Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Denbigh Quarry

The Main Wall
Early 2012 Ryan McConnell kicked off the the development of the main water worn wall of Denbigh Quarry.

The first route to go was King of the Castle - 7a, a fantastic crimpy line passing a prominent hanging shield. In early spring Ryan and I headed down and he climbed the second line of the crag, Stupid Schoolboyz - 6c+. This is the longest line at the crag, passing water worn grooves to a taxing finish on the headwall. An unforgiving but excellent “warm up”.

The wall still showed promise with plenty of rock still to be climbed to the left of these routes. Ryan, Luke Clarke, Sam Catell and I went to get some photos in Autumn 2012. Sam pointed out some lines he had previously climbed, Sam’s Arête - E1 5b taking the massive Arête on the right hand wall of the quarry and Howling For Beaver - E4 6a on the short cracked wall opposite the main face.

Luke Owens on King of the Castle - 7a

Ryan, ever keen, spotted potential for a new route to the right of Sam’s Arête behind a wall of ivy and using his Tree Surgery skills he soon had the wall cleaned up. This gave the crag a great technical face climb, Acer - 6c.

Sam Cattel on Stupid Schoolboyz - 6c+

Development continued to flow when Ryan bolted a new line through the prominent runnel in the centre of the main face. Ryan handed the line over to Luke Clarke as a thank you for all his belaying duties and general psyche. In early November the line was climbed, Freedom Fighters - 7a+ supplying a brilliant, technical and burly climb.

After checking out Freedom Fighters myself in late November, I spotted the potential for another unique looking line to the left of this. I finally got around to bolting the line in February 2013. What first looked to be a great but fairly obvious line turned out to be the technical test piece of the crag.
The first ascent climbed by myself in March 2013, Force Majeure - 7b takes the prominent groove on the left of the crag via a classic Limestone sloper. A very unique climb on great rock, and not your typical Limestone route.

Luke Owens on the first ascent of Force Majeure - 7b

The crag is sure to become popular. It stays dry in showers, suffers minimal seepage and is sheltered by the canopy of trees above in summer.  It will be included in the up and coming North Wales and Clwyd Limestone guides.

1 comment:

Stephen Hobdell said...

Hi Luke,
Is there a proper topo photo for these routes yet? Sam's Arete appeals...