05/11/2011 – 11/11/2011
Written by: Neil
Attendees: Neil, Caroline, Lucy, Martin, Barry Hewett, Tony, David, Frances
After getting on our morning flight at 06:25 so we could get to Spain early enough to climb it pretty much just rained not long after we arrived at our climbing destination of Sella. Despite this I managed to lead a route and finish it just as the rain lightly started with Lucy seconding it afterwards, Caroline abandoned an attempt at leading it due to the rain getting heavier but it wasn’t enough to stop Tony who managed to make it to the top despite the rock being covered in water by the time he was half way.
The one route was all the climbing that we managed to get in but we did look at a few other routes that we could get done later in the week. After this we headed back to the accommodation, got some food and settled in.
The weather had picked up a bit and we weren’t sure what it’d be like later that day or that week so we decided to make the most of the day and climb ‘till it was dark. Had we stayed much later we’d have needed head torches to find our way back out! Took as a little longer to find due to an error in telling the sat nav where to go but luckly Martin & Frances are good with maps.
We went to Sierra de Toix as it has an abundance of good quality routes at a whole range of different grades with both single and multi-pitch on offer. We mostly stuck to the single pitch around Far Oeste on this day, with the exception of Martin and Lucy who headed off to get some multi-pitch routes done in the Toix Oesta area. As the weather was looking uncertain and possibly wet for the next few days we all tried to get as many routes done as possible averaging around nine routes per pair, although David managed an even ten.
The weather certainly got a bit worse by this day but started off with intermittent sun shine and dark clouds, we went back to the same location and people split between doing some single pitch routes and others doing multi-pitch routes. Caroline and I just managed to finish a multi-pitch route (Espolón Limaban) just as the weather started to get colder and wetter, we all managed to pack up and get to the cars as the light rain started to get a bit heavier.
Tony, Barry, Caroline & Lucy decided to head off to Benidorm for some cheap & tacky souvenir shopping while Martin, David, Frances and I went to scout out a few other possible climbing locations for later in the week. We went to have a look at Toix Este (an area in the Sierra De Toix) which looked promising in the guide book turned out to not be all that great and looked as if it hadn’t been climbed in a while with some suspect looking bolts (although they were probably alright).
That night David, Frances & myself went down into one of the near by towns near the sea and had a little look around near the sea front and stopped for a coffee while Martin & Barry headed out to get some dinner and the others were still in Benidorm.
This was the first day of really good weather which continued to the end of the trip, unfortunatly for Caroline, Tony & Lucy this was also their last day so we went back to Sierra de Toix as we knew it had lots of good routes. About half the group started on the multi-pitch routes around Toix Oeste and the other half on the single pitch routes around Far Oeste that they hadn’t already climbed.
The day was comparatively short compared to the second day as half the group had to head back early for their flight but we all left at around the same time, some of us who weren’t flying home made a stop by the sea for a quick dip.
This was another lovely sunny and hot day and we decided to go and climb some where different and headed to Echo Valley. We started off climbing in the Echo 1 area which had a number of good routes, some were a little tricky but nothing harder than they’d been graded.
After climbing in Echo 1 for a while Barry, David & Frances headed off but Martin and myself headed to Echo 1.5. This place had been fairly recently been bolted by British climbers and the grading refelected this as it all felt easier than the equivelent grades in other areas which had been done by the locals. The routes were still very good though and we managed to get quite a few done, I even managed to lead my first 6a.
We decided to take it a little easier here so we didn’t completely wear ourselfs out and went to climb the classic climb at Sella called Marión which David and Martin had taken a look at on our first day and it had some amazing views from the top. It took a while longer than we intended to finish the climb (not due to the difficulty of the climb though) and once we had done it we had to hunt a little for the abseil point. Once we found it, it was mostly made up of old bits of tat and a very rusty peg, not something anyone would’ve wanted to abseil off, so we had to add our own in.
After this we just headed back to the villa although David, Frances & myself headed into Orxeta town to have a look around which is a fairly nice but small place.
This was our last day in Spain so and we decided to to Sierra de Toix but a different area this time (it’s a pretty large area), Toix TV – Tropical Dreams. There were lots of good routes here that everyone managed to climb, I lead my second ever 6a and David managed to lead his first and second 6a grade climbs of the trip. Martin even found a random tap part way up the cliff to the right of Cloud No.9 (typical Spanish plumbing).
15/10/2011 – 16/10/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil, Martin, Tim, Caroline, Jeremy
This meet was added in slightly later in the year to get some sport climbing practise in before our trip to Spain in November, originally the Spain trip was going to be earlier in the year so the previous meet, which was originally going to be at Portland, was to be the warm up.
On the first day Martin, Tim and myself were climbing around the Cheyne Wears area of Portland, it was a great day with lots of sun and no wind in the area we were climbing in although in the shade and later on it did get a little bit chilly but still quite good. Lots of good routes were done with Martin & Tim getting some 6a leads in.
Rather than staying the night at a campsite we all went home and drove back the next day so we could sleep in our own beds and get a few other things done also it didn’t help that the temperature would have been pretty cold on a campsite that night.
Tim couldn’t make it climbing on the Sunday but Martin and myself were back with Caroline & Jeremy, again back at the Cheyne Wears area as there were come climbs further down the crag we had yet to do(same area we were in at the beginning of the year). The routes down this end seemed to be a bit hard for their grade in my opinion. Jeremy attempted a 6a which had an overhang in and seemed to be missing a bolt just before it but could be protected with nuts. Unfortunately he took a fall off it, not through lack of effort though, he sustained no injuries and the nut he placed before the overhang held perfectly.
16/09/2011 – 18/09/2011
Written by: Frances
Attendees: Brendan and Lucy, David and Frances, Martin and Sue, Neil and Cristabel, Caroline and Dave, Tony and Jacqui.
David and myself were already on the island on Friday having come over with the car on the ferry from Portsmouth the day before. So we had an extra day to scout out the climbing and, with advice from Brendan, we looked at the bouldering at Port Soif before staying at the Imperial Hotel at Torteval. Only two climbs were accessible here with the high tide on Friday morning, David easily achieving The Swinging Salmon HS 4b but on reaching the awkward final move of Salamandar VS 5a decided that discretion was the better part of valour and backed off. We picked up Neil and Cristabel at 1530hrs from the airport and returned to the same area as the tide was now down enough to reach Corner Climb S. Cristabel successfully seconded her first climb here. Tony and Jacqui arrived during the day to sightsee at St Peter Port and stay at the Cobo Bay hotel. Martin, Sue, Caroline and Dave flew in during the evening and discovered the drawbacks of an island not covered by Sat Nav, Ordanance Survey or road signs as we know them! Eventual arrival at the luxury accommodation of the Waves at Vazon Bay was very welcome indeed.
Saturday was the day of Lucy and Brendan’s wedding which took place in a beautiful church in St Peter Port. The lovely, lavish reception was at the Farmhouse just north of the airport. Well done to Brendan and Lucy to arrange an HMA meet on their weekend!
Most of us were fit and able to continue exploring on Sunday despite the high winds, looking at Pembroke Bay in the north (a little bouldering here by David and Tony) and at Icart Point in the south. Neil and Cristabel departed for the mainland in the morning. The bride and groom joined us at Waves in the evening for an excellent Indian Takeaway.
Monday found the wind lessening but climbing was limited due to the tides. So it was back to Port Soif for the climbers to do the climbs David had done earlier while I walked round Vazon Bay (excellent for surf) and some fortifications. We departed on the Fast Cat to Weymouth in the afternoon and the others flew home later.
25/09/2011 – 25/09/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil, Martin, Tim & Sarah
This meet was originally to happen at Portland to give everyone a bit of sport climbing practise before the club trip to Spain but as the Spain trip is being held later in the year this was changed to Swanage and another Portland meet added next month.
Sarah got in contact with us through the website during the week and wanted to meetup with us on this meet for the first time before deciding to join the club. We all met up at around 09:30 and possibly for the first time in club history I turned up on time and earlier than anyone else!
The day did start off a little dark and grey although by the time we got down to the crag there was some sun starting to burn through the cloud, we decided the Subliminal was a to go to. Martin and Tim started off on Balcony (HS 4b**) and as this was the first time Sarah had climbed outdoors in a while her and myself started off on Greasy Chimney (VDiff) which thanks to the half decent weather we’ve been having lately didn’t live up to it’s name and was fairly pleasant.
After Martin & I topped out on our respective routes a coastguard helicopter appeared as according to the Swanage coastguard a climber took a 50 foot fall around Anvil Point and had to be airlifted out. We hope he makes a speedy recovery.
After the accident earlier in the day the coastguard requested that that area of the crag was clear of climbers as they initially only dropped someone off and had to come back a short while later to retrieve them & the injured climber. So we stayed around the opposite end of the crag, Martin & Tim went up Dolphin (VS 4b), Sarah and I went up a route just left of Face (S 4a*) and right of Curving Crack (S 4a*) but not listed in the guidebook or UKclimbing.com. Unfortunately just as Sarah was starting the bottom of our climb some rain set in making the route quite slippery but she managed to get to the top without it being much of a problem, Martin & Tim went to take cover around the lighthouse but as the rain was only short lived by the time they got there it had stopped.
Sarah and I decided to call it a day but Tim & Martin decided to say for a while longer and wait for the crag to dry out, which thanks to the warm weather and a fairly strong wind didn’t take to long. They headed down to the Boulder Ruckle and went up Tatra (VS 5a**) with Martin leading the first tricky pitch of the route.
05/08/2011 – 09/08/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Martin Lennon, David Knight, Frances Knight, Tim Warner, Tom Langman, Tom Starnes, Joel Starnes & Amber
This day was just spent arriving at the camp site and pitching up before getting onto the climbing the following day as everyone finished work in the evening then drove up.
Martin & myself arrived first at about 23:30 follow shortly after by Tim, Tom Starnes & Joel, David and Frances were already on a separate trip in the Peak District that weekend so had arrived in the Peaks several days before hand. Tom Langman and Amber both arrived on the Sunday afternoon and met up with us at the crag due to their work commitments.
This was the first day of climbing and Bamford Edge was the chosen venue as it’s got superb routes in the area at all grades.
We made an early start for this one which was just as well as the walk in was fairly lengthy and it took us a little while to decide which area would be best for everyone but there was still plenty of time for everyone to get quite a few good climbs in. Some intermittent rain did cause us to stop us a couple of times and made some routes a bit harder when the rain came when we were part way up a route, but the rock in the area was still quite grip so the routes were still doable, although a little trickier.
This was chosen for the second day of climbing because the wind had picked up quite a lot and Rivelin Edge has a reputation of being quite sheltered from the wind. During the day in the mid to late afternoon Tom & Amber arrived and managed to second up some good routes and lead a few too.
The area has lots of great quality routes ranging right through all the grades and everyone managed to get quite a few great climbs in, including a route called Blizzard Ridge on the famous Needle and much further down a very strenuous route called Altar Crack.
All in all this was quite a long day with lots of climbing and everyone getting plenty of routes done ranging from VDiffs to HVS.
This day the wind really picked up, so much so that by the end of the day one of my tent poles had snapped! So we had to find some where that would provide a lot of shelter from it otherwise we’d never get any climbing in, Lawrencefield looked to be the best option and as it turned out it was fairly sheltered although it was still a bit windy it was still much better than anywhere else. The day didn’t start off to well either as it was raining so we went into Hathersage to have a look at the gear shops and grab a bite to eat while the weather settled down a bit, although this did allow us all to have a bit of a lay-in and wake up a bit later.
After the rain stopped we went down into Lawrencefield, only a few light showers came through while we were down there which and it was empty apart from us, a few other people did turn up in the late evening as we were on our last route though. Again lots of great routes were done and towards the end most people decided to head over to Burbage South for some bouldering but Martin and myself decided to stay and get another two routes in and meet up with the others later on.
At the end of the day we all decided to head out to eat that evening because the wind at the camp site was so intense cooking and eating there wouldn’t have been a pleasant experience, some of us went to The Peakcock for dinner and others decided to go for an Indian instead, both of which were in Bakewell.
This was the last day of climbing and Stanage Popular seemed like a good place to go as it was a weekday and it’d be quite, it was a bit windy but not to bad or to cold so worked out quite well as it kept all the midges away.
Again everyone managed to get lots of great routes in around the Intervted V & Black Slab areas before heading back home after a great weekend of climbing managing to just miss the heavy rain forecast for the next day.
Also a note to anyone going up here, don’t leave food easily accessible as the sheep like to eat bread, cake and pretty much anything else that resembles food, they don’t see to fussy, as a few club members found this out the hard way!
29/08/2011 – 29/08/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
The first day that was meant to be spent climbing at Subluminal ended up being cancelled due to torrential rain, even after it had stopped there wouldn’t have been enough time for the rock to dry to get any climbing done.
16/07/2011 – 16/07/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
This meet had to be cancelled due to rain sweeping across the UK so the venue couldn’t even be changed. It did however take place on the weekend after.
23/07/2011 – 23/07/2011
Written by: David Knight
Attendees: David Knight & Martin Lennon
With poor weather the Saturday before this day meet was put back to the 23rd July. Unfortunately with most parties committed elsewhere only Martin and myself were available. As expected of Sandstone aficionados we selected somewhere other than Bowles or Harrisons, Stone Farm, with it’s worn lower footholds and tricky problems was to be the venue.
We started with a couple of 5a’s on the Inaccessible Boulder, which was after Martin soloed the sandy 4b to fix the top rope. I have to say I did find them a bit of a struggle. Moving along the crag we romped up another 5a. Buoyed with this success it was time to up the anti, Cat Wall 5c which used to be one of the best climbs on the crag. After a couple of false starts by me and Martin complaining that he couldn’t move his foot owing to his boots being too sticky we soon dispatched the route. Feeling that it was coming together we moved onto another 5c ‘Pine Buttress’. On this route the lower and key foothold had worn down to a metre long groove offering very little purchase. Once over this obstacle there was an intimidating traverse for which failure offered a long pendulum. Again after a couple of false starts Martin managed a clean ascent whilst I had to dog the first move. Not to be deterred we then misguidedly chose the clean line of ‘Control’ another 5c which whilst being the same grade as the previous routes turned out to be far more difficult. After both of us dogged up it we decided it was time to call it a day and headed for home. A good day!
03/06/2011 – 05/06/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
This trip was moved to coincide with the Swanage meet on the 18th & 19th of June as people were to busy or injured in some cases on the original proposed dates.
Due to the weather forecast this meet only happened on the 19th of June and was moved to Wintour’s Leap, see the next entry for how the meet went.
19/06/2011 – 19/06/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Jo Toller, Martin Lennon & Barry Hewett
After a bit of an extended journey to get to across as the old bridge was closed on the journey there we had to take a slightly longer way around on the new one & managed to find a random toll route in a very small village.
This meet was meant to be over the the whole weekend (18th & 19th) on the sea cliffs of Swanage and in North Wales as the previous North Wales meet on the 3rd to the 5th of June has been postponed but due to bad weather in both locations on the Saturday it was decided to move both meets to Wintour’s Leap in the Wye Valley as it offered some long multi-pitch routes so everyone got to make the most of the single day.
Two routes were done by each pair, although Martin & Barry managed to do the first half of one route (Left Hand Route) and the second half of another while Jo & myself had problems just finding our first route, when we finally did someone else had beaten us to it so we managed to find another route to do first. Both pairs managed to get back to the car for lunch at around the same time then head back down to get the last route of the day done, we decided to both do the same route, the one that Jo and myself had been beaten to earlier in the day (Bottle Buttress).
13/05/2011 – 15/05/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Jo Toller, Caroline Priston, Gareth Holes, Martin Lennon, Brendan Gill, Lucy Plowman, Hannah Saunders, Pete Edwards & Tony Ward
This day mainly involved people driving up and setting up at the campsite. A few arrived earlier in the day getting some climbing in at The Dewerstone and others not getting there quite early enough to climb but with ample time to set up at the campsite, cook dinner & have a nice relaxing evening. Most though arrived much later in the night with Lucy & Brendan flying in from Guernsey, all of whom had to set up tents in the dark; providing much amusement for those watching.
This was the first day that everyone got to climb, the venue for climbing was Chudleigh as it was a place not many members had climbed much at. Lots of routes to be done there but a lot of the climbs were very polished, a few of the younger experienced members found climbing what was meant to be a few Diff routes next to each other a bit of a challenge with not much protection in. Lots of climbing was done though with a good range of grades, just a shame about how polished some of the rock was though. One fall was taken by a member but the gear held fine, although he did get a bit to close for comfort to the ground and turned upside down.
After having showers and getting changed at the campsite, with the aid of a few quick Pimms everyone headed out to a local Indian restaurant for dinner and a few drinks then a few of us decided to head into town to sample the very repetitive music nightlife of Bovey Tracey.
This was the last day of the meet and as such a few people decided to make an early start and go climbing then come back to pack the tents up after, others decided to pack up first then get a full days climbing in and head straight home after.
The original venue of choice was Haytor but after a few people arrived there it was decided it was far to windy to actually do any climbing so everyone headed to Hound Tor instead where the wind was a bit calm enough to climb but towards the end it had pickd up a lot making any climbing on the easier (below HVS) grades very difficult.
Quite a few good routes were done though, both Jo & Gareth lead a tough VS at the start others even managed to find a 2 star Mod climb, quite a novelty. One member did try pushing their grade up to an HVS 5b level but took a bit of a fall though, gear held fine and no injuries occurred. Towards the end before everyone headed home to stay out of the wind Martin, Brendan & Jo managed to top rope an E2 5b (Aerobic Wall) and a few others decided to spend a bit of time bouldering.
People left at a at staggered intivals, with some deciding to have a nice hotdog from the burger van in the carpar (it was pretty good) before heading home or taking the tents down.
08/04/2011 – 10/04/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Jo Toller, Caroline Priston, Martin Lennon, David Knight, Tony Ward, Ian Mac, Eric Nesbitt, Barry Hewett, Tim Warner & Tom Langman
Eric and David were already in the Peaks for differnt reasons, David for his wifes birthday celebrations and Eric on a family trip.
Not much happened on the first day as most people were just arriving with Tony getting their quite early on in the afternoon and joining David to having a go at some bouldering for a short while then everyone else arriving at Mandale House (the accomodation for the weekend) later in the evening.
As the weather for the weekend was very good with clear skys and sun all day, except the early morning in the shade was still a bit chilly, everywhere in the Peak District would be busy so we made an early start (up at 07:00, at the crag by 09:30) and went for a location that isn’t so popular to try and avoid the crowds.
Castle Naze was a great choice of venue as there was good grades for everyone to climb with some very quality routes to be done, some very good short routes on one end for a warm up and other more strenuous routes further along for some quality climbing. This day saw Caroline leading her first route of the session very well, except for a minor incident of dropping the belay plate once arriving at the top and another member taking a fall which luckly didn’t leave any major damage as the gear held well.
People starting leaving the crag at about 18:00, others at around 19:00 trying to successfully retrieve some stuck gear. Back at Mandale House Martin made a brilliant Chicken & Chorizo for everyone to feast on after a long hard days worth of climbing.
The second day saw an equally early start to Gardom’s edge as there are lots of good routes around there and it’s closer to the M1 for majority of members leaving that day, although three others (Neil, Jo & Caroline) stayed an extra night.
Most of the climbs were at around theVS level with a few lower graded ones for a bit of a warm up, Caroline lead another route that day and Neil lead made his first VS lead but also managed to take a fall off a different route with no major injuries, just a sprained ankle. The location was perfect though as the weather was just as good as the previous day but with less of a crowd, as Castle Naze got busier in the afternoon but not overly crowded.
The day ended a bit earlier mainly because of the fall but also people were a bit tired from the previous days climbing and had done a fair amount.
29/04/2011 – 02/05/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Martin Lennon, Tim Warner, Caroline Priston, Lucy Plowman, Brendan Gill & Silvia (the sat nav)
Over all a great weekends climbing, the forescast before heading out wasn’t looking to great but the rain managed to hold off until the last day and a half, which was better than expected. There was lots of sport routes of different lengths and grades, great for everyone but all involved an abseilt off blots to get back down or a fairly length walk.
Most made an early start to catch the 07:00 ferry to France so we could arrive earlier and get a good days worth of climbing in. Four of us managed to get into one car and caught the ferry from Portsmouth to Ouistreham with another two who were travelling from Guernsey going separately.
Four arrived at 11:00 in France and headed straight to the super market to get food for lunch and the evening meal then to the mobile home we had rented to take a look at it and drop some stuff off too. As the accomodation was well within walking distance of the Clecy crags we got our gear together and headed up to get some climbs in.
After pairing up we all managed to get a decent amount of climbing in with some nice weather, did get a little chilly at times when the sun was covered by clouds but nothing to bad. Caroline did her first ever abseil without a safetly line and lead some multipitch routes too.
At the end of the day we all headed back and got dinner going, Martin made another of his meals for everyone and two people heading over from Guernsey arrived in the evening in tiem for food and alcohol.
Another day of climbing at the local crag saw many more climbs done, Brendan leading his first 6a of the trip and Caroline leading her first 4c.
In the evening more alcohol and another of Martin’s fine meals was consumed.
Early in the morning one of the members left to head back home early, leaving us with one group of three, but as the forecasted rain set in it didn’t really make any difference and was probably the best day to head back home.
This is when the rain finally hit us and stopped the climbing all together, we managed to get a few routes in between us but had to retreat to the accomodation for a few hours. When the rain stopped we decided to drive to one of the other crags in the area in the hope it had avoided the earlier rain fall, unfortunatly it hadn’t but it was a nice drive and we got to see a different part of the area we were in.
Tim cooked up a spaghetti bolognese with what ingredients we could find for it in the super market, meaning rathern than mince we had burgers we minced up. The worked out very well though.
The two members heading over from Guernsey had to make an early start to head back home and catch their ferry as the port they left from was a few hours drive away.
The rain had made the whole area far to wet to climb in so we went for a walk around to the top of the crags during the day while the rain had stopped, but the crags still hadn’t dried out.
After clearing & cleaning the accomodation we headed down to the super market to get some food for the travel back to England then got to the ferry and arrived in Portsmouth for 22:00 after a very slow ferry crossing.
20/03/2011 – 20/03/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, David Knight, Jo Toller, Caroline Priston, Martin Lennon, Lucy Plowman and Brendan Gill
A lovely day meet at Bowles rock on a warm and mostly sunny day. Lots of top roping done ranging from 3a to 5c with the odd bit of soloing by some on a pleasent 2a route.
Quite easy identifying route lines with the climbers club guidebook to the area and setting up the top ropes was even easier as there are bolts at the top, only care that needs to be taken is to ensure the rope doesn’t touch the rock as much as possible to reduce wear to the rock.
12/02/2011 – 12/02/2011
Written by: Neil Nand
Attendees: Neil Nand, Jo Toller, Martin Lennon, Caroline Priston, Lucy Plowman, Tim Warner & a friend
An unplanned meet only decided upon at the last minute as it was the first sunny day of the year, perfect for some outdoor sport climbing down at Portland to knock off the climbing cobwebs from the Winter. Most members arrived early on at around 09:30, followed by a couple of others at 10:00 and a very late comer at some point in the afternoon.
Started off climbing at the Cheyne Weares Area to catch the warm morning sun getting a good amount of routes in ranging from 4 to 6a then following the sun to the very muddy Blacknor South for a few more climbs before heading back home for the day.