Great Wanney, Northumberland

Bank holiday monday saw us eager to get out climinbing again, and after drawing straws to see if we head south into the Cleveland hills or head north into Northumberland we set off north, hoping the weather would be nice.

We headed off for Great Wanney with our photocopied version of the guidebook. Found the place fine, although the guidebooks description of “turn left at the phonebox” when in fact there is a huge hotel at the crossroads, with a small phonebox hiding under its eaves was bizarre.

Sandstone is funny rock. And whoever graded this stuff deserves shooting, well I suppose the guidebook does warn you – “its Very Difficult and Severes that have caused Very Severe leaders problems” should have let us in on the game.

We had a good day though, even if it was a bit windy (ok, very windy – from up top you couldn’t hear jack). I Managed the first half of Foxes Hole before bailing out and doing the scramble to the right of the proper finish, and then ended up abseiling for the gear as Caroline couldn’t quite get over the lip. On the plus side I remembered all the details about abseiling and that was actually good fun. After lunch we decided to do some Moderates instead, doing Broken Blocks Staircase and then Lichen Chimney before calling it a day as the weather wasn’t looking the best.

All in all it was a good experience – will travel south next time to see how the grades compare down there!