Meet report by Nick Kemp
In a week that saw England smash the Aussies to win the Ashes (Cenizas) and after the success of the (David) Gower meet we continue the cricket theme by going to Devon (Malcolm). A decent weather forecast saw a respectable if portentous 13 MMCers arrive almost simultaneously at the Beara farm campsite, like an amateurish drug smuggling rendezvous.
Beara farm is a lovely classical farm campsite, no office, no website, no uniforms, no locked gates, no pass to drive in, all yours for a very reasonable five and a half sovereigns. It’s only slight flaw is that there is just one shower but most of the meet took every opportunity to jump in the sea or river that it didn’t matter much.
The weather forecast on Saturday did not disappoint and the meet bifurcated with one group off to the Dewerstone and the remaining water babies off to Berry Head.
What to say of the Dewerstone? It is a great granite crag and the team there consisting of Chuck (feeling a bit wan), Rob (in a tight white vest, think Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance), Michael (new guy), Nick and Gosia knocked off some of the great classics there such as Leviathan, Central Groove and Grooved Arrete. Nick was keen on doing Climbers Club Ordinary route late in the day but could not persuade any of the others to join in.
Meanwhile Juan, Rebeca, Adriano, Beatriz, Alistair, Anna and Rick went off to do some DWS at Berry Head. There they attempted with various degrees of success a long deep water solo. As the tide finally receded it permitted Juan and Rick to climb Moonraker which is definitely one of the top HVS climbs in the country.
They eventually got back to the campsite (undined) at about 10 pm, Lord alone knows what they had been doing all that time, Alistair muttered darkly about people wasting time doing a week’s shopping. Luckily the Dewerstone party had come back earlier and so had a few barbecues and other vittles on the go so they all tucked in to sausages and spuds (except for one particularly dubious looking fat white sausage that had thrice been rejected by everyone including Anna’s dog).
Sunday dawned gloomy with leaden threatening skies so everyone went to the safe option of Chudleigh (on the way back, short walk in) where another crop of routes were crushed. Chudleigh has a kind of Wye valley feel about it in that the ambience is woody and sheltered and the rock feels very similar to Shorncliffe or Wintours Leap.
Unfortunately its convenience also means that it is brutally polished in places. Still the doughty climbers persisted with Chuck leading Rob up Great Western. Rob had been working out and was struggling to contain his ever-rippling torso in a high necked black sleeveless t-shirt (think Jeremy Irons in Die Hard with a Vengeance). Juan, lacking his normal teutonic precision erroneously led the V Diff (sic) Wogs but redeemed his iron man reputation by subsequently leading The Spider E1. Gosia who had kept her beady eyes on some routes to get herself back into shape (alas not being able to find any mid grades) promptly followed in Juan’s hardcore footsteps and led Wogs.
And so the weekend trickled to a close and the various parties loaded up their vehicles (get the sweet jar down for Alistair who managed to cram three people, camping gear and a dog into his microscopic FIAT) and hit the road.
Thanks to all for making it a great weekend and Gosia for prove(sic) reading the meet report.