Well this was a shocker. A Wye Valley meet that was more sunny than rainy. An incredibly rare occasion that was met with many happy faces and an enjoyable time!
So what happened? Let’s get started.
The group split into three, most went to Symonds Yat where there was an abundance of trad climbing and the others went to Ban-y-gor for a spot of Sport Climbing, and a small number went for a stroll.
The trad climbers started their fun in the parking lot by waving their phones around trying to connect to the parking app to pay. Finally when everyone managed to pay for parking, they all headed off down an apparently only locally known short-cut involving a steep gully of soil and leaves all the way to the start of the main climbing.
Marie, Alistair, and Christine snagged a spot in line for Golden Fleece (HS 4b). Led by Alistair, some sections were quite pleasant while others were quite polished. Polished enough that even the seconders struggled to slide up a tad! Having spent a lot of time trying to figure out why Marie’s belay device kept biting the rope for the abseil too strongly, they climbed only one other route. Arrow Route (VD) led by Marie and seconded by Alistair and Christine. Meanwhile throughout, Ellie the club’s doggo set up a defence position, guarding the bottom of the route (napping, mainly).
On routes nearby, Pete led Exchange (VS 4b) with Oscar in tow before leading Peacock (VS 4b) that had quite a large run out. To be clear, every climber some of us heard go up before Pete and Oscar commented on that run out, mostly involving expletives and ‘there’s no *$%^)£! gear!”. Oscar then lead Golden Fleece with Pete seconding, followed by Oscar deciding to lead Exchange, with Rick and Ifrah seconding.
Rick and Ifrah did the really cool Pinnacle, not certain which but we think it was Vertigo (S4a).
Not really sure what the others got up to, check out some additional photos:
Back at the campsite we had an amazing time. We had been sent to the back like a bunch of naughty kids but hey, we had almost a whole field to ourselves, camp / BBQ food, and a raging firepit to gather around. All fuel for later getting a small telling off by the site manager who discovered our voices carried over the whole field to the quiet side of the campsite. Woops!
On Sunday, most of the climbers went off to Woodcroft Quarry to Sport Climb to the dismay of the trad fans who trundled along also, not wanting to trad alone. Especially in the blazing sun.
Everyone started in the top section, trying out some nice short 4+ to 5+ routes, including Marie who did a fantastic lead of the 4b/5+ corner climb Tacky Teca and finishing off with an excellent full-body top-out including raining some form of dusty rock particles over her belayer, Christine. 😀
The rest led a mixture of routes ranging from 4s to 6bs with the starting points in the lower quarry. They all had excellent fun although helmets were definitely needed as the group managed to avoid getting knocked on the head by a falling rock from up high. From who, we don’t know.
At some point later in the day after trying some sports, Rick, Rachel and Oscar gave in to the trad-is-rad mindset (it is) and headed up Yr Herwehla (E1 5b), with an amazing lead from Rick. Nice one!
Last but not least, two of the members headed off for a paddle on a canoe for a relaxing day on the water, enjoying the sunshine.
We had a fabulous time all thanks to Rick and Angela for organising!