Roaches – along and high

Sometimes rain on a climbing trip can be good thing.  A couple of weeks ago, rain forced me to give up on climbing at The Roaches and instead go for a walk in the surrounding countryside.  It turned out to be a great walk, going to places I had never been and seeing some fantastic sights.  I hiked over Hen Cloud, past The Roaches, through the chasm of Lud’s Church, along the pretty River Dane, under The Hanging Stone, and back along the whole length of the Roaches ridge.  The best bit was the amazing, clear views from The Roaches once the rain and cloud had cleared.

The next day was bright and clear, and so I got my chance to go climbing.  I went bouldering for the first time at The Attic and The Cellar. Read more

Roaches and Newstones Bouldering

I’ve been climbing at the Roaches many times and never bothered to look at the other climbing venues just next door.  The Roaches is just so big and has so much great climbing that I never felt the need.  I did some brilliant bouldering there on Saturday, climbing problems I had wanted to do for a while and pushing my grade a little.  Unfortunately,  the weather forecast for Sunday morning showed that it would begin and end with showers (plus “the chance of thunder”).  I therefore looked through my guidebook for a bouldering venue with a very short walk-in so that I could walk-out quickly if need be and I found Newstones.  It’s a small series of boulders and little buttresses a few miles from the Roaches.  The rock has great friction and some strange veins running through it that I’ve never seen before on gritstone and which made for sharp edges and flakes.  This helped make the bouldering interesting, varied and fun.  Despite the great climbing and a pleasant location, Max and I had the place to ourselves the whole time we were there.

This weekend showed me that the big climbing venues are brilliant, but that I need to flick through the pages of my guidebooks more.