Peak District Trip May 2012 – Paul Highams

The club trip for the early May bank holiday was planned for Pembroke but due to the poor forecast a switch was made to go to the Peak District instead.

The turnout was poor with only Paul Highams, Rob Munday and Ben Knudson attending, however what we lacked in numbers we made up for in achievement.

Myself and Rob travelled up on Saturday morning and met Ben at the CC hut at Froggatt. The weather was chilly and windy and we decided we’d try Burbage North for the afternoon. We arrived at the crag by 1pm and set to climbing, during the afternoon we managed to clock up 8 routes which wasn’t bad for a rope of 3. Highlights included all 3 of us matching our best leading grades with Ben leading his second VS Hollyash Crack 4c, Rob leading the HVS The Knights Move 5a and Paul leading Windjammer E1 5b.

During the afternoon we had several small hail showers but they never really amounted to much. Windjammer was the last route of the day and as I reached the top the hail started again, but this time it really got going. Rob produced a great effort to second in the hail and retrieve the gear, see the photos below! The light faded and we headed off to the Millstone Inn for a big dinner and a few jars.

Sunday was a slow start, due to a number of factors. The early start to drive up on Saturday, the long day, the worlds biggest snorer in the Froggatt hut all combined to make a lie-in seem like the right thing to do. We eventually arrived at the crag after 11. The lie-in seemed to work and we all matched our highest leading grades. Ben led the tricky diamond cracks VS 4b, a climb that is pretty tough if you can’t hand jam. After a 30 second crash course in hand jamming Ben fought his way to the top. Rob led the excellent corner of Green Gut, which turned out to be much better than it looked. I led 3 pebble slab E1 5a, its one of those routes which requires total concentration while trying to stay relaxed! Rob finished off the day with another bold slab climb leading Sunset Slab HVS 4b with delightful moves in a serious position.

Ben set off back to Kent while Rob and myself went to the Scotsman Pack in Hathersage for a feast. We arrived back at the hut late to find the champion snorer had headed home and we had the bunkroom to ourselves, which was nice. The forecast for Sunday was rain from mid-morning so we hatched a plan for an early start and set the alarm for 7am.

The alarm went off, we crawled out of our bags, had a quick brew and we were off to Stanage plantation for some bouldering. The plan was to climb until the rain came and then head to Hathersage for brunch.

The plantation at Stanage is world famous for bouldering with classics such as Careless Torque, the Ace and Brad Pit. There was no danger of Rob or myself troubling these problems with an ascent, we were struggling to get our aching bodies moving, especially with cool temperatures and a chilly wind. |Gradually we got our bodies loosened up and the problems started to flow, from technical rockovers like Crescent Groovelet V1 5c to highball slabs of the Mental Block and the Pebble Boulder. The rain held off till just gone midday by which time we were starving, so we gladly headed back to hathersage for an all-day breakfast and lashings of builders Tea.

Inspite of dodgy weather this was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, and as always we left some unfinished  business, bring on the July trip to the Peaks, fingered crossed for better weather.

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