Being rained on…

Well I did try to go climbing that Saturday afternoon but without much success. Jen and I headed to Curbar to meet up with Adam and as we were walking along the crag to find him the heavens open. Having met up with Adam we promptly decided to run away. After having walked about half way back to the car it decided to stop raining and we managed to get a few boulder problems in before the heavens opened again – this time more permanently. Having given up on climbing we all ended up round Adam and Kate’s for dinner, and at least in my case, a bit too much alcohol.

The next day promised some nicer weather in North Wales so after a bit of a slow start Jen and I headed over to Tremadog. Having not led much recently I was looking for something easier to lead but as there were already people on it I ended up deciding to do One Step in the Clouds, a VS I’d done years earlier but couldn’t remember. Turned out to be a good choice – the second pitch is some of the most enjoyable climbing I’ve ever done. The first pitch was nothing special – not helped by some route finding errors on my part which meant it took me longer than it should have – but the second pitch more than makes up for it. As we were walking off it started to rain so we decided not to try to squeeze in another climb so we headed to Llanberis for a very nice curry.

Having spent the night in the Ogwen CC hut our plan was to go for a longish hike taking in some of the Welsh 3000 footers. However when we woke up it was raining and the cloud base was considerably below 3000ft so we headed back to Sheffield and a late afternoon indoor session at Foundry. Climbing at a wall I’d previously climbed at gave me a good indication of how I was climbing and what I thought was the case seemed to be the case. Technically I’m climbing well but I still haven’t got all my strength and stamina back.

Tuesday brought another damp day but I thought some shower dodging might have resulted in some climbing. Jen was less impressed by this idea and as everyone else was working I headed out to do some soloing. I mostly ended up looking in shops while it was raining! Did end up squeezing one damp route in but I didn’t fancy soloing anything else when I was by myself and the routes were all damp. I headed back to Sheffield, picked up Jen and headed to the Works for some bouldering with her, Richard and Adam, where once again Adam pointed me at hard (for me) problems and I stupidly tried them – with more success than I was expecting.

Wednesday I went and saw Sarah, an ex-colleague from my MoD days, and her two children. The youngest was only 7 months so had obviously changed quite a lot since I’d last seen her 6 months ago. She seemed such a happy and undemanding baby, unlike her sister. Then again I think the older one has never really liked me so I probably have a view biased by her unhappiness at seeing me. I mentioned this to my parents and they said that my brother and I were similar, with the oldest being more demanding and generally less happy. Not sure I liked being told that given that I was the oldest! I had hoped to meet up with my old Wednesday climbing crowd that evening but it turned out that for one reason or another none of them were actually climbing. So instead I headed out to Windgether soloing. Took a while to get back into trusting myself on the grit but I got ten solos in before it once again rained. Was pleased to solo Right Triplet Crack as this was something I’d backed off a few times. It’s a single move over an over hang and it looks like my efforts to work on my core muscle strength are having some effect as I found it much easier this time.

Not too much to say about Thursday daytime. Attempts to find WiFi to do some work were not massively successful and I only got a little bit of work done. That evening Jen and I tried climbing at Horseshoe Quarry. I managed one route before a thunderstorm dropped a lot of rain – Jen didn’t even get a chance to second. So once again I found myself heading back to Jen’s for food having been rained off climbing. Friday daytime was spent at Manchester uni discussing finishing off the work I’d started there, which was productive if not very exciting! That evening I headed up to see Mark in Cowling. Had some very nice home-cooked food from his wife and had an enjoyable evening before heading back to the Frogatt CC hut.

Saturday was spent at the family camp of my old Scout group. As both I and most of my Sheffield friends had non-climbing plans we predicted it would be a nice sunny day and so it turned out to be! I was a bit uncertain about how it would all go but once I was there that went away and I just got on with helping with the canoeing. I hadn’t canoed in years and years so was rather surprised at not finding it too difficult, although I didn’t get to do it for long and it was on a perfectly flat and rather small lake. I then hung around a bit more, including chatting with Gareth who happened to be volunteering at the camp site that day, before heading back to my parents. All in all an enjoyable day which made me realise quite how much I had been missing Scouting. I must be mad!

All in all an enjoyable week visiting friends. I’m now back at my parents for a few days which will hopefully be nice and relaxing and give me a chance to do some work so that I have to take less holiday time for my trip.

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