Leicestershire Climbs

climbing in Leicestershire

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Home The Brand

The Brand

OS ref. SK537132 (Sheet 129)

SITUATION and CHARACTER

Situated in the private garden of ‘The Brand’ this crag-like quarry offers some of the best climbing in the county. The Brand is the name of the house owned by the Martin family. Over the years a very good relationship with the family has been built up with the local climbing community.  This has resulted in there being no problem with people climbing providing they have contacted the family or their land agent, and been given permission. Only one group at any one time will be allowed to climb. As there is such a small local climbing community this is very unlikely to pose much of a problem.

Hard and often serious climbing is to be found on all but a few routes here. The routes are of a better length than what is to be found elsewhere in Leicestershire and apart from a handful of easier routes, are suited to climbers with the ability to climb E2 or above.

APPROACH and ACCESS

Access is strictly limited to parties having permission to climb from the family. You should telephone first and follow the instructions given.

You may or may not be granted permission to climb; this is at the family’s discretion.

You will be asked to park at the house.

Climbers are asked not to destroy the excellent relationship that exists with the family by climbing without permission and leaving litter.

It is useless to trespass because the crag is plainly visible from the house.

The garden is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the rare lichen and fern species situated here.

Surveys are regularly carried by Natural England to monitor the levels of lichen and fern.

If at any time there is depreciation in the levels, climbing will be banned until deemed appropriate.

This especially applies to the hanging groove line left of Branded.

Do not climb it.

Phone; 01509 890269

THE CLIMBS

The crag can be split into two distinct sections. Firstly, there are the Water Walls which are situated above the pool and are home to a high concentration of hard routes with 12 out of the 18 routes on them being E5 or above. The routes are best approached by abseil. The Dry Walls are to the right of the Water Walls and are home to another collection of quality routes. As well as having a collection of high quality hard routes such as The Last Post Direct, Basher and Gujerati Girl there are also a handful of good easier routes as well. Mango and Sailaway are both 3 star classics and should be on anyone's list of routes to do when they visit.

The routes can be approached by abseil from the tree above Mango or by traversing in from the far right end of the crag along the bottom of the crag. Abseiling from the tree is probably the best method.

Climbs are described from left to right as one looks across the water. The first route encountered on the WATER WALLS is:

 

1.  The Corner E3 6a

2. Burley but Sensitive E5 6a

3. Tank Fly E3 6a

4.  Boss Walk E6 6b

5.  Splash E2 5b

6. The Shed of Dread E8 6c

7. Rhythm Collision E6 6b

8. Fish out of water E3 6a

9. Fast Forward E5 6a

10. Need a Reeewind E5 6a

11. Amelia Rose E6 6b

12. Ejected E5 6b

 

 

 

The Corner E3 5b, 6a

• From the bank on the left end of the crag move up and swing right round the arête. A couple of moves leads to the belay; peg and wires.

• Move right into the corner (peg) which is climbed direct to the top.

Robin Richmond and Richard Lucas October 2008

 

 

Burley but Sensitive E5 6a ***

A good route climbing the wall just right of The Corner. From the ledge behind the trees climb the wall direct to the base of a hanging crack. Climb the crack and where it runs out follow a line of good holds up and slightly left to the top.

Robin Richmond and Louise Pymm October 2008

 

Tank Fly E3 5b, 6a *

A diagonal across the wall from left to right.

• From the bank on the left end of the crag move up and swing right round the arête. A couple of moves leads to the belay; peg and wires.

• Move right into the corner (peg) and move right again to a good ledge/rail. Make hard moves up to another ledge which is followed rightwards to the first crack of Boss Walk. Continue right to join Splash which is climbed for 2m to a peg.  Move right onto the face where two crimps can be used to gain a rising line of holds out rightwards to finish above the arête of Rhythm Collision.

Robin Richmond and Richard Lucas October 2008

 

Boss Walk E6 6b ***

A superb route with good climbing and good gear nearly all the way! The climb follows  a discontinuous crackline which opens up in three places where bomber gear can be placed. The third is 4m below the top providing an exiting finale. Start on the ledge behind the trees and follow B.B.S to the second ledge which is followed right until the first crack can be reached. Climb the wall above (crux) via the cracks. From the third crack climb the wall above trending slightly right before moving back left to finish. Superb.

Robin Richmond and Dan Woolnough

 

Splash 21m E2 5b **

The climb takes the flake/crack in the wall to the left of Rhythm Collision. Belay from the ledge below Burley but Sensitive or if this is submerged your abseil rope 1.5m to the left at water level. Move diagonally right and climb the flake/crack .

J. Mitchell and E. Jones, June 1988.


 

Shed of Dread E8 6c*** 12m

Start as for Rhythm Collision. Climb the corner for apx. 1.5m to good holds on the arête. Place a bomber wire in the corner and move out left onto the left side of the arête. Bold, technical lay backing though the crux takes you to a semi resting position 4m below the top. From here slightly easier climbing leads to the top where a mantleshelf onto loose slate and grass to top out awaits!

Robin Richmond 11.7.12

 

 

Rhythm Collision 12m E5 6b ***

Belay from the abseil rope. Climb the obvious square cut corner on the left side of the water wall. Protection is in the form of small wires and a peg. The climbing is very technical and sustained throughout. Superb.

E. Jones and J. Mitchell, June 1988.

 

The next three routes start just above water level below the large tree in the centre of the Water Walls.

 

Fish Out of Water 18m E3 6a*

Start from a hanging belay above the water. Since the loss of the flake the first moves up past the scar where the flake once was are now the crux of the route. From the good holds after the initial groove move up to a poor peg. Climb the groove above with one tricky move before good holds lead back left ½ m to finish beneath the tree at the top of the wall.

E. Jones and L. Travers, April 1988.

 

 

Fast Forward 18m E5 6a***

Start as for Fish out of Water. Move up and start to traverse right as for Need a Reeewind for 1m. Ascend the wall for 2.5m and move right to a good hold. From here climb direct, a big move gains a jug. Either top out or traverse back leftwards to finish as for Fish out of Water. Bold.

Robin Richmond (solo) July 2003

 

Need a Reeewind 22m E5 6a***

Start as for Fish out of Water. Move up and take a rising traverse rightwards above the roofs until the blunt arête is reached. Take a direct line up the arête to finish. Bold.

Robin Richmond (solo) July 2003

 

Amelia Rose E6 6b 15m ***

A superb and varied route with hard technical climbing in the first half followed by an easier but increasingly bolder second half as you either get further from your gear if you’re going for the lead or further away from the water if you have opted for the solo.

Start at the bottom of the groove as for Fish out of Water. Make the first two moves before moving right onto the arête. Small crimps are used to gain an undercut spike beneath the overlap.  Move right and up to a good hold and cam protection before continuing right to another good hold directly below the upper arête. Make more hard moves up onto the arête above and finish as for Need a Reeewind.

Robin Richmond 24.7.12 (solo)

 

 

 

 

1. The Shed of Dread E8 6c

2. Rhythm Collision E5 6b

3.  Fish out of Water E3 6a

4.  Fast Forward E5 6a

5.  Need a Reeewind E5 6a

6. Amelia Rose E6 6b

7. Ejected E5 6b

8. Scabby Banana E6 6b

9. Rurp the Wild Berserk E6 6b

10. Man from Atlantis E6 6b

11. Branded E8 6c

12. Dinghy Days VS 4c

 

 

Ejected 18m E5 6b **

A good route with even less gear on it than Rurp! Abseil to the bottom of the groove to the left of R.T.W.B. Unclip and go! Follow the groove to the top. The technical crux is getting to the ledge at half height, from here easier climbing (should) lead to the top.

Richard Lucas (solo) June 2004

 

 

Scabby Banana  E6 6b **


A good route taking a direct line up the left side of the Rurp the wild Berserk slab. Start from a good hold apx 2m above the water on the left side of the slab. The first move is the technical crux of the route after this the route joins Rurp the Wild Berserk but instead of heading back right to clip the rurp takes a direct line to the top.
FA Dale Comley (solo) 21.7.12

 

 

Rurp the Wild Berserk 21m E6 6b***

The original hard bold route on the water walls takes a wandering line up the wall to the left of Branded. Start at the base of the slab just to the left of Branded. The belayer will need to belay from an abseil rope.  Take a rising traverse leftwards until 1.5m right of Ejected. Move up and then back right (reach down to clip rurp) and make hard moves to join the finish of Man from Atlantis.

Steve Allen

 

 

Man from Atlantis 19m E6 6b**

Climbed by mistake, thought to be Rurp the Wild Berserk on the first ascent. The climb takes the direct line from the base of the slab that Rurp doesn’t. Belay on the abseil rope on the right-hand side of the wall. Climb direct to gain a good ledge (unprotected) at half height and a rurp runner. Continue straight up the wall above to gain a good but slightly suspect hold just below the top and finish with the aid of the trees above.

Robin Richmond and R. Lucas 2002

 

 

Branded 17m E8 6c ***

The route climbs the curving arête to the right of Rurp the Wild Berserk. Sustained climbing with hard to find gear and rumours of a 'death boulder' in the shallow water below make this route a serious proposition. Start level with the bottom of the arête with pro (for the leader and the belay) in Dinghy Days. Move left to gain the arête and climb it with sustained interest until a good hold 2m below the top. Climb easily to the top.

Robin Richmond Sept. 2003

 

 

 

 

1. Dinghy Days VS 4c

2.Suffragette City E3 5c

3. Loose Leaf E1 5a

4. Third Time Lucky HVS 5a

5. Modular E4 6a

6. Gujerati Girl E5 6a

7. Mango VS 4c

8. Fruit Eliminate E3 5c

9. Zakuro E4 6a

10. Happy Flute E5 6a

 

 

Dinghy Days 15m VS 4c

Climbs the staggered crack right of Branded. Belay as for Branded.

Ms L Travers, M. Hood. June 1988

 

 

Suffragette City 18m E3 5c *

The route starts 6m left of Loose Leaf from a pedestal protruding from the pool. Climb the steep wall above the belay direct to join and climb the crack/flake above. Just before the flake joins Loose Leaf climb the wall above direct (crux) to finish at the tree above.

Steve Allen and Ms L. Travers, 1987.

 

 

The following routes are to be found on the DRY WALLS;

 

Loose Leaf 12m E1 5a

From the edge of the water traverse left for 2m to gain a very hollow flake. Climb it with care and follow the slight groove above to the top.

M. Hood and S. Allen, June 1988.

 

 

Third Time Lucky 9m HVS 5a

Up and left of Modular is a short corner. Climb it.

Ken Vickers and Rick Hudson, 1964.

 

 

Down and right of Third Time Lucky the crack from the lip of the roof to the top of the crag is;

 

Modular 15m E4 6a ***

Climb the gradually widening crack with good gear all the way. The first 15ft are sustained and technical, after this the crack gets bigger and the climbing eases. It is possible to traverse in above the crux from the left at E1 5c.

FA: Derek Gamble, Rick Hudson and Ken Vickers. Nov 1965

Indirect start: M Haffner. 1983

FFA: Steve Allen, John Codling. 1983

 

 

Gujerati Girl 23m E5 6b

Climb Mango for 8m to a ledge. From here make hard (crux) moves out onto the leftwall of Mango. Continue traversing leftwards, make a hard move to a thin crack and follow this to a ledge, rest. Continue to a good peg (1st runner since Mango) and climb the blind shallow groove above to finish. Harder for the short.

S. Allen and M. Chaney, 1988.

 

 

Mango 18m VS 4c ***

A Leicestershire classic at its grade. Reputedly climbed solo by Sir Andrew's father before the war. The route climbs the large corner. The climbing along with the gear is good, enjoy.

Ken Vickers and Dave Draper, Aug. 1964.

 

 

Fruit Eliminate E3 5c (unconfirmed)

Start at the groove 1 metre right of Mango. Take a direct line up the face above keeping 2m right of Mango all the way.
Bold climbing protected by small wires.

FA Unknown. A line was mentioned in the last guide that went up the wall to the right on Mango at E1 5b but was not thought to be worth including in the guide.

It is not know the exact line that the route that was mentioned in the old guide took.

The line was re-climbed by Masa Sakano and Brian Quinn, 27th October 2012

 

Zakuro 18m E4 6a * (unconfirmed) topo

A thin and technical wall climb taking a direct line up the middle of the wall 3-4 metres right of Mango.

A short groove leads up to a grassy ledge at 4m where protection can be placed.

The moves off the ledge are the crux of the route and if completed successfully the leader will find themselves committed to the wall above which although slightly easier still commands respect and care not to miss any chances of placing protection as the first ascentionist described using a pecker (protection used by aid climbers, good with a static load) and a slider nut to protect his ascent!

Traverse right below a small roof at the top of the wall to join and finish as for Happy Flute.

FA: Masa Sakano, Graeme Baxter, 6th October 2012

 

 

Happy Flute 18m  E5 6a ** (unconfirmed)

A good route only marred by loose rocks in the upper half. Scramble the easy angled arête 3m right of Zakuro to a grassy ledge.

From the right end of the ledge, climb the fluting feature above just left of arête all the way. Place protection to protect the initial crux moves off the ledge. Continue with care in an ever more serious position as you run it out above dubious gear through the second crux and on to the top. Keep left of the top arête as it is loose.

FA: Masa Sakano, 6th October 2012

 

 

Right of Happy Flute and around the arête is a steep crack this is;

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Gujerati Girl E5 6b

2. Sailaway HVS 5a

3. The Last Post E5 6a

4. The Last Post Direct E5 6b

5. Basher E6 6b

 

 

Sailaway 20m HVS 5a **

Superb climbing up a steep crack with good gear lies ahead for anyone starting up this absolute gem of a route. Indoor wall boys need not apply, stay away! Probably one of the hardest HVS’s going but not quite E1. Care should be taken towards the top, some of the blocks feel hollow; think light!

S. George, Bud Metcalf, Robin Prager and Ken Vickers, July 1965.

 

 

The Last Post E5 6a **

2m right of Sailaway is a seemingly detached hanging block that forms the left side of a groove that rises almost the full height of the crag. From directly below the block bridge up until it is possible to climb the crack at the back of the block. From the top of the crack move up and left before making hard moves back right across the groove to a rest. Blind RP3 out right. Climb the wall above direct on good finger jugs in a serious position to the top.

Robin Richmond and Mark Richardson November 11th 2008

 

 

The Last Post Direct E5 6b ***

The obvious direct that takes the true line of the groove in its entirety. Follow the Last Post to the moves left across the groove and instead  climb the groove direct via a hard sequence of moves that lands you at a good ledge where you can place the blind runner placement of The Last Post comfortably. Continue direct to another ledge and climb the short groove above to the top.

Robin Richmond and Iain McKenzie 2009

 

 

Basher E6 6b **

2m right of The Last Post a thin crack leads up and back left to the arete of the groove of The Last Post. Place good gear here and commit to the bold wall above (crux). A jug at the base of a shallow groove and thin crack marks the end of the crux section. Easier climbing up the groove above leads to the top. A good route with excellent moves in a serious position through the crux section.

Robin Richmond and Scott Chidlow 2009