Our site works best with JavaScript enabled.

Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure

White Goods 2013

By Kenny Stocker
18, Nov, 2013

Ken reports back from last weekends Welsh dry tooling meet.

As hundreds of outdoor folk flooded to Kendal for this years film festival an especially picky bunch of climbers opted for the alternative attractions of an esoteric crag in North Wales. It is unlikely that ‘White Goods’ has ever seen so many climbers in one weekend, and it is a great testament to the hard work of Dave Garry and his helpers that this years White Goods dry tooling meet attracted such a strong turn out.

We met at 10am on Saturday morning for a briefing at the Griffin pub in Ruthin. Dave had done a great job, there were a lot of faces from last year’s event but also a lot of new faces, with an especially strong turn out from Scotland and London. With more people than the previous year, and limited parking at White Goods the logistics of getting to the crag had been thought about so with a bit of car sharing the 40 odd climbers made it to the crag.

White Goods is a hole in the ground, it sits just below a golf course and has unsurprisingly attracted its fair share of fly tipping in the past, hence the name. All this has been cleaned up, but if you have seen photos of places like Kandersteg or Grenoble you might be just a little disappointed! Still, it is in the UK and it is what it is, and thanks to the hard work of people like Dave Garry, Rob Gibson and other activists there has been a lot of cleaning work, and the crag is now home to some great little climbs with a range of grades up to M10/11.

The rock is limestone, blocky, loose in places, solid in others but helmets and constant attention from falling rock, axes or partners with cramponed feet is necessary. On its left the crag is severely undercut giving some big stepped overhangs. These are reached via thin cracks or the smallest of ledges in the rock. Negotiating the overhangs calls for cunning and imagination. For the uninitiated there is a whole world of sketchy and improbable movements to learn. Axes inserted horizontally in to horizontal cracks and pulled down on like a bar, axe picks inserted in to cracks just millimetres thick and twisted as you pull down and reach up for the next hold, and perhaps the most curious and unnerving of all, placed upside down in a reversed position in a horizontal crack before transferring your whole body on to just a few millimetres of steel and crumbly rock in a figfour manoeuvre before repeating, and repeating.. to finally reach around on to the lip for a well earned breather on the headwall above.

Inevitable there were some spectacular falls over the weekend. Sparking crampons and flying axes tend to have that effect however the routes are well bolted and the biggest falls were taken while pulling out rope for the clips. Sometimes axes don't fall even if the climber does, and as the tired fallen climber hangs helplessly in the void his axe smiles down on him clinging tenaciously where it was placed. And so we found ourself in the curious situation of having the crux of Left 'over' Goods pre-equipped with no less than 3 axes.

The crag continues to give new challenges and Simon Frost introduced Ramon Marin to a new project traversing the lip of the White Goods area which after some efforts on Saturday looked like it would go at a grade harder than the crags existing hard route Stump Man. Ramon returned on Sunday to get the first ascent, Careful Torque M11.

Climbing continued in to the dusk with several climbers setting out with head torches, but for the majority thoughts were turning back to the delights of the Griffin pub.

There was time to sit around the roaring fire supping a pint and recounting the days adventures before food was served up, fish and chips for the meat heads and veggie lasagna for the veggies. The carnivores spied the lasagna eagerly, it was clear we had got the better deal. A prize draw followed with a set of Figfour training aids and other prizes from event co-sponsors DMM and e-Climb.

The after dinner talk was provided by Simon Yearsley a Scottish based climber with a passion for putting up new lines. The  initial slide promised a grand tour of Welsh winter climbing, a topic suggested by Dave which seemed appropriate enough since we were in Wales, however by his own admission it was a subject he was eminently unqualified to talk about! Fortunately he does know an awful lot about Scottish winter climbing and so that is where he took us covering topics such as success, failure and the importance of keeping a sharp eye for new lines. An engaging and often funny talk filled with anecdotes, inspirational slides and with the firm message that there are still an awful lot of new routes to do outside the more frequented areas.. so go that extra mile, perhaps even leave your guidebook at home, don't worry about success or failure and just get out and climb.

  • Google+

In pictures

No Comments

Share your thoughts about this article.

Daring Deeds

A bloody long way North
Pete Whittaker takes of along on his bloody long trip
Five Ben Nevis Ridges in a Day
A new take on some Scottish classics
Senja Frozen Wonderland
Winter climbing in Norway
Serra da Estrela - Our Backyard
Daniela & Paulo tell us about their local haunts
Scratch & Win
Ramon heads North for some winter climbing training
Himalayan Adventures: Shan-Ri - Part 2
Part 2 of Paulo's search for a virgin summit
Himalayan Adventures: Shan-Ri - Part 1
Seeking virgin summits in the Himalayas
Ant and The Whale
A mountain journal short on Ian Almond

More from Deeds


Join us for the long easter weekend.
come along and catch nature off guard this weekend.
Competition Winners Begin Their Adventure
Winners of the Boulder Adventure competition depart on their trip
Vision of Adventure
Big pillow auction funds go to Vision of Adventure
So what is adventure?
A question of adventure
Erb’s Palsy Group Go Climbing
Climbing and caving experience day for children with Erb's Palsy
Alpkit Adventure Weekender
Join us in store for an adventure filled weekend
Castle Manor’s Camp Out
Building skills, confidence, and resilience in the outdoors
Adventures for Life Skills
Building life skills through a 19 day adventure in the Scottish Highlands

More from News


What’s so Genius About the Jeanius and Sequence Jeans?
Designer Ronnie discusses denim development
Illuminating our Head Torch Development
Developing a new range of head torches
Bags more packs in our range
New packs for you to put your kit in
Gripping Developments In Gloves
A whole new glove range: the inside story
The low-down on Polygiene™
Wear more, wash less: you can't get simpler than that!
UK-made climbing packs
Developing Ibex and Chamois
Gravitas Lightweight Activity Waterproof
New activity shell coming soon
Ekins on the Zhota
Alex Ekins reports back on using the Zhota tent

More from Develop


What’s So Wonderful About Wool?
Nature's technical fibre
How to Choose a Down Jacket
A handy guide to down jackets
How to choose a head torch
Buyer's guide: which is the best head torch for you?
Cuillin Ridge Traverse: Ten Top Tips
Tips to stay safe on the Cuillin Ridge Traverse
Where to Climb in the Peak District
Peak District Climbing Venues
Top Tips for Winter Climbing
Ramon Marin's winter climbing guide
The Who’s Who of Alpkit Backpacks
Navigating our new range of packs
Apogee Jacket: Worry-Free Warmth
Reviewing the Apogee Synthetic Jacket

More from Spotlight


More from Kudos

Be the first to hear about our newest products and promotions

Join AlpCol's Espresso newsletter for that hit of Go Nice Places, Do Good Things Greatness


By adding your email you consent to our terms and conditions