Rocktype Grit (quarried)
Altitude 330m a.s.l
In condition? Leaving the axes at home for a winter ascent of Embankment 2...the way it should be done. © Alex Messenger
The greatest of all the gritstone quarries with sheer walls, stunning smooth corners and crack lines that are pure inspiration. Although cracks have become untrendy over recent years the ones you find here are not the dreaded off-widths. Many of the routes were originally aid climbs up hair-line cracks and the repeated inserting and removing of pegs widened the crack enough to allow access to (thin!) fingers, pointed toes and plentiful medium-wire protection. It is worth putting a bit of extra thought into your rack before setting off up one of these of finger-sized cracks since often you will need to make repeated use of the same size wire. But it is not just about cracks since there are also many fine corners and arêtes formed by the thoughtful quarrying of the various bays. The section from Green Death to the Keyhole Cave could not have been designed better even if a climber had been in charge of the dynamite. Well maybe they might have done something about the unstable finishes since some of the exits are a little dangerous where sub-aerial weathering had started to erode the rock before it was exposed by the quarrymen. These 'crisp-bread' finishes require care and it is always a good idea to place an extra bomber-wire or two before trying to top out.
Try not to belay to the fence posts!