UK Trad Climbing

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...  

Sea Cliff Climbing Adventures in Pembrokeshire

Climbing Courses and Personal Fun! 

So now we've officially reached autumn, but the weather seems to be improving, so as far as I'm concerned summer is here again! The last couple of weeks have been busy, despite the unsettled weather (how British do I sound?! - No more talk about weather...). 

With the school summer holidays, I've been doing a lot of work with family groups, interspersed with some adult guiding and skills courses. 

On Monday I had a cool day out personal climbing with Paul Donnithorne, exploring an unclimbed sea stack around 20m high, coming away with three new routes. After that, we caught up with Dave Linnet, Sarah-Jane and Sachor and climbed the wonderful Isambard's Kingdom, on The Green Bridge of Wales. Great route but a little crumbly at the top... 

Yesterday I was out climbing with Emma Alsford for the first time which was really cool. She's been a pioneering climber on the sea cliffs of Pembroke for many years, and what she does't know about climbing here isn't worth knowing! We first went to St. Govan's East, then headed for a last route at St. Govan's Main Cliff. The weather was unexpectedly cloudy (hang on, I promised not to mention the weather again - what can I say, I'm British...) Thanks Emma for a great fun day out.