Some climbing highlights have been doing Bat Route at Malham, climbing a new route on Cyrn Las up the Llanberis Pass, some brief forays to Pembroke and climbing the Meltdown. There have been some fantastic days out at work throughout the year as well.
This year started with a brief trip to Northumberland with a North Wales based ‘next generation’ climber Callum Muskett. I was giving a talk for the NMC in Newcastle so it was the perfect opportunity to sample the North East. The drive up was a taste of much of the rest of the year. We drove to Pexhill for BlackMagic, it was wet. We drove to Anglesarke, it was wet. We drove to Malham, most of it was wet. At least we werent the only over enthusiastic fools there, my friend Stuart Wood was also there.
After a stopover in Appleby we took a fantastic road running parallel to Hadrians Wall, straight as an arrow but with lots of dips with signs of where cars bottom out. We arrived at Back Bowden and immediately warmed up soloing some of the classic easier routes. The rock is very positive and great to climb on. We got roped up and climbed the Tube,On the Rocks (tied down 2 good sky hooks on the ledge making it feel ok) and Macbeth (desperate for 6b) after a lob onto its not great gear first go. That evening before the talk we climb at the Newcastle Climbing Centre and do the climbs on the stalactite wall thinking we were meeting everyone there. Everybody else had the right idea and were in the pub where the talk was already. We were pretty trashed, but the evening was really nice.
Stay at Evas that evening (thanks Eva) and head to Bowden the next day,it rains hard till we get to 5 mins of the crag then the sky clears. We do Poseidon and the Bends, Callum puts a small crater in the ground at the base of Poseidon on his first few goes whilst telling me about trying the Indian Face this year. At the time I made a mental note not to be in Wales when that was occurring but having seen him gain form during the year I’ve no doubts he’ll do it fine.d, innit!