26 March 2011

Saturday Slate

I started back at work on Thursday, and this year, instead of being freelance, I'm there full time as university is all but over; I've just got to print my dissertation, hand it in and then I've finished, which is nice. This also means that I am able to get out on my day's off, instead of spending them writing assignments, so today, with the weather looking favourable, I headed over to Hodge Close Quarry in the Tilberthwaite Valley, just outside Coniston.

Looking into Hodge Close Quarry from the top of Behind the Lines (HVS, 5a).

I've been meaning to get over to the quarry for some time after once heading that way, but changing plans at the last minute, and since seeing this video, made by some of the students studying for a BA (Hons) in Adventure and Media, I've wanted to head that way even more. We started out on the three star classic, Behind the Lines (HVS, 5a), after abseiling into the quarry, and this was my first taste of climbing on slate.

Seconding Big Dipper (E1, 5b).

Once we'd topped out on Between the Lines and admired the beauty of the quarry some more we abseiled back down the wall and started out on Big Dipper (E1, 5b). This was an impressive line that takes a rising traverse rightwards across the quarry's central wall and provides some really good climbing in a pretty exposed position.

Hodge Close Quarry.

After completing the two pitches of Big Dipper we pulled up all the ropes, headed around to the other side of the quarry and abseiled back in, to take on Oiling the Lawnmower (E1, 5b). This was a really nice climb and provided two excellent pitches of slate slab climbing, which was, rather than being protected by natural protection, bolt protected so it is problably more fitting to attach a sport grade to the climb.

On the first pitch of Oiling the Lawnmower (E1, 5b).

I imagine I'll be back at the quarry at some point, as there are a fair few lines I would like to look at, and I enjoyed climbing on the slate once I had got use to it's intricacies.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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