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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cracoe Fell and Sharp Haw (two Marilyns north of Skipton)

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Rylstone Crag and Rylstone Cross lead north along the ridge to the war memorial obelisk on Cracoe Fell.

I have climbed often at Rylstone Crag. My last visit (13th Sept. 1992) was not joyous.

Tony, Rod and Pete had decided to set off at 12:30 from Preston. I was unhappy about the late start, so drove from Preston at 7:20 am to Whitbarrow (south Cumbria), did my one hour run and returned to Preston in time to meet up with the team at 12:30.

The rest of the day was a mess:

"Pete and I did Castrol VS. Pete took a long time leading it, and I got very cold. I had a desperate time on this climb, the worst since my return to climbing. We must have been two hours on this 30 ft. climb! My heart is not really in this gritstone stuff, but this has been the wettest August and September this century, and we haven't been able to get up to The Lakes. After Castrol we did Dental Slab. S., an old favourite which I led twenty years ago.

All that way for two gritstone climbs!"

The anti-gritstone statement was a knee-jerk reaction, and does not reflect my normal favourable opinion.

Today I looked down Dental Slab from the top and was close on a bilious attack.

A five minute drive down the road took me to the start for Sharp Haw, and I was up and down within an hour. This is a true mini mountain with a sharp peak and extensive panoramic views. A chap from Skipton caught me up on the descent and we chatted - he knew Brian Murphy, an acquaintance from attending Yorkshire Mountaineering Club Easter meets with Malcolm Lomas a few years ago.

A good day on the hills, and a  welcome contrast to my 1992 visit.

Click to enlarge. 

From the car. Rylstone Cross is top of nearest hill, Cracoe Fell far skyline

Cracoe Fell obelisk war memorial just visible on skyline

Crookrise Crag, zoom from start for Sharp Haw. This was another frequently visited crag in my climbing days

Down to Cracoe and my return route from Cracoe Fell

This track became a path just after the extent of this pic. Sharp Haw, my mini mountain is the obvious peak.

C'est moi

Zoom to Rylstone Cross and Cracoe Fell. The cross is on the hill in the foreground


Roderick Robinson said...

I think I only climbed once at Rylstone (Wasn't there some vague problem with gamekeepers?)

Father came for some inexplicable reason and watched me do a fairly simple wall traverse made even easier by the fact that trees growing close to the crag face reduced any sense of exposure to zero. I expected some sarky remark but none came. Not being able to judge climbs left him secretly impressed, I think. Later - it may have been the same day - he said offhandedly that combining rock climbing with motorcycling seemed to suggest I had no interest in the future. A compliment of a sort if you factor in his personality.

Sir Hugh said...

I'm surprised he got up to the crag to watch; it's a bit of a toil, or as an old geezer I met in Cornwall said, "It's a reet cough up there".

Gamekeepers ring a bell. Perhaps John P (Bowland Climber) or Tom (Gimmer) may comment. I'm sure they would remember.

Anonymous said...

re your implied invitation to comment - I never went to Rylstone - but that area in general was notorious for them, if you recall - not far from the Bolton Abbey and other like-minded grouse moor estates.
I wonder how much this has changed over the past half-century.
I used to love climbing on grit - no need for holds, if I remember rightly: one could almost walk up slabs anywhere and thrutch up featureless cracks and chimneys as long as one had no respect for one's clothes or skin - I still have scars from jamming on Curbar! To say nothing about ragged PA's - that dates it.
ah, memories, again - madeleines could pass muster as stickies, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

You are bringing us all into the nostalgia zone!
I know why T,P and R set off late in the day - they knew you only get sun on the crag after noon. You don't say whether you did or not. Sept?
You knew that P would take a long time.
Gamekeepers were very active in the moors behind the crags [Barden Moor] but I don't recollect problems at Rylstone.This was one of my favourite crags in the area and I returned last year to do Dental Slab and others with my cousin from Skipton.. There were restrictions at Crookrise and Eastby.
Speaking of my Skipton cousin I wonder if it was he you met on Sharphaw. He goes up there a lot. A great little hill with some superb remote gritstone bouldering.
Have you noticed the connection between the Marilyns and the Munros?

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - Yes. I seem to remember doing a lot of thrutching.

I'm surprised you never went to Rylstone.

By "stickies" do you mean some reminder software on the computer that others have recommended to me, or are you referring to your PA's by that name?


Bowlandclimber - I particularly noticed the shadow on the crag yesterday and thought to myself this is an afternoon crag, but I didn't make that connection you refer to with my 1992 visit. I'm not sure what the weather was like except that I recorded being cold.

It would be interesting to know if it was your cousin. He knows who I am because I gave him my blog address. Let me know if you find out.

I'm not sure about "the connection" except that they both start with M. I wonder if Marilyns should be spelt with a plural apostrophe - Marilyns' - ?

welshpaddler said...

Looks like you had similar weather to our walk albeit much further south. Looks like the knees are holding up.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn Munroe !!!!

Sir Hugh said...

Bc - oh dear! How did i not know that?

Anonymous said...

You've got the Marilyn's bug!
No concern about whether there would be a summit view on this occasion. I don't know this fine looking hill at all. Great to find out about it here.

Sir Hugh said...

Welshpaddler - I am doing these walks despite the knee. It is still sore and stiff after six miles or so, but seems to recover more quickly now, but I think I am a long way off doing a serious backpacking trip.

Anonymous said...

Stickies were little self-adhesive rough pads used to gain transient, dynamic upward impetus - a bit like a 'smear' on/off a rock wrinkle - for times when there was no convenient wrinkle to hand (actually to foot - used for the foot/leg movement only) and it was a bit tricky or obvious to use a chisel - I suppose a bit like resin powder but leaving no naughty white residues. It was very important for the Second to remove them all in their entirety - of course . . . .
Preferably grey coloured so they didn't show up in the movie or image - of course . . . .
Not at all the same as chalk which, as we all know, is perfectly honourable and is only used to absorb sweat from slippery fingers, not to improve adhesion to the rock - of course . . . .
Never used them on live rock, myself - of course . . . .

afootinthehills said...
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