Frodsham – Sandstone Highballs in a Gritstone Sandwich

Having commuted to Chester from Manchester every day for three years, not to mention regular pilgrimages to Snowdonia and Gogarth, I reckon I’ve driven past Frodsham at least a thousand times. It’s pretty remarkable that I’ve never climbed there! Thanks to the recently joined former members of the Anabasis Club convening a Rucksack Club meet, I finally filled this glaring gap in my CV.

The climbing is on a series of isolated buttresses along an escarpment, with highly featured, stratified sandstone. The outcrops aren’t huge, but what they lack in stature they more than make up for in steepness! Highball bouldering is the main game, though top-roping might be a more sensible option if you’re in any doubt – the “High” in “Highball” is fully warranted. The grading is also a bit under-generous and a f5 could easily feel like E2 5b, depending what mood you are in. Surprisingly there wasn’t a huge amount of chalk in evidence, but luckily we were accompanied by local gurus: Rob and Dave, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all of the moves.

With a shady aspect, and a chilly breeze, it was good to keep moving, and we covered the whole length of the crag ticking classics all the way. Here are a bunch of shots to give you a flavour:

Great to explore a new venue and meet some new friends – looking forward to the sequel at Helsby next year!

… and now to explain the “Gritstone Sandwich” title – the vagaries of this summer meant that the chilly Sandstone Saturday (we got lucky in escaping a forecasted washout) was sandwiched between two Wonderful Wednesday Rucksack Club evening meets on the Glorious Grit. Here are some pics from Burbage North

… and Curbar

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