Up the Valley rain or shine!
On an early Friday a few MMCers managed traffic and fat chips to reach Wye Valley, early enough to sneak a climb before dawn.
At the Reception Campsite, we were greeted by a man (let’s call him “Larry”). Larry was a very friendly chap who used a golf buggy to get around.
We set off, Larry in the lead and us following.
We thought if Larry needed the buggy, it is because we were located at the far end of the vast campsite. Well that drive was short like a minute.
Larry droves that buggy with so much pride!
Every tent pitch has his own fire pit, oh yeah, luxury! However , we did have to buy the wood and the “most” unkind kindling wood ever. Too chunky, according to Damien.
The campsite was pretty empty, the grass was luscious and green. The best that I have ever seen so far.
We set off on Devil Dike path to reach Shorn Cliff Crag. The crag was a mere 20 minutes walk from the campsite (30 for me).
Damien led Hydraulic Jump in no time. Sander went second and I finish what seems to be a top rope/slash Trad situation as I was left with only one gear to retrieve. Sander and I were stuck at the same point. Not sure how to call my technique, but I end up slipping and sliding up myself in a manner that resemble some kind of bridging/spider walk and anything goes to get up the last bit of the climb.
This climb was quite interesting although short, it packed in quite a few technique, bridging, crack, knee drop, lay back , shimmy yourself up, hauling everything. It was fun, or was it only me? Mmm…
Obviously, in the Wye Valley abseiling is in order. Sander went down in a very precautious way, I discovered that I have new fondness of the expression of “Fob it” (polite way) that helps the bravado of getting in position for abseiling. Damien has no issue at all as it was bouncing like a gazelle while abseiling (show off), in 2 second he was down.
That was enough for us, we went back to camp, and set the fire… pit (Damien), then had a hearty Diner, cooked by our super chef of the moment (again Damien. (Lovely chicken curry). Ben Davies, Tim, Elman and Ander later joined us
Chris and Richard arrived on Saturday morning, set their tent in our luscious green grass and left very early on Sunday morning like thieves without saying goodbye. They,ve got rain scared!
Anyway, on Saturday, we set off to do more climbing, them more than me. I belayed on Saturday. I was not too keen on wet climbing. Everyone tried our climb (hydraulic jump); Chris led his first very wet V.S.
Ben Nevis AKA Ben Davies went up that climb like nothing in approach shoes.
They climb one or two things and by 12pm, it started drizzling so a group of us gave up.
We decided to go back to camp and to do a little walk. (My favourite thing!)
Elman and Ander, the climbing machines of Wye Valley stayed behind to do more climbing, rain or shine. They did it.
We walked to the abbey café from our campsite. We all had a nice meal together. Later on, Elman and Ander who thought that their extra climb was not enough joined us; they ran back and forth between camp and café. In the rain, people, in the rain! Beast mode!
Meanwhile, Alix and David were hiking in Symonds Yat woods. They created a new path by accident to their walk in the Woodlands.
We met for a lovely diner at Gurkha restaurant set in B&B ran by a Nepalese family.
On Sunday morning, we had a hearty breakfast in the Weatherspoon (classy) in Chepstow. Then we went for a short walk (you know what this means) to the Wye Valley from Chepstow. We went all the way to the top and saw the Wintour leap Crag.
Beautiful weekend in the rainy Wye Valley.
My first proper British camping experience and I would not change any of it.