Most of the group arrived the night before, having a cheeky morning of climbing at Godnor before the rains came.
Ben led the way to Rainshadow wall where they could keep climbing in the rain. Damien and Ben cruised anything and everything. Andrew, Martina, and Matthijs had their first bouldering experience outdoors, all managing to send two problems (f4) and then failing the third (f5+) where it became apparent just how soft indoor grading is. Time for practice then!
When they were done, the group ate industrial quantities of Chinese food (courtesy of Golden Island) and sank into their respective food comas. In the evening, the last car group arrived carrying Alistair and Christine, having decided they had no interest in climbing in the wet predicted for earlier in the day and prepared themselves for the next day.
Two vehicles set off for the crag on a beautiful morning. The horrific weekend forecast had put off all but the most hardened / foolhardy climbers and we were ready to reap the benefits of empty crags and gorgeous weather. At which point, a warning light on the car dashboard came on for the late car group, and well.. <Redacted due to PTSD>
<story continued..> Plenty of careful walking along the path to Blacknor North found it largely empty and it was a pleasure to get on a number of often congested routes. Everyone had a good time, basking in the sun when it popped over the cliff.
Thank you to Damien for rescuing the quickdraws on an aborted attempt of Reptile Smile – turns out smeary bridges aren’t for everyone!
Once this area was complete, everyone moving onwards to head to the next sector, closer to the via ferrata style exit but required some interesting bush-whacking walking and a walk down a steep rope protected slope.
On the last climb, no one quite understood why Andrew thought he should start the route in bushes, but he did and it was amusing. He made the amusing error (along with most) in assuming the route was a face climb at first, which turned it from a 4+ to something that felt akin to 6a+. When each individual realised where the holds where it turned into a really pleasant climb to end the day.
Probably biggest achievement of the weekend: when Matthijs and Martina started pitching the tent at 10pm on Friday night…. “we realised one of our tent poles had snapped. To avoid the broken pole tearing up our tent, I removed my socks, tied them to the pole and not only it kept them upright throughout two very windy nights, but the tent was NOT damaged!”
Editor: Thank you to Andrew for sorting out a great weekend, despite the odds faced by all!