While the BBC confidently proclaimed what wonderful sunny weather we would all be having at the weekend, in Cumbria it was drizzling, foggy, and damp. Why do those dim witted Londoners regularly fail to see beyond the end of their noses? I guess getting the forecast right for 20m+ people is good enough! But, there was a good prospect that it would clear up as the day went on…
We were invited on to Dick Allen’s catered SMC meet at the RLH in Langdale for the weekend, but Laetitia was due in Lancaster early saturday for a MRI scan of her shoulder injury (from skiing last winter!) so I’d arranged to climb with Geoff Cohen. We selected White Ghyll in the hope that the weather did improve.
Although at first it was still lightly raining we kicked off with an exciting ascent of Slip Knot, thinking the route’s popularity and thus cleanness would be best in the wet conditions. Unfortunately I’d rushed out of the house in the morning and had forgot the guidebook and my camera so I have no photographs, which is a shame as climbing with the clouds swirling around us gave an ethereal feel to the adventure and some of the views of Geoff climbing would have looked great, almost alpine and 100s of metres above an imagined valley floor.
The weather was improving and next was The Gordian Knot. The middle 4c chimney pitch is a natural line of drainage and was still very greasy – exciting!
After that the sun came out! And so did Laetitia! She’d donned her running gear and made best of her enforced late start and run up White Ghyll to meet us. After a brief “hello” she was off to circle Pavey Ark and return to the hut in time for the evening’s meal. In-the-mean-time, powered by the sun, we upped the ante a little and climbed the super E1 Forget Me Not, and finished on Haste Not. I don’t think I’ve done Haste Not before, what an incredible traverse on the second pitch – impossible exposure for the grade!
Saturday evening’s meal – mackerel pâté, cumberland sausage, cheese, and ginger cake – was yummy! Many thanks to Dick and his catering helpers: Maureen, Jane, and Pippa.
In spite of the fact that Sunday’s weather was forecast to deteriorate quickly it turned out as a glorious day. However, I was feeling quite lethargic after Saturday’s climbing efforts (although I guess the hearty meal, and wine contributed). We’d selected Raven Crag Walthwaite, and old favourite, with its short approach (and retreat should the rain turn up) for the day’s entertainment. Luckily Laetitia had brought a camera with her, so we got a few pictures…