he'd just get one or two photos done from a roll.

What this means though, is that he's got thousands of rare archive photos of stuff that he took 30 years ago and forgot about. Courtesy of Phil Kelly's superb generosity (thanks Phil)in loaning him a very expensive scanner, these are finally seeing the light of day. It's so strange to see the images of people like Dirty Alex and Arni Strapcans.

Thanks to everyone who's posted. I'm glad you've liked it. I really wasn't sure whether anyone would be interested. Brian nagged me to write something - anything. Looks like he was right. So thanks, mate.

'Tales...' has really just scratched the surface. So many people have their own stories which yearn to be shared across the generations. Hopefully we will have more photographs and stories on here.

All best wishes,

Mick
In reply to robandian:
Anyone else remember the sound of Sigue Sigue Sputnik blaring out from the bays with the bacher ladders and pull up bar?

we would often find the woodshed full up, and sleep on top of the big diesel tank on the petrol station forecourt. I also remember lots of beery midnight ascents off windy Ledge by headtorches followed by relay races through the keyhole cave and back along Tiger Trot.

Think the Bachar Ladder belonged to Basher Atkinson and was set up off a tree next Minus Ten wall. I think around this time the entire scene changed, with Tom's Cave replacing Windy Ledge as the centre of operations.
Happy days

 stewieatb 06 Jun 2010
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Re; caves at Stoney. How many of them have particular names? Me and a mate were wandering around at the base and exploring every cave we came across at easter.

Also, does the cave at the bottom of Gabriel/Pearly Gates go anywhere significant? Joel had a wander around and we hid our bags in there when we did the route to keep the rain off and stop them getting pinched. I seem to remember that he didn't find an 'end' to it.
 sutty 06 Jun 2010
In reply to stewieatb:

The one at the bottom of Gabriel is a big and difficult and muddy cave and sections should not be gone in without experience.

See Carlswark;

http://www.peakdistrictcaving.info/caveguides/cave_index_stoney_middleton.pdf
 stewieatb 06 Jun 2010
In reply to sutty: Cheers sutty. We may be young but we aren't (very) stupid - I'm not planning on an impromptu, unequipped caving trip.
 sutty 06 Jun 2010
In reply to stewieatb:

We were younger and dafter than you when we first went caving. We did have a safety rope but decided caving was too dangerous after finding a body in one where they had slipped down a steep incline and could not get out again. Went back to climbing then.
 sugy 06 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles: Lovely read. It took me back to my early days in the 80s. Sleeping on windy ledge, the land of the midnight sun. Ginger sponge and custard, full set when i could afford it, the characters, my big mate Craig, the general, dirty Derek and others. Great guys who all climbed way harder than me but aways had time for me. Superb climbs too. Its been over 20 years now. I just got to go back.
In reply to sugy:

And that awkward step on the ledge when pissed!

One memorable night in other pub (not the Moon) where we met Len Milsom and his wife and he drunk us under the table, into the bogs and throwing-up on the floor - he was only drinkung halves to our pints though! (his wife said he was 'knackered' and sure enough he died shortly afterward - so I went and led Milsoms Minion shortly after that)
 keith sanders 07 Jun 2010
does anybody remember the last night of the Grouse shutting down and the date, when Jack Street and Paul Nunn recicted eskimo nell and the presenting of the nose bag, bodies sleeping al over the dale, I have some photos from that night and day after somewhere, must find them they may have the date on. Nice memories Mick.
 SCC 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ward:

Fantastic article - really enjoyed it.

Si
 john arran 07 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

I too thought it was a great article and a fascinating read. I only wish I didn't miss that era by a very narrow margin. I do however remember wandering up from the caff one day to go do something in the bays, and looking up to see some nutter soloing Menopause
 Franco Cookson 07 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:


Brilliant article. I'm going to get myself to Stoney and get on some more of these classic routes.

The solo of Menopause is outragous even if he knew he could retreat along our father it's still epic. WOW.
 sutty 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Franco C:

I like the idea that you can back off onto Our Father, some escape route that.
 stewieatb 07 Jun 2010
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to Franco C)
>
> I like the idea that you can back off onto Our Father, some escape route that.

I was gonna say..
 Franco Cookson 07 Jun 2010
In reply to sutty: haha. Exactly, but I imagine he must of done that route before. There's a line between supreme confidence, ability and huge boldness and total insanity- which setting off up that buttress on a cutting-edge route sans rope and without knowing the buttress would be.

I've never done Our Father or Menopause like.
 Mick Ward 07 Jun 2010
In reply to Franco C:

I seem to remember Andy Parkin telling me that he'd soloed Our Father to around the undercut toward the end of the difficulties, hadn't fancied a move (the stretch into the undercut?), had grabbed the sling, lowered down and then reversed the flake to get back onto the ledge.

The first part of the downclimb was in an similarly outrageous position to Menopause. I suppose if you fluffed reversing the flake and were lucky, you'd hit the ledge. Reversing the flake must have been very awkward. I know the only way I'd have managed it would have involved the assistance of gravity.

Gripping stuff!

Mick

In reply to UKC Articles: I have no idea how anyone dare solo Windy Ledge routes. On my one and only attempt at Dies Irae (probably about 1981) I climbed up the first (easy) section, clipped a bit of tat attached to an old nut, pulled up and instantly found myself ten feet lower. The (presumably well-used) layaway hold had snapped off. I felt grateful that the tat held as it was my only runner, but so lacking in confidence in the rock that I couldn't climb any more that day (I know you're supposed to get straight back on, but I didn't fancy chancing my luck again).
In reply to UKC Articles: Great article! Young'uns like me who only started climbing in the '90s missed out on all this history, and crags like stoney never feature in the mags as new routes aren't being done on them and they're not fashionable.
 willackers 08 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A nice article by Chris Jackson that may be of interest to some people, it contains some of my dads photos from the 60's....

http://www.zen68262.zen.co.uk/archives.html
 Michael Ryan 08 Jun 2010
In reply to willackers:

Brilliant, cheers.

Mick
 sutty 08 Jun 2010
In reply to willackers:

Will, if your dad has any log books or photos Phil Kelly would like to archive them on here for posterity;

http://www.rockarchivist.co.uk/index.php
 David Hooper 08 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

A superb evocative read Mick - proper climbing writing that is sadly in short supply these days - thankyou.

Are you heading to the beautiful north anytime soon?
 Lankyman 09 Jun 2010
In reply to sutty: totally off the OP but would that have been Neil Moss down Peak Cavern (the only Derbyshire cave I can think of with an in-situ body)? I have a copy of "Life and Death Underground" by Jim Lovelock and this was a massive story in 1959. I was a caver first and used to thrive on stories like this.
 Al Evans 09 Jun 2010
In reply to Karl Lunt: The Neil Moss tragedy was covered live as it unfolded on BBC outside broadcast, I don't think it's possible to stumble across his body, it was sealed after they were certain he was dead.
 Lankyman 09 Jun 2010
In reply to Al Evans: it just seems odd to come across a body down a cave - even in wild and woolly Derbyshire. I've come across fresh human bones down caves in Turkey but you almost expect it in remote exotic places with violent recent pasts. Perhaps someone who fell off Windy Ledge during the night and everyone thought had just gone home?
 rocksol 09 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
I dont climb much now, but happened to log on and read the article. That did bring back memories. I first visited windy ledge around about 72/73 & watched Alan "Richard" McArdy & "Tut" Braithwaite fail on Our Father. Tom as usual was on hand to demonstrate the roof in hush puppies. I thought Richard would dob him, but then Tom was an impressive physical specimen as well. He wasn,t called the Hydraulic man for nothing! Eventually I got strong enough to do the route and before the end of the 70,s I also soloed it, albeit after a liquid lunch in The Moon!.
Tom was a real gentleman a living legend and the happiest trip I ever had was climbing with him on Cerro Torre.
Halcyon days Happy days. Like Tom, gone but not forgotten!!!
Phil Burke
 Al Evans 09 Jun 2010
In reply to rocksol: Phil, Richard actually did the first 'non Tom' ascent of Our Father eventually.
 rocksol 09 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
hi Al
How you doing? I didn,t know Richard eventually did the route. Obviously I knew he should be capable of it. What about Edge Lane round about the same time?!
Cheers
Phil
Gary morgan 09 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:
A fantastic reminder of how it used to be. We were a gang of Southerners from Luton who eventually "discovered" the Limestone after endless trips North! to Froggat and Curbar. We were probably the wanabees / piss artists referred to in the article. Two of our club broke ankles on the ledge; my partner Rob who cratered trying to back off Kellog going for the peg (he had led it previously)and Muesli - who pulled some holds of Windhover and decked. Every route seemed epic to us and the grading in the blue Northern Limestone guide was fierce. Dead Banana Crack, Windhover, Medusa, St Peter all HVS, Cock-a-Leekie Wall, Soapsuds E1.

Main memories:
Falling from the top of Om brushing the ground on stretch.
Watching our Martin spreadeagled for hours across the crux of Scoop wall 3 weeks running. He made it eventually.
The Full set in the cafe but most of all the crab-like nip of the toilet seat in the left hand bog when you sat down in the dark!

Oh happy days around 1982-84.



 Ian Milward 09 Jun 2010

>
> Aye well, we had to make our own fun in those days The triangle game well pre-dated Steve btw, the other was attempts on setting the beer mat flipping record (bring your own beer mats), I think Jim Cambell was the record holder (enormous hands).

In reply to Al Evans:

All this is very nostalgic! The triangles were easy to spot once you'd worked out that the seemingly random lines were actually a finite pattern with a repeat at about 2'6" intervals...

Remember Bill's whistling false teeth? When he used to shout down a crowded cafe something like " Who'ssse ordered sssome ssssausssage sssandwichesss?"

And the irresistible Parkin, Eccles cakes and 'Fly Pie' squares in the glass cabinet on top of the counter...essential to help soak up a large tea!


 Al Evans 10 Jun 2010
In reply to rocksol:
> (In reply to UKC Articles)
> hi Al
> How you doing? I didn,t know Richard eventually did the route. Obviously I knew he should be capable of it. What about Edge Lane round about the same time?!
> Cheers
> Phil

Hi Phil
I'm fine but not climbing, actually you may be right about Richard, which would make Ron's ascent with me following in 19 o'dot the first Non Tom ascent, the reason I now have doubts is that Richard got cross with me for putting his picture on it in Mountain Magazine and I can only think this was because he did'nt do it. Was I standing next to you watching his attempt?
I still remember with affection the night I pointed out to you the line of Tales of Yankee Power, obvious in the Hard Rock photo of Original Route and you getting us out onto it in a couple of days
 Mick Ward 10 Jun 2010
In reply to David Hooper:

Hi David,

Glad you liked it. Would be great to get back to the beautiful north some time this summer. Will be in touch, if so; would be great to meet up. The reminiscences on this thread are making me broody for things northern!

All best wishes,

Mick
 Phil Kelly 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Ian Milward:
>
> [...]
>
> In reply to Al Evans:
>
> a finite pattern with a repeat at about 2'6" intervals...
>
There was a formula for finding other triangles, based on this. You could place your elbow on one that had been found and lay your forearm on the table, hands and finger outstretched then sweep across the table in an arc. IIRC the other triangles were a couple of inches beyond the tips of the fingers.

Or have I remembered it wrong?

Someone else mentioned Ginger Sponge and Custard. This was the winning prize for our sessions in Tom's Roof. I think Quentin also named a route after it at Millstone.

Phil

 Mick Ward 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to rocksol)

> ...the reason I now have doubts is that Richard got cross with me for putting his picture on it in Mountain Magazine and I can only think this was because he did'nt do it. Was I standing next to you watching his attempt?

Al, I never knew that shot was yours! It was one of the great photos that inspired me - like Wilson's sequence of Drummond on Great Wall and John Syrett on Wall of Horrors.

Didn't Wilson (or one of the sub-editors?) caption it with 'attempting'? Although we lived in more casual times then, Wilson's standards of journalism were unremitting - which is as it should always be. I don't think the readers were in danger of getting a wrong impression - although such scrupulous honesty is greatly to McHardy's credit. (Most of us might just have lived with it!)

Great to have Phil Burke's reminisences up above. (Hope he doesn't mind my gentle teasing in the article.) Soloing Our Father - serious kudos - especially way back then when folk weren't 'modern strong'.

And taking the Stoney ethic ("Live hard - climb harder!") to Patagonia with Proctor, with a route reputedly well ahead of its time...

Have you still got the photo of McHardy on Our Father? Would be good to see it again.

All best wishes,

Mick





 David Hooper 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Mick Ward:
There will be a room for you at the cottage waiting
 Mick Ward 10 Jun 2010
In reply to David Hooper:

Many thanks.

Mick
 rocksol 10 Jun 2010
In reply to Al Evans:
Al I might have been watching with you. Richard gave up on Our Father & led Choss. Tut followed with every few seconds shouting "take in Richard"! Sorry to hear you,re not climbing now, I,ve just started again...again...again!, but finding it hard. you must be 60 now, me in sept. Yankee Power...Thanks for that. It was on Tom,s 50+ list of routes to do and there,s still alot left, but I,ve lost my copy...Doh!.
Nice to hear from you
cheers
Phil
brian cropper 12 Jun 2010
In reply to rocksol: hello phil nice to hear your alive and back on rock i am still in contact with myhill i will be seeing him next week regards brian
 Fidget 14 Jun 2010
In reply to UKC Articles:

Brilliant Mick, great to read the anecdotes and memories before they're lost. I climbed once at Stone for it's prestige (and belayed and caved there other times), Gabriel is a fantastic route at an amenable grade.
 Fidget 14 Jun 2010
In reply to Fidget:

Edit - climbed there twice, how could I forget Fingal's Flue, unique!!
 rocksol 15 Jun 2010
In reply to brian a:
Hi Brian
Yep back on the rock but struggling. Perhaps we should have a Stoney reunion?!! Give my regards to Keith. See if you can get his email address for me
cheers
Phil

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