Today I had the pleasure of climbing with Barry Clarke. I first met Barry (a softly spoken Yorkshireman) a few years ago in North Wales when me and my wife Corinne were staying in one of the Climber's Club huts in Llanberis Pass. We spent an evening chatting to Barry about climbing and life in general. That was that, and the following day we went on our way.
Since meeting him I have read in CC literature about Barry Clarke. It turns out he is the author of over a 1000 new routes in North Wales alone. Alot of these routes are modest in size and technical difficulty but most of them have been completed Solo and Onsite.
Just under a week ago I was climbing with friends at St. Govan's, I topped out on a route and noticed someone familiar. It was Barry and after a quick re-introduction got chatting again. He had moved to Pembrokeshire and was waiting for a mate to turn up so they could get some routes in for the afternoon. Being both CC members, I said I would get his number from the members list and be in contact. I called him last night, with a few hours to spare this afternoon and hoping he was free. He was.
After the prolonged dry weather we have had, he suggested heading to Saddle Head and climbing a route called Landvetter. We did that in two pitches and it justly deserves it's up grading to 3 star. Then we headed to Stennis Head, Riders area and climbed C++ and then Big C in two pitches. It was a great few hours climbing some less traveled but excellent routes.
Barry is 64 and is still cruising routes of 5b standard. I hope when I am his age I still have his fitness, motivation and enthusiasm for climbing. Nice one Barry, let's get out again soon!