Training for winter climbing has long been a challenging process - scratching around of old stone walls or under bridges, and more recently upsetting other wall users with hooky rubber band axes. The best training is offered by dedicated dry tooling crags but until recently there was a choice of two Newtyle (a 5 hour drive from Sheffield) or White Goods (a 2 - 2 1/2 hour drive). Luckily there is a little more choice with a new (by all accounts an excellent) venue at Hodge Close Quarry in the Lakes (still 2 1/2 hours drive from Sheffield) and Masson Lees near Matlock (45 minutes drive - yipee).
There has actually been a couple of routes for a 2 or 3 years at Masson. A short M5 and an upside down M lots. There has been a fair amount of activity recently and now the M5 has an M6 cousin, the M lots has doubled in length and become M lots and lots! plus there are two further lines drilled one completed (the left of the two) at M8+ and the other, when its been finished, should be around M7/7+.
Newtyle and White Goods have a lot more to offer at the moment than Masson. But being so close and desperately needing to sort out my fitness I'll be back for more humiliation and sore arms at Masson soon.