29 May 2014

The other side of the hill - Wimberry


There was I in Manchester and it seemed rude not to pop out to Wimberry for a look. Drying trend as I drive out through the suburbs of Manc, but a mile from the reservoir as the city ends and its drizzling. I park up, debate a trip out on my  mountain bike as it looks like a nice ride up to the skyline, but the lure of some decent moorland grit wins.

Wimberry boulders, a slopey, hillside boulder field of slightly highball rocks. Not a soul is about and skeins of rain sweep down the valley with just the glimmer of some blue to keep hope alive. As I plod up I can see Baron Greenback, Pete Whittaker's meister work from this year on the crag proper. A huge soaring prow like a sythe but bigger and with more power to hurt. Pete must have checked his brain in before he got on that, proper respect.

I get to the blocs. A wet wind barrels in. In the wind's lee the problems are dry but the humidity must be 110%, the friction just a rumour spread around by slate climbers. I make do with some easier cracks and slabs which are quality as it happens, even if none to taxing. Problem of the night is Hornli Ridge at the seldom seen grade of font 2. It crams a lot into its few short metres, a rockover, a layaway and a lip traverse on wonderful holds, with a view straight down the valley. Never done a boulder problem that felt like a multi pitch route before, quality.

Trouble was my mat and socks kept blowing away.  So I trudged out damp but grinning. I may have come to have a look at the classic Fish Arete but look was about all I did. Pity it looks like a nice problem. I was last here 10 years ago. I wonder if I will be back before I draw my pension?
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