Thursday, 8 March 2012

Castleton Rigg Quarry

     This rarely visited quarry is a bit esoteric and certainly an acquired taste.  This despite the fact it has a great many redeeming features:  It is truly roadside, very close to a main moors through route, has stakes well positioned above, dries quickly and has over twenty short routes at a variety of grades.  That said it has some suspect rock, particularly at the far left end, some ankle twisting landings and is extremely open to the weather.  On a windy day it can feel particularly cold and nasty up here, today I went home with ear-ache because I didn't take a hat and it was a relatively warm day elsewhere.
     This is the only venue where I've done all the recorded routes in one visit.  Today that was never going to happen, I couldn't keep my fingers warm so just did some easy stuff at the left end, following the flakes up The Slab on the shield was enjoyable as always and the scrambles on the tower pleasant.  I had actually come after hearing about a few new but poor routes that had been logged on UKC but forgot about this as I was rushing around trying to keep moving.  On getting home and looking at the descriptions and my photos, Knock Off climbs the dirty slab to the left of Red Slab which I'm pretty sure I've done before and Shoddy Slab looks like it is the obvious slab in the centre of the lower photo.

 (Castleton Rigg Quarry - Left)

(Castleton Rigg Quarry - Right)

     There is a great problem at the right hand end called Two Faced, it takes the wall to the right of the diagonal crack (far right of picture), unfortunately I didn't get up it today.  I was at the crimps not far from the top, unable to feel what I was holding onto when I had a moment of doubt, it wouldn't be great to fall off here sans mat.  Getting buffeted by the wind I made a tactical retreat and instead punted for the slightly easier Face Route which goes up the side of the arete, but without using it.  It's only hard at the start and I was soon enjoying the good holds, taking a moment to look around at the view before topping out and running back down the hill to the car to direct the heaters onto my head.

A free guide to Castleton Rigg is available here

photo:copyright phleppy

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