Another Dry Lakeland Bank Holiday

After an amazing start to the summer weather in May and early June, July and August have been quite disappointing really. More wet, grey, and disappointing weather days than the proper summer sunshine we had hoped for. 🙁 However, despite that we’ve been out and about on the Lakeland crags a fair bit. 🙂 Then, as luck would have it, the August bank holiday was again (mostly) dry and sunny. Unfortunately we’ve both been ill so this held back adventures somewhat, but not completely… More “Another Dry Lakeland Bank Holiday”

September Sunshine

Black Crag – Camless

Last week my great pal Boris was visiting the Lakes and we stole a couple of days to get Boris back on the rock…

On the first day we went to Wallowbarrow in the Duddon valley for a gentle reintroduction to climbing rocks. I didn’t get any pictures – it was overcast and a bit cold so we had to keep moving to stay warm. And for the second day we went to Black Crag in Borrowdale. Steve came with us as the forecast was supposed to be quite a bit sunnier, although still cold, and Steve wanted to try and get a photo or two for the forthcoming new FRCC Borrowdale guidebook…

Steve eyeing up the wide crack on Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect
Steve eyeing up the wide crack on Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect with Boris belaying below (the other team are heading off right on the normal Troutdale Pinnacle route)

Unfortunately I had forgotten my cams when we packed our sacks in a bit of rush earlier in the day. This made for some slightly more exciting (and traditional?) climbing when Steve and I also did Raindrop a little later!

Black Crag – Wrynose

On Saturday I had allowed us to become double booked on to the SMC meet in Langdale at the Wayfarer’s RLH hut due to my forgetting to write the date of the CC‘s Mix ‘n’ Match meet at our Grange hut in Borrowdale in to my diary. No matter, we can do both we decided… We climbed in Langdale (at Long Scar and Black Crag Wrynose) Saturday daytime, headed down to RLH for the wonderful catered SMC meet in the evening (massive thanks to Dick for the awesome four course meal followed by SMC supplied malt whisky :yum: ), and then we’d drive across to Borrowdale on Sunday morning to catch up with the Mix ‘n’ Match antics there…

Pete on The First Touch - a route he's done god knows how many times, it's that good!
Pete on The First Touch – a route he’s done god knows how many times, it’s that good!
Laetitia on the steep crack of Something Stupid
Laetitia on the steep crack of Something Stupid

Goats Crag – Mixed and Matched

And finally on Sunday we got back up to Borrowdale to join the final day of Hilary’s Mix ‘n’ Match meet. There was an imperative to come along as Laetitia needed to discuss a few matters with Hilary about a very exciting meet the Pinnacle Club is planning for 2016 – an International Women’s Climbing Meet hosted at the CC’s Ynys Ettws hut in North Wales. Hopefully the BMC will be supporting the meet so there will be much more detail later… 😉

We wanted to choose a crag that would be in the sun all day, trickier in Borrowdale than Langdale as here most of the best crags get the sun in the afternoon. We chose Goats Crag. It was a very sociable day out as there were loads of us – Hilary, Adele, Laetitia, Peri, Steve, Mick, and myself.

However, a bigger gang makes for easier photo taking…

Hilary on Emma Line
Hilary on Emma Line
Laetitia on Inner Limits
Laetitia on Inner Limits
Pete on Optional Omission
Pete on Optional Omission
Adele on Inner Limits
Adele on Inner Limits

Summat Fresh!

Having spent Saturday on a very quiet [only 8 climbers ] Shepherds Crag we decided to look for a different venue for Sunday’s sport. Trawling through the guide Clive came up with Goats Crag so FRCC cleaning duties despatched we headed off. A steep 20 min walk found us under a 15m compact buttress, frankly not very inspiring. Fortunately first impressions were wrong, the crag providing good moves on good rock in a great setting.

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Carreg Wastad

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Laetitia with Ynys Ettws in the valley…
The joint CC, FRCC bank holiday meet at Ynys Ettws was a great social event. But sadly only two FRCC members (who are also CC members) turned up. A good job the CC made a better contribution 😉 …

We enjoyed Saturday at Carreg Wastad, just opposite the hut, allowing a rapid descent to ply those on the meet with cake and tea to welcome them along.

Laetitia and I kicked off with Old Holborn. This route used to be a HVS but must have been a total ‘stopper’ at that grade – the moves under the roof to gain the hidden ledge were very hard! When Paul & Clive came up after us Paul’s legendary hydraulic finger strength took a few attempts to achieve success! Luckily the new grade of E1 makes far more sense – and I see that UKC has it at “hard E1” – sounds about right to me…

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Paul completes the challenging overhang on Old Holborn

Later, after a quick ascent of the (now BBC famed) Crackstone Rib, we rushed back down to Ynys to dish out those cakes…

FRCC Centenary Banquet

In 1997 I was lucky enough to attend the CC centenary in North Wales, I’d only been a member of the CC for less than two years at that time, but it was an amazing experience! I resolved straight away to become a member of the FRCC before their centenary in 2006. As my friend Boris says, “it’s quicker to become a qualified doctor than it is to become a FRCC member”. Yes, the campaign was long, and even involved painting a lot of the outside of the Salving House and fixing some of the slates on it’s roof! But, with the help of Boris (Gilbert) and Mike (Burt) it was accomplished. So now, as-well as enjoying the wonderful FRCC Scottish & Lakeland huts, I got to go to the centenary dinner…

Tickets for the event were limited, by the size of the venue, the Shap Wells hotel. I feared I wouldn’t get tickets though. The ruling that members would have first call on the tickets, followed by a lottery if more members wanted to go than there were seats. Then followed by another lottery for guest tickets would mean that I’d be lucky to get a ticket myself, let alone two tickets – for Laetitia and I. As it turned out we both got tickets straight away!

What a great night it was! A seven course banquet, amazing speeches from the president (Eileen Clark) and Alan Hinkes, but most of all fantastic company all round!