I know Wharncliffe has a good following on here , very justifiably, so I thought these two quotations from Ebenezer Elliot might be enjoyed:
"Where Don's dark waters bathe the rugged feet
Of billowy mountains - silent, motionless,
As if the Almighty's hand had still'd and fix'd
The waves of chaos , in their wildest swell -"
and, near the end of the same work:
"Grey Wharncliffe's rocks remain, still to outlive
Myriad sucessions of th' autumnal leaf
But where are now their terrors?"
It sounds like the Corn Law Rhymer was quite adept at ladling out the poetic licence but he'd never found himself having second thoughts without the benefit of a decent runner high above one of Wharncliffe's famously unwelcoming landings.
Elliott fame'd in English lit,
What e'er hast he done on grit?
It's part of the poetic licence.. many landings are OK and below VS most climbs are better protected than average for 'grit' (it's a coal measure sandstone). I reclimbed everything below Severe (and a few at or above) on Deepcar Edge since lockdown eased. The BMC guide still has some horror show sandbags.. The Flue D (shared with the Putrell's Progress start) is really serious unless you have a hex 12 or can stack hexes well... maybe HS 4a without and HVD 4a with and rather uniquely weird, so you need experience to get the 4a method. For anyone who wants info on low grade stuff there... we take notes and will share updates from our website (we now think we self sandbagged a bit on some previously unlisted lines).
I'm very famliar with the crag and don't think its reputation for unfriendly landings is mythical. Even walking along the base of the crag is uniquely awkward compared to any other grit type crag in the peak that I've visited. I can't think of many others where the preferred means of progress along the length of the crag is the cliff top path.
I timed this once. Walked (crawled) along the bottom of the main crag (before you get to the two other bits where you find Richard's Revenge etc. and then back along the top. 25 minutes of very annoying progress along the bottom, having to watch nearly every move so as not to snap a shin or turn an ankle). About 5 minutes of easy flat walking back along the top.
> I timed this once. Walked (crawled) along the bottom of the main crag (before you get to the two other bits where you find Richard's Revenge etc. and then back along the top. 25 minutes of very annoying progress along the bottom, having to watch nearly every move so as not to snap a shin or turn an ankle). About 5 minutes of easy flat walking back along the top.
Anyone you see struggling to move from section to section along the bottom is probably a first timer.
You obviously never visited Guisecliffe then.
I agree walking about at the base takes care but it's obvious and makes you focus. In contrast on damp or sun bleached grass I've seen more accidents from feet skidding at places like Froggatt than I've ever seen at Wharncliffe. The landings don't matter if you can lace a route. Being on rock all day means the feet stay cleaner and drier between showers. On harder bold routes quite a few landings have improved in recent years, as the highball boulderers build better platforms for pads.
Something that has become increasingly noticeable is the advance of the birch trees towards the crag, together with clumps of rhododendron bushes developing.
'Grey Wharnclife' -first time I went in the 60s it was as black as coal no lichen in sight, lots of smoky industry in the valley. Last time I went a couple of years ago it was a luminous green with lichen in parts.
Advance the birch might but there are fewer now than a month ago. The Rhododendron are a far more serious long term threat.
I seem to recall them axing a load of birch about fifteen years ago but unfortunately they left them in situ which did absolutely nothing to improve crag bottom progress.
I don't understand why you want to play down the poor landing aspect of Wharncliffe: it's been a feature we've learned to cope with but it's real. A few areas such as the Test gave had modifications made ( before the bouldering pad era) but by and large Wharncliffe is still definitely not a bouldering crag and I definitely wouln't recommend it to someone wanting a day's bouldering in ( or just outside) the Peak.
( As background I climbed regularly on Wharncliffe between 1975 and 2005 so I have some familiarity with the place)
There you go ... Wharncliffe is a very good bouldering venue these days thanks to the likes of Jon Fullwood. It is fairly wide season as well, good in winter in some sections given the sunny aspect and low altitude, and in others, the shade from trees makes it good in the warmer months, especially spring and autumn.
I say the landings are not bad on lower grades because they are mostly not and the routes are generally well protected (and obvious when not). Landings only become a real issue at mid grade. The problem for lower grade climbers is more about getting around at the base.
I'm aware of your history from other threads (and climbing with some people that know you) but I'd lay strong odds our tick lists will be similarly large and across the same range of grades. You can judge for yourself from our website (which only misses maybe 30 or so mid grade routes at Wharncliffe that we had climbed in the early to mid 90s but couldn't remember well enough to include when we started our mamoth peak grit documentation project around 2000)
I wasn't claiming to have superior knowledge but just letting you know that my experience isn't just limited to a couple of visits.
I think we'll just gave ro disagree about the landings. Not that it's of practical interest these days but is there now a bouldering guide? There's one particular problem I'd be interested to know the grade of.
The slopey mantel up near hellgate?
No the bottomless groove below and right.
I'm pretty sure Jon hasn't put his stuff together yet (he reports as he does them on UKB). We've got some good low grade stuff on our website and so I know this only includes part of what is there now:
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