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The Northumbrian Mountaineering Club Presents a Lecture by Neil Gresham and Kenton Cool. The NMC are proud to be hosting sessions with Neil Gresham and Kenton Cool on 29th October 2014. Tickets are very reasonable at £8.50 and proceeds will be split between the mountaineering club and Sherpa's charity The Paldorje Education Fund. The event is open to non-club members too, see below for more information, including details on booking tickets.  Here for more information

 

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The annual clean-up of Crag Lough will take place on Saturday 13 September 2014. Crag Lough sits immediately below Hadrian's Wall, and is one of Northumberland's finest low to mid-grade crags. The weekend will follow the format of previous clean-ups; Saturday will be spent cleaning routes, with an evening barbecue courtesy of the BMC, followed by beers in a local pub. On Sunday, you can enjoy climbing the newly cleaned routes. Bit of background to whole idea. The crag is an extensive North facing Whin Sill Dolerite escarpment offering over 100 recorded routes the majority of which are in the perennially popular HS to HVS range. Although north facing the rock is generally clean, extremely hard wearing and does not tend to polish. The crag was one of the earliest to be developed in Northumberland and the classics at this fine crag bear comparison with the best outcrop routes anywhere. However over the last few years the crag has fallen out of fashion, with many climbers tending to focus on sandstone outcrops further North in The County. The relative neglect of the Whin Sill crags resulted in increased vegetation on all but the very most popular routes resulting in the familiar cycle of less attention and further encroachment of vegetation. The efforts of the last two years have brought many routes back into condition but there are some very worthwhile lines left that have still not been tended to. The vegetation of concern tends to be grass and small shrubs encroaching on ledges and in cracks; unlike on sandstone, lichen formation in the winter months is not a significant problem. The timing of the clean-up towards the end of the season is to allow for the departure of any nesting birds. The winter months will help to clean away any debris and vegetation will not return during this time. As has been found this summer the benefits should be enjoyed throughout next year and beyond

The Plan
The plan is to clean routes on the Saturday and enjoy the fruits of our labour by climbing on the Sunday. The BMC is laying on a barbecue at Winshields Farm Campsite on the Saturday evening as thanks for your efforts. There is a decent pub a very short walk away.

Accommodation
The Winshields Farm Campsite is 400 yards west of the Twice Brewed Inn on the Military Road (B6318) - www.winshields.co.uk.
Cost is £8 per person for camping, 50 pence per car; there are ca 60 pitches, so space is not an issue and booking probably not needed. They even do breakfasts on site! If you don't feel like camping there is also a bunkhouse which sleeps 12. I would suggest advance booking if you plan to use the bunk house. There is also a YHA near the pub.

The Crag
The crag is situated 35 miles West of Newcastle upon Tyne about half a mile off the Military Road (B6318). See UKClimbing logbook listing. Cars can be parked at the National Trust Steel Rigg car park; the crag is about a twenty minute walk from the parking. The crag sits immediately below the Roman Wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site) on land owned by the National Trust, who are fully supportive of the clean-up. The crag is also an SSSI. The scientific interest is in the geological formation itself rather than any flora or fauna living upon it, consequently removal of vegetation has a positive impact on this aspect of the crag environment. Formal approval has been given from English Nature. The crag is a nesting site for birds, primarily peregrines and ravens. Whilst the birds have long since departed for this year, one or two ravensí nests will still be present. These nests are often quite large and the ravens typically return to them each spring. If you find a nest in the middle of a climb it should not be removed, however obstructive it may be.

On the day
We will be meeting at the Steel Rigg car park at 9:30am. There will be a short briefing from the BMC and/or myself at around 9:45am. A short risk assessment will be provided which you will all be asked to read and sign. The assessment is really a matter of common sense. We will then head off en masse to the Crag at 10:00am. The barbecue will get going around 6 - 7pm. Litter is not a significant issue at the crag; the purpose of the clean-up is to remove vegetation from holds, ledges and cracks. The problematic vegetation is most commonly sods of turf which can be removed on abseil safeguarded by a prussik. If you are fairly new to climbing and have any doubts what so ever about setting up abseil anchors and abseiling safely please don't be afraid to ask; there will be plenty of experienced folk to pair up with if needs be.

What to bring
Standard climbing gear: rope basic rack for setting up anchors (including long slings) prussik loops helmet Gardening kit: gardening gloves small trowel (for ledges/flat holds) a patio knife (for narrow cracks / a nut key will work nearly as well) small nylon bristle bush (for cleaning away dirt and soil) Anything which you bring for gardening and cleaning on abseil should have an attachment loop of some kind so it can be clipped to your harness with a krab. Don't worry if you don't have everything on the list above. We will have goggles, gardening gloves, few trowels, patio knives and brushes for you to borrow on the day.
If you have read this far, thanks! I don't think there is anything else, hope to see you on the 13th September. Mark Anstiss

 

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Sunderland Climbing Centre Summer Bouldering Ladder Starts on Monday 7th July 2014. The Summer Ladder will comprise of three competitions, one in each month of July, August September, and each lasting for two weeks with 25 problems. Great prizes for the top 3 competitors in the categories Senior Male and Female, Under 16 Male and Female, and the Vets Male and Female. Round One 7th - 20th July 2014, Round Two 4th -17th August 2014, Round Three 1st - 14th September 2014. More details here.   Report updated 22nd July 2014

 

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Its Summer Boulder Ladder Season again. The summer boulder ladders start soon at all these local walls. The first round at Climb North East at Ferryhill starts on Friday on the 6th June 2014. The first round at Durham Climbing Centre  is also kicking off on Friday 6th June 2014 with a green circuit set by James Hunter. The Eden Rock summer bouldering league commences on Monday 9th June and consists of three monthly rounds. Interestingly there are three categories: Grizzly Bear (3-6a ciruit) Mountain Goat (6a-6c+ circuit) and Beast (6c+ and harder circuits).  Finally the summer boulder ladder at ClimbNewcastle runs from Friday 20th June until Friday 29th August 2014. Full details of all the local ladders can be found on our events page. See you there? Reported 4th June 2014

 
Click these images for more information. Photos © Steve Crowe

 

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Next BMC North East Area Meeting is in Newcastle. Come along to the quarterly gathering of North East climbers and walkers. The evening includes a discussion of local and national issues affecting members. The BMC will also be giving away maps, T-shirts and guidebooks to some lucky BMC members on the night. The Newcastle Climbing Centre is hosting the meeting, so why not get there early and fit in a climbing session too?
Date: Wednesday 4 June 2014, starting at 7.30pm
Venue: Newcastle Climbing Centre, St Marks Church, 285 Shields Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 2UQ
All are welcome; the BMC will provide food, to help keep your energy levels up. For more information, visit the BMC Local Areas site: http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3196 
Report dated 27th May 2014

 

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North York Moors Recent Developments. With work on Lee Robinson's new bouldering nearing completion reports have been coming in of other recent discoveries by Steven Phelps. Two crags Little Blakey and Shaw Crag have been written up and added. Franco Cookson continues his Moors quest and has recorded "The Never-Ending Flood Of Unclimbed Lines" here: http://francocookson-climbing.blogspot.co.uk/ Reported 23rd May 2014

 

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One Night Competition in memory of Guy Stead. Climb North East are hosting a one night event in Ferryhill on Friday 23rd May 2014 with problems set by the regular Climb North East route setting team graded from F3a - F7b+. "The night should prove to be a memorable occasion as we are uniting to remember a very popular climber within our climbing community. Guy Stead started to climb in 2007 and was instantly addicted. He had recently been involved in a dangerous motorbike incident and was injured pretty bad. However this did not stop him! His passion for the sport was unbelievable and he developed really fast with determination to improve.Scorecards can be purchased on the evening for £1.00 and any further donations will be greatly appreciated. With the money we raise we will purchase a large banner to put up in the centre, a memorial plaque and the extra money will go to the charity MIND. There will be no prizes for the event but we will have lots of cakes that will be freshly baked for the event that will be free of charge. More information from Climb North East.   Update: Chris Graham, Andy Earl from ClimbNewcastle and Sunderland Climbing Centre's Ross Kirtley are confirmed as guest setters for this weeks one night competition! Daglish Photography will record the evening. Free cakes for all competitors, this should be an amazing event! Friday 23rd May 5-10pm! Hope to see you all there. Report updated 22nd May 2014

Chris Graham, Andy Earl and Ross Kirtley are confirmed as guest setters

 

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The ClimbNewcastle Annual Spring Bouldering Competition. The ASBO, is a competition that mixes the fun of the regular friday competitions while giving everyone the chance to witness the best climbers around compete in a spectacular final. Entering the ASBO costs nothing more than your normal entry fee. Plus... you get a free ASBO 14 t-shirt if you are one of the first 200 through the door! The open comp runs from 12 noon, you will have 30 problems to try in the entire difficulty spectrum, font 3-7c+ and between midday and 8:30pm to try them. The finals should start at 9pm and is is a spectator event so you will want to hang around to watch the fun unfurl.  Full ASBO details can be found here: ASBO 14    Pre-Event Information Reported 1st May 2014

ClimbNewcastle Annual Spring Bouldering Competition 2014

 

 

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Northumberland Mountaineering Club The NMC are offering mentoring sessions to indoor climbers to introduce them to outdoor climbing. Both bouldering and trad climbing will be available. The NMC cannot offer professional training; however its members are prepared to mentor you and assist where required. There is no cost and you do not have to be a club member to attend. The club asks that you can:
- Safely put on your own harness.
- Safely tie in to the rope.
- Safely belay a lead climber.
On the day, please bring your own harness and climbing shoes. The NMC encourage the wearing of helmets, so bring one along with you if possible and any other climbing equipment you use (chalk bag, belay device, HMS karabiner, nut key, etc.) There will be four meets based at crags across Northumberland; Corby's Crag 2nd April 2014, Bowden Doors 7th May 2014, Kyloe Out 4th June 2014 and  Simonside
2nd July 2014. The sessions are open to non members however non-members will need to print off and bring along this form to climb.

 

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The Winter Bouldering Series continues...  The Crankfest 13/14 continues at Climb North East at Ferryhill, it is over 8 rounds and a Superfinal will be held on friday 21st March 2014. The Axis Winter bouldering Series at ClimbNewcastle is held over five rounds and it  runs until 14th March 2014. The winter boulder ladder at Durham Climbing Centre finishes with a final on Saturday 15th March 2014.  Sunderland Climbing Centre Berghaus Bouldering Series comprises of 25 problems over 5 rounds with a final in March 2014. Details about the Winter Bouldering Series at Eden Rock can be found here. Details of all up and coming events can be found on our events page.  Updated 8th January 2014

 

Click these images for the latest results.                                                                                                                        Photos © Steve Crowe

 

 

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New Routes on the North York Moors. There has been a flood of new routes reported over the last few days as the dark nights have finally arrived and the local activists have decided to write up their recent activities. Danby Crag has seen a lot of well publicised attention during the summer months especially after Franco Cookson claimed E10 for his new line up Beacon Buttress. Psykovsky's Sequins was quickly repeated by Dave Birkett who thought E9 was more apropriate but he managed to find some extra protection. After 15 years of deliberation Richard Waterton decided to lead the often top roped line at Kepwick to produce a pot of Gold E8 7a. Tony Marr continues to prospect for unclimbed lines across The Moors and with unbowed enthusiasm at venues such as Ingleby Incline, Peak Scar and at the Wainstones. Some new crags have been also developed, namely Kettle Howe and Hillhouse Nab. Steve Ramsden added Ram-raid E6 6c and Franco Cookson reported Panda to the Masses E6 6c both at Stoupe Brow. However the crags and boulders at Stoupe Brow are on private land and the landowner is concerned about the increasing use especially by large parties. Due to the delicate access situation it is recommend that climbers visit in small groups and try to keep a low profile. Large groups and abseiling is not allowed unfortunately. Access here is not a right,  large and noisy groups have been asked to leave. If in doubt contact the BMC. Parking for access to Tranmire has always been delicate however it has not deterred Martin Witton, Steven Phelps, Mike Adams. Lee Robinson, Sam Marks and Franco Cookson all from making many fine additions to this splendid and quiet crag. (Note: Tranmire is best visited in the spring before the bracken gets too high). For more details about the latest Moors activities check the interesting blogs by Franco Cookson and Dave Warburton. More detailed North York Moor's bouldering news can be found on Lee Robinson's betaguides blog Finally much further north in Northumberland Dan Varian has added a desperate new problem at Bowden Doors, Dan considers that The Rail is roughly Font 8B+.  "'The Rail' is the project I did yesterday, it is hands down the best boulder I've ever climbed" You can keep up to date with Dan's other recent activities on the Beastmaker Blog Reported 11th October 2013

Richard Waterton leading Gold E8 7a at Kepwick.    Photo (C) Joe Banner

 

 

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New Refugi opening at Abella de la Conca in the spring of 2014. Situated in the village of Abella de la Conca (which hosts over 200 newly developed routes of all grades) this new refugi is well located for access to Terradets, Collegats, Col de Nargo and Tres Ponts. All these areas are covered in Lleida Climbs by Pete O'Donovan and Dani Andrada. For all the latest news on developments on the crags surrounding Abella de la Conca and for progress reports on the new Abella Refugi you can follow their facebook page at www.facebook.com/abellaclimb. Call round in November with some sandpaper or a paint brush and you can earn a free cup of coffee! Reported 9th October 2013

Photo: This is the ad for our place which will go in the next LLEIDA CLIMB Guidebook due early 2014.

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

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