Midweek Brigade enjoys dry rock early Summer 09

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This year there are a number of us who find, for one reason or another, we can climb when it’s dry as opposed to waiting for the weekend, when it might not be. And according to Nick H it hasn’t been – he hadn’t managed a route in the Lakes this year until last week! But the Midweek Brigade thinks it’s been a marvellous start to the year!

Starting with 7000 feet of rock in Morocco with AlanB, Wriggers and Robin, of which more later, and punctuated by a few routes and some great walking in Mallorca, Norway and Gozo with Magi,and a few evening meets (Denaham and Wilton spring to mind) my diary has many UK entries:

Monday 12/04/09 The Roaches with Terry. 4 VSs and a HVS in glorious sunshine. Incidentally the HVS, “Diamond Wednesday” is well worth while – a bit of an eliminate (_b_link__ers needed!) it nonetheless has some good climbing and I’d say worth at least 1 star even in the exalted surroundings of The Best Crag In Derbyshire (which, as everybody knows, is in Staffordshire).

And so to The Lakes and God’s Own Rock:

Thursday 16/04/09 Wallowbarrow with Terry. Whilst others wore windproofs and battled with a cold wind we moved to the other buttress and climbed in T shirts being altogether sheltered from the cold wind.The score was 2 VSs and a HS. One of the VSs is on Low Crag just below the main crag. It’s called Leprechaun and we found it to bve worthwhile and would upgrade it to VS 4c 4c 4c.

Monday 11/05/09 Borrowdale with Ali. WARNING!!!! Made the mistake of going back to Gowder Crag after a 7 year gap during which someone was killed due to rock fall on Fool’s Paradise and there’d been other rumours of the deterioration of what was always a crag with suspect rock. DON’T GO! We finally grovelled up a route then ran away to Quayfoot and pleasant sunny fare. Only after the fare at the Shepherd’s caff though!

Friday 29/05/09 White Ghyll with Terry, Wriggers and Simon. Me and Terry 3VSs including White Ghyll Wall for the first time for 43 years – what a good climb, remembered every move – not!

Monday 01/06/09 Pillar Rock with Terry and Simon. Slightly late start – after getting stuck in a road accident at Broughton, rescuing a small boy abandoned in Brookhouse, fitting a bike rack to the car, a bike falling off said rack somewhere near Lamplugh, repairs to said bike, then a puncture less than 300 yards after leaving the car park we got to Pillar at 3.00pm. All thoughts of winding it out on a “challenge” were abandoned and we were very happy to enjoy a long 500 ft classic in Nor Nor West Route.

Wednesday 03/06/09 Gable Crag with AlanB. Alan had “Interceptor”, which I’d never noticed, on his list so we did it – Very good and well worth it’s **. Followed it with Fie! on Green Gable Crag in theevening sun with sacks on the way home. MILD vs – I don’t think so – or maybe it was the sack.

Monday 22/06/09 East Raven with Ali. 4 VSs. Hotpot is a bit pushy for the grade. Ophidia and Bingo (find this one on FRCC website)are very pleasant. Baskerville as difficult as I found it in 1966!

Tuesday 23/06/09 Pavey with Ali, AlanB, Terry, MartinD and Wriggers. Not agreat return but finally climbed Crescent Slabs then went on to pick the weeds out of Roundabout Direct, an excellent unsung VS now in a good state (1st pitch excepted) with perfect rock and excellent protection

Wednesday 24/06/09 Bowfell with Wriggers who led the very good Right Wall Eliminate – well named as it can be escaped from at the stance but once on each pitch it’s committing and very good climbing. Finished off with an old traditional route – Sinister Slabs – has some decent climbing on the main pitch bit all in all I’d say don’t bother.

So there you have it. The first half of the year. It’s a pity the acres of rock we climbed in Morocco didn’t really translate into the skills/attitude necessary for our _style_ of climbing but after the (mainly) VS climbing listed above maybe one is getting ready to move on and try to get back to somewhere near one’s best . . . . ?

The picture shows Simon on Nor Nor West Climb on Pillar Rock.