A mixed bag of ten keen climbers boarded the minibus bright and early on Sunday at the end of Long Leave ready to head North up the M1 to the promised land of the Peak District – England’s climbing Mecca. Despite dry weather on the way up, it started to drizzle as we arrived at Hathersage to meet up with the Tyrrells and plan the afternoon’s climbing. The gritstone crags were now too wet and slippery to be much fun for anyone, so we decided to head into Sheffield and the delights of indoor climbing at The Works. Here there were numerous circuits at all levels to keep the novices, the elite climbers and even middle-aged geologists happy for the afternoon. Eventually we headed off to our accommodation, back out in the Peak, at the Edale Youth Hostel, where we were warmly greeted and fed and put up in slightly more upmarket rooms than in previous years. Clearly we are moving up in the world.
Unfortunately the weather pattern seemed to be fairly consistent over the remaining trip, brief sunny spells, but mostly drizzle and heavy squalls soaking the crags. So, despite a valiant attempt at roped climbing at Burbage North and a muddy walk round Mam Tor at Castleton (to admire the rotatory landslips, should anyone else be interested), most of our climbing was to be indoors.
Nonetheless everyone had a good time and pushed their grades significantly, partially down to the excellent bouldering facilities in Sheffield, but also due to the mutual help, coaching and encouragement from the rest of the group and new found friends at the wall.
Many thanks to the Tyrrell family for giving up the end of their half term to join us and fingers crossed for better weather next year.