The Works – Lake District Dry-tooling Venue

[Note – Many new routes have been added to the ‘Works’ since this information was put together.  All the new routes are shown and described in the ‘New Routes’ section at the bottom of this post]
You can join the Works Facebook group at –
‘First Blood’ at the Works  [photo – Steve Ashworth]

With a growing interest in Dry-tooling to train for winter climbing and as a sport in its own right great venues have been getting developed like White Goods in Wales and the original UK venue at Newtyle Quarry in Scotland.  Following the ‘Winter Ethics’ debate there was a feeling amongst many that a Lakeland venue would be a good thing.  This feeling may not be shared by all but hopefully having a dedicated venue confined to a couple of disused quarries with no existing rock climbs established will help to control dry-tooling and avoid people using crags with established rock routes to tool on.  As well as controlling dry-tooling damage, the other aim was to offer a good quality venue with a good range of routes for climbers to train on for the winter and get a feeling for what dry-tooling is all about.

There has been talk of getting a venue under way for a while now with ideas being bounced around as to where the best venue would be.  Brian Davison was key in getting this up and running and organised various groups of  people to get together and develop routes.  As well as Brian and myself, Steve Ashworth, Tom Greenwood, Mark Scales, Phil Powell, Ian Durham, Scott Barnett and Andy Rutherford have been involved in the development of the ‘Works’ so far.

So currently there are 25 routes bolted for leading, all have been led bar 2 projects.  The grades range from about M4 to M12.  The routes are spread over 2 quarries that are close to each other, one we have called the Works, and the other is called Bakestone Quarry.  The bolted walls range from slabs to full roofs.  The rock is generally very good, however care should be taken while the routes are getting climbed in and if ‘bottom roping’ it will be best to use the top anchors in place as the upper lips of the quarries often contain loose rocks and soil.  The top anchors are all ring bolts so a sling and screw-gate can be useful before lowering off.

Full details of the venue and routes will be included in the next edition of the Lake District winter climbing guide due out for this winter.  For now, I have included some info written up by Brian below to direct people to the venue and give an idea of the routes on offer.

The descriptions are headed with the route name, length, grade, first ascent date, and finally the number of bolts.  The type of bolt is indicated with either a P or E.

P = Glued in ‘P’ bolt
E = Expansion bolt with hanger and nut

The Works (NY 313 017)
This scenic hole offers a range of routes from a slightly over hanging wall to a full cave roof.  This quarry is close to a larger one where material is still periodically excavated though no blasting is now undertaken.  Please do not enter the larger quarry or antagonize relations with the quarry owners.
On entering Hodge Close car park there is a track behind a locked gate on the left.  A track leads from the gate down to a large working quarry.  The track bends rightwards and descends.  On the left there is a quarried hole on the left.  The quarry is accessed using a cable attached to a tree.  The Industrial Sector is down on the left and the right-hand cave at the back has 2 routes going through the roof.

Industrial Sector
The slightly over hanging wall on the left as you descend into the quarry.  The routes are listed from left to right and there is a warm up traverse below the long roof.

Time and a Half    9m M4 (2012) 5E

Double Time         9m M5 (2012) 4P

Overtime              9m M6 (2012) 4P

Stein Pull              9m M6 (2012) 5P

Grand Design       9m M6+ (2012) 4P

The routes marked are listed above from left to right  [photo – Paddy Cave]
Brian on ‘Stein Pull’ M6  [photo – Paddy Cave]

 ‘Time and a Half’ M4  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

 The upper part of ‘Time and a Half’  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

One option for making the first steep pull on ‘Double Time’ M5  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

The back of this quarry has 2 large caves, the right-hand cave has 2 routes, the roof crack on the left is a project and the route on the right has been led and is described below.  This cave stays dry in the rain.

First Blood        20m M9 (2012) 3P+7E
This route links a series of roofs in a rightwards traverse to a lower-off on the lip out to the right.

A hand injury before leaving the deck inspired the name…  [photo – Paddy Cave]
Climbing ‘First Blood’ M9+  [photo – Steve Ashworth]
Linking the roofs with a long move on ‘First Blood’.  The roof crack out left has been bolted also as a project.  [photo – Steve Ashworth]

There are now many routes in the ‘First Blood’ cave, see the New Routes section at the bottom of this post for up to date topos and route details.

There is also a route on the wall to the right of the cave.

Steve’s Corner         15m M6 (2012) 7P
Climb the slab to gain the corner and climb this to exit out left at the top.  Some open torques can be used in the upper corner or a long move made to bypass them!

Bakestone Quarry (NY 32015)
This smaller quarry has a cave at the back with a hanging fang in its centre.  On the left there is a hole with a flat topped roof, the left side of this has a smooth vertical wall.
To approach this quarry take the path as for the previous quarry but leave the path for a small track to the right of the active quarry (stay clear of the crumbling quarry edge to left!) to a flat mossy area.  Pass this to a higher terrace and then pass an old tunnel entrance, then traverse scree to 2 old quarry buildings.  Go up the steps and the quarry is on the left.

It is also possible to access this quarry via a path from the last houses past on the road into Hodge Close.  It is important if this is used to still park as for Hodge Close and walk back up the road as the parking at the houses is reserved for the residents.

The names of the routes in this quarry were inspired by a cricket bat found near the grassed gangway that is now like a cricket seam.

Bakestone Quarry, the ‘Wicket’.  ‘Outfield’ starts at the back of the dark cave on the left.  The ‘Fang’ can be seen hanging down in the cave at the back.  There are also routes on the slab up and left of the back cave and on the walls to the right of the back cave.  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

The Wicket
The grassy quarry path leads to the cave with the fang in its centre.  There is a slabby corner to the right and a wall above the cave on its left.  Routes are described right to left.

The route below is to the right of the cave up the slabby corner.

Right Slip         15m M5 (2012) 4P
Climb through an overlap and gain the slabby corner, climb this with the lower-off being up and left of the final crack.

The route below starts in the cave.

The Fang         15m M8 (2012) 7P+1E
Climb the fang feature and the short roof to access the hanging groove.  Step right and gain the upper groove, follow this to the top.

Tom working the ‘Fang’ M8  [photo – Paddy Cave]

The next 2 routes are on the slabby wall left of the cave.

Left Slip         10m M5 (2012) 4P

Silly Mid On         10m M4 (2012) 4P

On the left of The Wicket is a rubble filled hole with a long flat roof and a smooth left wall.  A low level traverse has been manufactured along the base of the smooth left wall from the back of the hole.

The warm up traverse in Bakestone Quarry  [photo – Andy Rutherford] 

The route below starts in the back of the cave.

Outfield         20m M6 (2012) 7P
Climb the shallow groove to the roof.  Traverse leftwards below the roof to a mantle onto a sloping ledge.  Step back right to a couple of final steep moves and a lower-off.

Brian on the first ascent of ‘Outfield’ M6  [photo – Paddy Cave]
Just before the mantle move out left where ‘Outfield’ joins ‘Outside Leg’  [photo – Paddy Cave]

The route below climbs the arete to the left of the cave.

Outside Leg         12m M5 (2012) 4P (the final 2 are shared with Outfield)
Climb the large flake and make a move onto the sloping ledge, now follow Outfield to the same lower off.

Tom about to leave the flake on ‘Outside Leg’  [photo – Paddy Cave]

Thanks to Steve and Andy for contributing their photos.

The Cumbria Bolt Fund has supplied many bolts for the Works and has been a source of advice relating to good bolting practice.  The fund ensures quality bolts are supplied for all aspects of bolting in Cumbria.  Should anyone be keen to donate to the fund then follow the link below.

Cumbria Bolt Fund

If anyone wants any more info then get in touch… Enjoy!

Drilling at the ‘Works’  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

‘Bloodline’ [photo – Tom Greenwood]

Updated 10/06/2013

There has been a lot of activity in the ‘Works’ since the initial post went up.  Some hard new routes have been added and there are many good lines being scoped out with some more bolting taking place.
Many new routes have been established in the ‘First Blood’ Cave.  All the routes in the ‘First Blood’ Cave also have had in-situ draws placed.

Works Damage – All the routes on the Industrial Sector Wall have been completely restored and are fine to climb.  The routes in the First Blood Cave are all restored and have been re-equipped, so all the routes are as they were in the lower quarry and 4 new routes have been added and are described below.  Up at Bakestone Quarry The Fang and Right-Slip still need to be re glued with new resin anchors.  They both would be climbable however with the rigging of a top anchor off the trees above as all the bolts are still fine.  Great work by all the team who have given time to putting the ‘Works’ back together, for lending kit, Phil Powell in particular as well as the Cumbria Bolt Fund, and for donating cash and bolts for the restoration!

The following 3 routes have been added to the large slab between the 2 large caves, this has been called ‘The Peoples Slab’.  These give long but easy angled routes at a more accessible grade than others in the lower quarry.  They can be top roped or led, the bolts are a little spaced though so they feel a bit run out if not confident at the grade.

‘The Peoples Slab’

Left Route M4
Climbs the left hand side of the slab to a lower-off.

Middle Route M4
Climbs the center of the slab to the right-hand lower-off.

Right Route M4
Climbs the right-hand side of the slab to the same lower-off as for the previous route.

Lakes Ethics M9+
The first route to be added to the large cave to the left of the ‘First Blood‘ cave.  Bolted by Dave Garry and climbed by Pete Holder.  The route is equipped with in-situ draws and climbs the right side of the arch in the bottom of the cave and then breaks through the first roof.

Bloodline M10 
The steep crack line cutting through the roof from the left end of the cave.  
Blood Donor M9+
Starts up ‘First Blood’ and then breaks left across the steep roof to the lower off of ‘Bloodline’. 

Transfusion M8
Climbs the arete that forms the right hand side of the cave entrance.  After a blind move to gain the arete and crack line climb the arete on torques and enhanced edges.  At about 2/3 height move leftwards out of the crack onto a series of natural edges with a thin move giving access to the good upper crack/flake and belay. This route is different to many of the Works routes in that it uses many natural placements whilst at the same time being deceptively steep.  There is also a bolt in place for the belayer on the belay ledge at the foot of the route.

Guardian of the Underworld M12
Climbs out of the back of the cave on the right.  Climb the rail with some tricky moves to gain the main roof.  Climb across the big roof with a fight towards the belay of First Blood!  Great effort from Andy Turner in adding this route to the cave.

Let there be Light M10+
This route was added be Simon Chevis and gives a long sustained route across the length of the front main cave.  The route starts up ‘Bloodline’ and about 2/3 of the way up, once into the upper groove, you break right across a steep wall.  You cross the route ‘Blood Donor’ and continue with some moves down to link into the final section of ‘First Blood’ and to the lower off.  Another great route and a good effort from Simon to get bolted and climbed.

Quick Release M10+
This starts up the slab left of GOTU.  The slab gives access to the horizontal roof.  The roof is climbed following a faint crack-line with long moves and stein pulls.  The route joins ‘First Blood’ for its last 2 draws and belay.

Project – Andy Turner – M?
The line of draws coming from the depths of the ‘First Blood’ cave and joining ‘Guardian of the Underworld’.

Project – Greg Boswell and Paddy Cave – M?
The line of bolts across the roof to the right of ‘Outfield’ up in Bakestone Quarry.  Was previously equipped with Grivel draws until they were stolen!?

Updated Topo for the First Blood Cave

Yellow – Bloodline M10
Blue – Let there be Light M10+
Green – Blood Donor M9+
Red – First Blood M9+
Purple – Quick Release M10+
White – Guardian of the Underworld M12
Orange – Transfusion M8

Another View…..

Its been great to see new faces getting into the ‘Works’ and things picking up momentum in there with new routes being added by others, Dave Garry, Greg Boswell, Andy Turner and Simon Chevis have all been busy and added some hard new lines.

 Si Frost coming close to the 2nd ascent of ‘Transfusion’  [photo – Andy Rutherford]
Lots of people enjoying the popular ‘Industrial Sector’ wall  [photo – Paddy Cave]

 Me attempting ‘Blood Donor’ M9+ [photo – Joe Harrop]

 Andy on the 1st ascent of ‘Blood Donor’ M9+ [photo – Joe Harrop]

Working ‘Bloodline’ M10 [photo – Andy Rutherford]

 The 2nd ascent of ‘Bloodline’ M10.  It was nice to get this done as it seems a while since I bolted it!   [photo – Andy Rutherford]

In situ DMM draws on the cave routes  [photo – Andy Rutherford]

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