The miserable wet summer weather continues, but with optimism and hope winning the battle over wisdom Richard and I headed out to Gouther Crag in Swindale at the weekend. We’d chosen the crag because, it’s close, has a short walk-in, and is fairly easterly to hopefully avoid the mega dark clouds we could see over the central fells. This strategic selection seemed to be working – it was sunny when we arrived! So sunny that we even changed in to our shorts! 😎 But as I got about two thirds of the way up Bloodhound the spots of rain started. Richard suggested that I lower off as I’d just completed the crux, had an opportunity to place some good protection to lower from, and above was again poorly protected and too hard to consider in the rain. No sooner than I’d lowered to the ground and the heavens opened! It was torrential. Plus, the thunder and lightning that accompanied the downpour was awesome. The claps of thunder were simultaneous with the flashes from the lightning – we were right at the centre of the storm.
Having narrowly avoided the desperate situation that could have developed if I’d been on the run-out and thin crux of the route, and the risk of finding our wet ropes to be perfect lightning conductors as we scrambled round to abseil down the line of the route to retrieve our gear, we noticed the storm moving away from us and the lightning striking the ridge line on the opposite side of Swindale. At this point we started giggling like kids, wearing shorts and soaked to the skin, relishing the excitement and silliness of our mini-adventure.