Jordan and Naomi Buys have rediscovered a 'new' bouldering venue near Exley Quarry in Calderdale. The boulder was initially developed by Steve Honeyman in 2006, but has since attracted little interest. Jordan and Naomi - alongside a team of enthusiastic climbers - have added to the existing problems and cleaned up the area.
Jordan spotted the boulder in the quarry above the A629 on the way to a training session. He commented:
"I was so curious that I decided to explore instead of train. Lo and behold, there was a fantastic undercut boulder sitting in the Exley quarry, very dirty but seemingly great quality rock and with obvious, appealing lines waiting to be plucked."
Jordan did some research, but nothing other than a sighting of two climbers attempting and failing to trad climb in the area was reported by a local farmer.
Alongside his wife Naomi, the pair made three trips to the boulder in early March and were impressed with the quality of the problems, featuring technical and gymnastic moves. They then invited a select few climbers to test out the problems:
"After finally feeling that we had worked out the boulder by climbing all the available lines, we spread the word to a chosen few. Fellow Boreal athletes, Sam Hamer and Andi Turner, joined us for a boulder party (we named it "The Party Block" and all the problems were given party themes). Sam and Andi confirmed how great the block was, repeating most of our problems, and we even spotted a line we had missed up the left hand undercut slab. A team ascent followed to yield The Last Dance."
However, a picture online was recognised and identified as the same boulder that had been developed by Steve Honeyman back in 2006. It turned out that he and Dan Knight had cleaned and climbed about half the lines plus one or two missed by Jordan and Naomi. Naming the boulder "The Jobseekers Block," Dan had shared information on UKBouldering.com but nevertheless it received minimal interest and has until now remained relatively unknown.
Jordan wrote in his blog:
"Our first reaction was to be a bit gutted – not so many 'first ascents' as we had initially thought. But, really, it was obvious that the boulder should have been climbed on, it is just so good! And I still get to claim the 'cherry', the first ascent of the big 8A link, traversing the entire block to finish up the tantalising left arête. "
Jordan and Naomi hope other local climbers in the area can benefit from their cleaning efforts and visit this brilliant 'new' venue, collaboratively named 'The Jobseeker's Party Block.'
Boreal is producing a film about their 'Block Party.' Watch the trailer and see topos of the venue on Jordan's blog.