Thruscross! – You may have heard stories of folk wandering lost and jungle-bound. Bracken as high as your shoulders and unfathomable approaches.  The lovely ancient oak woodland location meant Thruscross used to be a regular hit on the circuit with additions by some of the area’s top boulderers. However, once the easy access by the dam was closed off, people found the top-down approach from the moor, the fences and the presence of dense vegetation above and on the upper slopes to be a distinct hindrance to a good day out – and so the popularity faded. Those in the know were aware that the rock is of the very best quality but, as neglect caused the blocks to return to their wild state, visits became rare and so less and less inviting.

This has always been a great pity because the variety and quality of climbing is very good and, in places, excellent. There are problems that would attract respect and sustained attention if located at Caley or Almscliff. Some of the problems definitely fall into the highball category but there is something for one and all. The grade spread (apart from one 8a) is concentrated in the Font 3 to 7b range but there is still potential.

For those that like a traverse the YG guide threw in Tom Peckitt’s (though it seems it had been done before) Doe Traverse as a “brilliant pumpy” one but there are more that are worthy of attention whether you are looking for a Font 3 or a 7b. What constitutes quality is personal but why John Dunne’s arête climb Rewind or Barley’s Yarn Spinner only got one star is a mystery.

Over the past year or so many of the old problems and many new ones have been cleaned and climbed. Mark Wityszyn deserves true respect for much of the spadework (literally) he has put in. New areas both inside and out of the woods have been found –and found to be good.

So here is a guide to some grand bouldering in a truly lovely location. If you choose to use it please respect the access advice. Most of the problems have had few ascents so treat the grades as provisional. Let us know if you disagree with any of them.

Thruscross October 2020_1


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