An early May bank holiday weekend in Swanage was bound to be dictated to an extent by the weather. In anticipation, the MMC crew formed split strategies successful to varying degrees to make the most of three days on the south coast.
Juan and Rebecca head to the south coast arriving on Thursday night. They climb a mostly dry Friday at Winspit a sport climbing crag near the Tom’s Field campsite at Swanage.
The remaining contingent follow on Saturday with new members Paolo and Jasmine (and passengers Alex and Vicky) choosing to make an early break to avoid the traffic and arrive before noon. A cooked breakfast seems to provide the necessary brain fuel to make the plan to climb despite a forecast wet afternoon. After pitching the tents, contingent 3 (Nancy, Rob, Giulia and Irène) arrive in a distinctly broken Renault Kangoo. After unloading his passengers, Rob pushes the vehicle past the campsite gate alongside Paolo’s brand new rental ford focus. Unfortunately the car is unable to feed the van with enough power to jump start the engine and Rob sets to calling the necessary local mechanics to find a replacement battery. Meanwhile, Paolo, Vicky and Alex make the 30 minute walk to Hedbury quarry to climb a few short routes with the rest following a while later.
In the evening, the final contingent consisting of Sarah, Andy, Petra, Mike and newest member Joshua complete the group at the King’s Arms.
Sunday brings the promised dose of rain and fog which leaves the group undecided on which activity to choose. In the end everyone decides to visit Corfe Castle via varying means. Those camping decide on a lovely 2 hour walk through the fog occasionally having to rely on limited signal to find the right path.
A surprising sight greets the walkers in Corfe village as a huge Viking/Saxon battle reenactment has taken over the town.
After a quick lunch, we decide to visit the impressive coast of Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.
With Monday promising early morning sun, a crew of 6 (Juan, Rebecca, Irene, Giulia, Alex and Paolo) head to Portland for some excellent single pitch climbing at the Veranda and the main cliff of Battleship before rain arrives signalling it was time to try to beat the bank holiday traffic back to London.
All in all, an awesome trip!