Twistleton Scar and Ravenswick Quarry

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-10-10

Well here we go for two firsts, I’ve now put my name to a couple of Sunday climbing meets – I won’t claim to have organised them - and this is my first contribution to the website.


Sunday 10th October

A day of blue skies, sunshine and some unexpectedly warm rock which came together with a very strong wind, from which we were somehow miraculously sheltered. Climbers included Keith and Sue, Rob Butler (who must get his membership form finished), Helen Tait, Colin Binks, Mark and myself.


Twistleton, although not particularly high, is actually quiet an extensive crag, stretching both a long way north from the ‘approach path’ and also having several distinct tiers of rock. This means that it is easy to spend a day, indeed probably several days exploring and doing routes on what is relatively untouched but certainly very sound rock. However this crag never really seems to be that busy and there is never that urge to ‘go find somewhere quiet to play’ and this Sunday was no exception.


We promptly headed straight for the classics around the Evening Star area, where the rock is both at its highest, at around 18m, and most compact and I think it’s fair to say that most of the easier classics in this area, such as Evening Star, Fretsaw, Supreme White etc. were done at various times during a thoroughly enjoyable day, which ended at around 4:30, when Richard returned from his run and we all enjoyed a well earned pint.


Sunday 31st October

A similar sort of shorter autumn day, at the fairly recently (re)discovered Ravenswick Quarry, near Hutton-le-Hole, on the south edge of the North York Moors.


Ravenswick appears to have totally escaped inclusion in any of the NY moors climbing guides, although it clearly has been visited by ‘in the know’ locals for many years and is also rumoured to be used for many years by various outdoor organisations. I first discovered the crag last summer c/o a CMC meet.


At that time there was a fairly consistent ‘forest’ of dense blackthorn bushes on top plus a number of overhanging trees and major outbreak of nettles/undergrowth at the  base of the crag. However, a visit in March this year revealed that some of the worst of this overgrowth has been cut back, together with clearing the base of the routes and the planting of a number of strategically placed stakes.


The quarry faces south, is 2 minutes from the road, is surrounded and sheltered by trees and seemed to be totally unaffected by either Saturday’s heavy overnight rain nor Sunday’s occasional very light drizzle. Reassuringly though, this ‘all weather’ nature is nothing to do with the sheltering effect of drastic overhangs - I wouldn’t be there if it was! – rather, it just seemed an OK sort of place when the weather is iffy.


The rock is a form of limestone, routes are generally between 10 and 14m, universally pretty steep everywhere and most are on fairly solid rock, although some of the routes on the east wall are definitely quite friable towards the top – take care here.


I think it’s fair to say that John Stockton, John Birtill, Mark, Rob (who still hasn’t filled in his form), Steve, Sam (another new prospective member), Harry and Ray had a generally good day and given the forecast, a pleasant surprise, before retiring to the pub at Hutton - le -hole to rest our various aching arms etc.


It’s also probably worth adding that there also appeared to be little distinction between the degree of difficulty of climbing anything between Severe and HVS 5a, which also just might explain the general need for rest and recovery a bit more. All in all, a worthwhile place to visit for a long summer evening or short day.

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