Ilam Rock

Sometime The Weather Wins

A Wet Three Days Filming in the Peak District

As said in the title, sometimes the weather wins. You can keep an eye on the weather during the lead up to a job with a temporal obsession. The time then comes when you have to make a decision. Luckily the decision to drive up to the Peak District was pretty easy as the weather looked fairly settled. I drove to Phil's in Hereford and repacked my kit into his van and on we drove, through thick fog. We met up with Jerry at a deserted YHA (whose name I've already forgotten) behind a farm, north of Ashbourne. The fog was even thicker here and by the morning there had been no change. We carted all of the climbing and filming equipment into the beautiful Dovedale, along the river and onto Dovedale Church, our crag for the morning. Our target route was Snakes Alive, a corner pitch but surprisingly varied and a Peak limestone classic, going at the very reasonable grade of Very Severe, 4c ***.   Due to the conditions, the route felt desperate, like climbing a giant bar of soap. I had to climb it twice to get all of the angles Jerry needed! We went on to Ilam Rock to have a look at Easter Island (an E1 5b first put up by Ed Drummond in the 70's) but it was too wet and greasy to even begin. The following day we headed to High Tor in vein hope that it would be dry there. It wasn't and the fog was even thicker. We had our eyes on Skylight, a Joe Brown VS 4b, 4c ***. After a horridly wet and slimy first pitch, both Jerry and myself decided that this was just rubbish! After a bit of a beery night and a weather forecast that looked pretty much the same, we used the third day as a recce for a further project. Not the most productive three days, but not totally fruitless...