A fantastic weekend was had working with Maximum Adventure leading a National 3 Peaks Challenge for Colin, Hayley, Janine, Angela, Ruth, Lucy and Chris. A retreat off Ben Nevis, like many other groups that day, was made at just below 1000m due to full winter conditions setting in just above. The Scafell Pike leg was started at a perfect time to watch the sunset over the surrounding fells of Wasdale, with a descent in the dark. And with great determination from all participants we made our way onto Snowdon summit up the Miners Track and back down to the pyg track to the car park by 1:15pm on the Sunday. It was great to spend time with such a lovely bunch of people, and see them push themselves to achieve a great result.
Last Wednesday we awoke in sennon cove ready to head over to Kynance Cove and Lizard Point. The day had some amazing sights and it was a great way to spend the last full day of our trip. We stooped of for tea in Polpero, before parking the van close to Lantic Bay and bedding down for the night.
After finishing off the rest of the bacon for breakfast we spent our final morning in Cornwall down at Lantic Bay, enjoying the beach. The sea still a little bit chilly this time of year for a swim but we had a paddle none the less. On the way home we stopped of at Jamaica Inn and Stone Henge. Both rather disappointing experiences in my opinion, representing no more than a tick in a bucket list after all the commercialisation packed into them.
It’s been an awesome time seeing the south of the country and I’ll definitely be coming back in the future. And can’t wait to climb on the granite sea cliffs.
Having an awesome time exploring the more southern parts of the country.
Sunday was spent driving down, with a quick trip to Bristol and a lovely night on Dartmoor. We awoke to a herd of the wild Dartmoor Ponies grazing outside the van, and after a leisurely breakfast we made our way through the national park towards Cornwall.
The day was spent exploring the beaches in glorious weather and trying to remember we were actually still in the UK. The night was spent with a BBQ at Bassets Cove, followed in the morning by a quick get away to Hell’s Mouth cafe where we’d been informed a good fry up could be found. We weren’t disappointed. We then carried on to St Ives and sampled the traditional cornish pasty and then onto Land’s End and finally Sennen Cove where we plan to bed down for the night.
The coasts, coves and moors of the south make up for the lack of lofty peaks, and I feel guilty that I’ve avoided visiting sooner.
It is now becoming the time of year when those last few evenings can be enjoyed climbing before the inevitable darkness of autumn hits. Recently I’ve been heading out with Andy getting some routes done down in Borrowdale. And it was the other night that we jumped in the van and drove down to Black Crag. Our objective for the evening, Raindrops. A direct line going straight up the centre of the crag and up the side of the pinnacle. Again it was a beautiful top out. Skiddaw and Derwant water looking proud in the evening light.
So it seems this year, that there hasn’t been much time for rock climbing. I’d been very career focused, primarily focusing on gaining qualifications and preparing for assessments. It would seem that the few time I had gone out, my head hadn’t been in it. Rock climbing at it’s best isn’t just simply pulling on holds and topping out on routes. It’s about living and briefing everything it has to offer. And this week, thanks to a few people I have regained that. I felt once again the joys of driving to the crag, the feeling of apprehension before starting up a committed route and the feeling of success after a hard pitch. There was once a point in my rock climbing where I thought it was all about trying hard, and climbing routes by the skin of your teeth. I have since come to realize that, this is an important part to being a climber. It keeps us excited and focused. With this passion for ongoing development a climber can spend their time away from the crags, reading guidebooks, watching videos, and when necessary training hard for those climbs that they dream of climbing, however far out of their comfort zone they may be. But as well as that it must always be remember that climbing is an adventure. It leaves tales to tell, and feelings to crave. It distracts us from the life we left behind on the ground below us, and puts us into a new world where we can appreciate the beauties of the world we’re in from an angle not many see it at.
It was the other night at Buckstone How, with Andy that I remembered the joys of climbing. Setting off from the car park at half 6 we climbed ‘Cleopatra’ and loved every second of it. I remember sitting on my belay ledge in awe, as Andy ventured onto the final pitch silhouetted by the setting sun sitting on top of Red Pike.
In the light of dusk we topped out, shook hands and ventured back down to the van our voices alone in the ever-darkening valley.
I was once again a climber, and this was my life in one of its finer moments.
And that goes to all of us. No matter where you are and what you are doing, it must always be borne in mind that our dreams, and passions set us out as the people we are. And that can always be recaptured.