Monday, 12 August 2013

Another Trove Of New Routes - Botton Head Hasn't Fallen Down!

Geared Up
 The Moors are big and in a land so vast, sometimes, things go under the radar. Some such things, like The Smuggler's Terrace, are understandably missed. But when there's a large mass of missed rock, visible from the Wainstones, you do start to wonder just quite how blind we all are. Indeed, someone, long ago, didn't miss it. They recorded 22 routes up to HVS. Later, another chap apparently went for a look and declared the whole place collapsed. We're not quite sure how he came to this conclusions - perhaps he went to the wrong Botton?!
Apparently a nice E1... I'm not even gonna debate this. 2 stars anyway.

Anyway, I went for a mammoth exploratory walk the other day. I started off in Westerdale and had a look at the rocks at the top of the head. I had been to a rockface up here on the way back from Kay Nest once and fancied a boulder about on this. With time being a bit of an issue I quickly climbed the best-looking line there, a fine arete from sit, that was basically a Severe with a font 6b sit start to it. Brilliant rock, I called it 'The Golden Nugget'.
Not a bad line like!
I was now in the heat of exploration, psyched off my face and listening to some very fast psychedelic trance.  I blasted over the moor, enjoying the blazing sun in my skimpy shorts and taking in the spectacular views down Farndale, Bransdale, Tripsdale and Billsdale.
The Moorenjura (E2 6b *)
Next up was Tranmire, home to a load of poorly protected unclimbed slab climbs. I had only taken a 30 metre rope unfortunately and the stake we put in demanded a little more. I tied everything I had together so that it just reached half way down the cliff. I inspected the top bit of the slab and then went for the solo. 1 o'clock, new E5 5c ascended. I was now keen to try the main event  - a brill looking slab to the left, but my rope really wasn't going to stretch that far. I was still psyched and tried to tie off a terrible fence post at a very jaunty angle to the route, but this didn't really work. I spoke to a dessicated stoat for a while and then left.

Pot Of Gold...
Now Medd crag - crap, move on. I now looked at my map, I had a couple of hours left till I needed to return. I'd brought a midge net for Kay Nest, keen to have a top rope of the unfreed aidline there, but I'd already been there and it's not the greatest of lines. It was now that Botton Head started staring from the sheet.  A huge expanse of mapped rock, thought to be lost, but surely not?

More trance and more pace, blasting over the Moor. The wind was up and the Ronhills were on, onto the highest point of the Moors. I stood a moment in thought, figured out the best approach and then gently walked down. It looked good! Three bays, with a range of different types of climbing - 12 metre jutting aretes, with a lot of exposure and big holds; 8 metre super-highball slappy E6/7 6cs on jutting prows; 6 metre technical walls and grooves.

About as psyched as a Herring
After a little more bouldering I walked back to Blakey to meet Dave. We returned yesterday to climb a few things in the low to mid E-grades. Pleasant venue, with much more to do.
Moors Light!
I think Dave needs a pad sponsor


Anonymous said...

Hi Franco

I must confess to being the person that couldn't find Bottonhead Crag. I walked all over that hillside for hours!

Chris Shorter

Franco Cookson said...

That's quite hilarious. I think it must be the easiest crag in the world to find. The entire western side of that slope is just crag! Some of it not very good.. but there are maybe 2 very good lines and 20ish minor things.

Perhaps you walked in the direction of Rud Scar too much?

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