The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Monday, 28 March 2011

Trowbarrow Quarry

I had a great day last week, discovering again the routes at Trowbarrow Quarry.

Trowbarrow is a disused limestone quarry near Silverdale and a few miles north of Carnforth, south of the lakes.

It's in a beautiful part of Lancashire, a mile inland from the coast & situated on a small hillside with great views over Morecambe Bay to the west & Leighton Park RSPB Nature Reserve to the south.

Trowbarrow was acquired by Lancaster City Council in 1997 after a lenghty fund raising appeal by the Arnside & Silverdale Landscape Trust. The Crag is within the Nature Reserve & has a management committee which includes the BMC meeting regularly discussing different issues.

This secured the quarry & the on going management of the area, has allowed us to continue enjoying  the climbing here.

Apart from a great sunny afternoon & evening venue, it's always a good bet when the Lakes is blown out.

Trowbarrow Main Wall

Main Wall Topo -

Orange - Craked Actor E2 5c
Yellow - Aladdinsane - E1 5a
Green - Jean Jeanie - VS 4c
Blue - Harijan VS 4c
Lime green - Touch of Class E2 5c
Black - Major Tom E2 5c
Purple - Hollow Earth HVS 5a
Red - Warspite Direct E2 5b

It's fantastic climbing on the Main Wall, with all the routes feeling long for a single pitch.

The Limestone sedimentry rock on the main wall is just a featured, textured wall of Crinoids (fossils of sea life from when the rock was compressed underwater) which give great small hand holds & features for the feet, even when bigger holds are scarce or hard to find.

Assagi Wall

Assago Topo -

Green - Truffle HS 4c
Orange - Assagi Wall HVS 5a
Yellow - Sleeping Sickness - E2 5c

The classic Assagi Wall, traverses across the exposed face & finishes up some amazing flutings.

Adrian Walter leading the classic Coral Sea VS 4c, Trowbarrow Quarry

Coral Sea is hidden at the back of the Quarry further on than Assagi Wall and some other routes graded VD and HVD on the broken ground in-between.

Halfway across Truffle high on the Assagi Wall, Trowbarrow Quarry

Under the Assagi Wall flutings on Truffle, Assagi Wall, Trowbarrow Quarry

It's been great weather here in the Lakes, sunny & warm and perfect for me to spend some quality time at home, get out on the cross-bike and enjoy some very local, easy access cragging!


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Canadian Rockies

I've just arrived home from another great & inspiring trip to the Canadian Rockies.

It was brutally cold when I first arrived with temperatures around -20/-25 & the ice too brittle and hard to climb anything steep let alone keeping yourself warm. Thankfully after the first day on the ice it warmed up considerably & gave for some fantastic conditions.

A climber on the high on the 2nd pitch of Carlsberg Column, Field BC

David seconding the 2nd pitch of Carlsberg Column, Field BC

We spent the most part in Field BC staying in a great little self-catering basement suite at the Mount Stephen Guesthouse. It was a perfect find situated on Kicking Horse Ave, super close to all the classic beer climbs of Field. It had all the essentials of a warm base with compfy sofa's to relax in, a great drying room and a good size kitchen for all our cooking, which in reality was generally some sort of pasta dish!

A Canadian Pacific train passing through Field BC

Field was established in the 1880's as a settlement of shacks & tents to house construction workers for the new Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). The CPR greatly influenced the development of the area by building hiking trails, hotels, chalets & guide houses to attract the wealthy tourists who helped fund construction of the railway. To stimulate tourism, Swiss guides were employed to guide clients up some of the previously innaccessible peaks of the area.

Kiernan leading Massey's, Field BC

Me leading Cool Spring, Field BC

The 2nd half of the classic Superbok, Field BC

A view of the Classic Professors Falls low down on the left & the awesome Trophy Wall high on the cliffs up and right, Banff Alberta

Heading through a classic Rockies Montane Ecoregion on the way into Professors Falls, Banff Alberta.

The Montane Ecoregion is the smallest in the Banff National Park making up only 3% of the total area of the Park.
The area is characterized by forests of Douglas Fir, Trembling Aspen & Lodgepole Pines.


A climber high on the 4th pitch of Professors Falls, Banff Alberta

The awesome Trophy Wall, Banff Alberta

Left to right - Terminator which isn't fully formed, The skinny pillar of The Replicant in the middle & the classic Sea of Vapours which is formed on the right.

The lovely Snowline in Evan-Thomas Creek down in Kananaskis Alberta

Evan-Thomas Creek down in Kananaskis is a great safe venue after a big snowfall. All the routes are free from Avalanche danger from above and give 3 pitches each, of some fantastic climbing in a real wilderness setting.

David seconding the first pitch of Snowline, Evan-Thomas Creek, Kananaski Alberta

The classic Moonlight in Evan-Thomas Creek down in Kananaskis Alberta

A climber heading up the 1st pitch of the classic Lake Louise Falls, Lake Louise Alberta

High on Lake Louise Falls, looking out over the frozen Lake back towards Chateau Lake Louise & the Lake Louise ski hill behind that.

It's a beautiful place & I'm now really inspired to also climb some peaks in the summer for the first time. Mt Assiniboine looks like an amazing peak 'The Matterhorn of the Rockies' and maybe also then get into the Bugaboos and climb a peak or two which also looks fantastic?

Failing that, it goes without saying that I'll return again next winter!

Safe climbing