Climbing guides found for: Pendle
Cardwell is a small gritstone quarry that faces north on Jeffrey Hill, about four kilometres north-east of Longridge. It is sandy gritstone up to nine metres high and is slow to dry out, but it is in a beautiful situation for a summer`s evening. It is a complete contrast to the hard-core bouldering atmosphere at Craig y Longridge, but will appeal to lower-grade climbers seeking peace and quiet.
The quarry was discovered by John Proud, whilst he was walking in 1983. Shortly afterwards he visited the crag with Mike Rayner and Rayner led the first route, Bite the Dust. This involved a frightening mantelshelf on to an earthy ledge and the experience taught them that it was wise to clean any potential routes before attempting to lead them. This view was confirmed when Proud led Brush Up on the same visit. Over the next few weeks Proud started the cleaning process and returned with various partners to add Columniation, Spring Clean and Kleeneze.
Although the crag is relatively small, it gives quite a good variety of climbing from steep wall and roof climbs to the more laid back style of slab climbing. This variety makes up for its small size and makes it a pleasant place to visit. Due to its exposed southerly aspect it dries very quickly.
Cronshaw soon returned to meet the main challenge of the crag and, with Pete Black, he forced The Jackdaw and The Jackal up the impressive right-hand buttress. A year later he returned with Les Ainsworth and together they climbed the remaining routes.
The crag is owned by North West Water, whose managers have no objection to climbing at the crag.
At the far end of the quarry the height increases and there are some interesting longer climbs. Unfortunately, these often suffer from seepage but, given the right conditions, they can be most worthwhile and it is a pity that so few climbers are willing to explore them.
Gridley continued his developments during 1985 with Spah`s Daehniks and Descent of Man, whilst Tim Gridley climbed Timothy`s Route. Then, the brothers` attention turned to The Pit, where they started somewhat tentatively with two shorter routes at the left side and followed this by Red Animals, which attacked the highest part of the wall.
This pleasant little esoteric crag is situated in some of Lancashire`s most inspiring yet bleak landscape, above the village of Tarnbrook, to the east of the Trough of Bowland road. It lies about five kilometres north-west of the summit of the Trough road and 12 kilometres west-south-west of Lancaster. The crag offers some first-class bouldering and some longer climbs of all grades – all on excellent rock.
The first climbers to visit the crag were probably Alan Atkinson and his friends from Blackpool in the 1950s, who would tramp the surrounding moors on most weekends, often walking up the Trough of Bowland with huge rucksacks full to the brim with beer, to doss in the shooting hut below the crag. It was Thorn Crag that introduced Atkinson and his friends to climbing and they would happily swarm all over the crag in blissful ignorance of climbing in other areas, and in fact when they did widen their horizons, it soon became apparent that they had been climbing routes that were a good match, in terms of difficulty, to routes in other areas. The friends still continued to trek the moors together though they soon began to realize that it was easier on both body and soul on a Sunday morning to go climbing on the crag than to trudge the moors all day with a thick head.
The crag is on the Grosvenor Estate, through which there are access paths, but no general access. However, climbing is permitted outside of the nesting season (April 1st to June 15th), provided that there are no general access restrictions in force, either because of shooting in the area, or because there is a high fire risk. In either event, this will be indicated clearly at the entrance gate to the access area.
The quarry faces roughly south-west and gets plenty of sun, so most of the rock dries quickly apart from one or two seepage lines and after prolonged rain there is some drainage from the hillside above. The right side of the crag has a large number of trees and the routes are generally dirtier and slower to dry. The crag is limestone of quite a compact nature, but with a number of detached blocks. Good protection is often hard to find. The climbing is generally of a balancy nature, with a predominance of sloping holds; the routes are often steeper than they appear from below, which can be quite disconcerting at first.
Though easily accessible, the quarry is only briefly seen from the road which may explain its relatively slow development. The initial lines, including Bowland Wall, Owl Wall and the Girdle were climbed by Jim Ingham Riley and friends during a couple of visits in 1966. Riley recalls coming face to face with an owl near the top of Owl Wall. Whilst checking the routes for the first Lancashire guide, Ian Cowell missed the line of Bowland Wall and found himself on what is now Guillotine, the name resulting from a potentially nasty rockfall which sliced his rope in two. The route was then completed by Les Ainsworth. That was the state of play until 1977 when Roger and Glenn Brookes added Owl Stretching Time and Deceptive Bends (then described in two pitches with a belay on Owl Ledge). In 1980 Roger added Captain Beaky.
The quarry belongs to North West Water, whose managers are willing to permit climbing at the crag, provided that climbers respect the site for its high botanical interest and also that they leave no litter.
Belays at the top are on special belay stakes and it is important that climbers should avoid trampling the meadow at the top, by keeping close to the edge of the quarry and descending via one of the stiles at either end.
Next on the scene were Les Ainsworth and Dave Cronshaw who added Hemlock, Cauldron Crack, Coven Crack and Halloween Outing during their first visit in 1971. On the same day Fishlock led Alice, Elizabeth and Jennet. On their next visit Ainsworth and Cronshaw started up the then mossy wall left of Beelzebub and were finding it rather hard to remove the moss whilst climbing until they found the key hold, previously hidden by a dead shrew. A few minutes later a new Shrew appeared at Witches`. Ainsworth followed this up with Abbot Paslew and then it started to rain and so Ainsworth consoled himself with a slippery ascent of Nance. However, before that, Fishlock managed to snatch Cracklap and Witches` Brew, whilst Rob Meakin and Bob MacMillan did Familiar`s Fall and got part way along the second pitch of the traverse of the Central Wall. Next weekend the weather was kinder to Meakin and MacMillan and they made further headway on their traverse. However, after three falls at the same point, Rob threw in the towel and let Cronshaw finish Sorcerer`s Apprentice. Meakin then made up for his failure by doing the second ascent of Sorcerer`s Apprentice and leading The Spell. Ainsworth then added Black Mass and the day ended with some soloed routes on the Downham Walls.
(1) Cars should be driven into the quarry, out of sight from the road (it is essential to close the gate afterwards) and there should be absolutely no parking on the lane. If the track into the quarry is not drivable, it is essential that climbers either go elsewhere, or park at the layby at the foot of the hill.