A Practically Pointless Peak Trip: Part 3

Impressed as you all must be (for who could not be?) by my ability to talk for great distances of time, and great periods of space, the Peak reports are at an end (thank god).  If you made it this far, well you might as well finish it hadn’t you.

Friday – 7th day.

This was it, the last day of climbing on the trip, and all portents of the weather looked good.

“..best weather of the week…” – Jonny Neilly 2016

We rocked up to the crag at the earliest hour that was reasonable, after the normal coffee and such like (for we are not mad-men nor barbarians).  The planets aligned, and the combined gravitational pull in one direction lead us to the area just right of the Unconquerables, just around Telli and a little farther into plantation area proper.  As we arrived we divided into two bulk groups, Kyle and Rooney stayed at Telli, as Kyle had designs on the thing, while many others in the group headed farther left for some regular climbs.  Several members found a lively chimney to attempt, while Andrew was steered by myself towards Namenlos, as I remembered a lovely route.

As we stood at the bottom the wind stung and tore at any bare flesh, while Andrew added gear to belt.  After lots of hand-warming, shivering, and complaining about the cold we began the route.  The beautiful finger crack to start had plenty of gear potential, which Andrew took advantage of.  The finger jams were a different story, as Andrew didn’t like them so much and so lay-backed the section with great success.  After the half-way ledge he made a small nest below the crux, as this would be a test of moves a way above gear for him.  Further hand-rubbing allowed just enough feeling to return to find holds, and he sailed through the delicate crux and on to the top.

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Advanced hand-warming mid-route

It was a similar time that we heard the whoops and hollers of a still alive Kyle, and so assumed that he had succeeded on Telli.  Moments later we saw him atop the plateau and were confirmed in our thoughts.  A quick congratulatory shout, and some checking of where various freshers were, and I was to second.  The only way I could contemplate this was to second while wearing all my layers, and have a hand break at the ledge before continuing.  After a fast dismantlement of the anchor we ran away to the warmer place, the bottom of the cliff and I eyed up a route to do.

I had aimed to do Don’t Fluff It, and asked Andrew to spot me from landing on a ledge.  I sailed through some lovely climbing to the “rescue ledge”, as the guide had described.  I saw some great moves to move onto the proper top, with delicate trust in the friction of grit.  Sadly, the wind very much disagreed with my plans, after about 5 minutes of thinking the same thing over and over, “It is rather windy…”.  I decided against it, and shuffled to the other side of the ledge to finish on Symbiosis, a far better alternative to limping home.  As we returned to the main group, we had a discussion about the slight drizzle and impending clouds, and chose to run to Robin Hood’s cave to have a last-day-ale.

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Everyone, having fun.

It was while we were here, generally not climbing and waiting for the drizzle to stop, we remembered the couple two days later.  We found evidence of romance, including (but not limited to…) candle wax and used gas canisters (in a CAVE!!! REALLY!?!?).  After the rain had stopped, but the wind had not, we opted to go bouldering, as we should pretend this was a climbing trip.  We left Jonny and Jo to suffer in the wind while doing some routes, and headed for the plantation boulders.

Once arrived we met some other people, one of whom was from Coleraine, and managed to flirt our way into their guide book (the poor man) and get an eye in for what was too hard for us and what was more sensible.  After perusing the fine choice, we opted for various easier but fun problems, and marveled at the friction of grit bouldering, for we were used the the glassy sharp crimps of Fairhead.  In the end various problems were topped, but ultimately we ended up doing various variations, ranging from handless to footless.  And then we went to the pub, where Jonny bought out a small butchers shop and ate it.

After having chosen the village pub which probably is known as a place of ill repute, Rooney finally bought a beer on his own.

Rooney: 1, Shop Keepers: 4

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“Remember lads, bouldering is 99% failure….”

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Rooney and Kyle using highly advanced and specialized tactics.

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“Is this a route or a boulder? I mean…it’s small, but that doesn’t rule it out as a route…”

 

Saturday – 8th day.

The final day, the day of travel.  Rooney and I awoke with great lethargy, but eventually rose, forced largely by our need to pee and on hearing Jonny say we had to leave soon.  Boss man had spoken, so move we did.  Now we discovered that though the tent had withstood snow, hail, sleet, rain, and wind…there was a puddle in one corner.  The was a magical puddle, as it was at the bottom, but had only soaked anything directly in it….and exactly half of Rooney’s clothes at the top of the tent.  This liquid had magical properties to be sure, and in the end we assumed that as there was no hole in the tent, it was somehow our fault (though we can’t fathom how).

We squared all our accouterments away in the bus, and finally got the tent down, though all without the lubricating effects of coffee.  This was absolute hell.  And so we began our journey North, to get to the South, to then get to the North again (the smart will get it).  We were tight for time, largely caused by traffic and our lazy movements at the campsite, so had to make a speedy pit stop at a lay-by.  Never have I eaten a burger king meal so fast not out of hunger, and grabbing a cup of the brown nectar we were moving again, efficient.

Somewhere along the line of checking if we had all people present, we decided to call the duck Pierce.  It seemed a solid solution, so as to never loose him again.  As we sped along at the thrilling speed of 61 mph, Jo introduced us to the best-worst game ever, “My Farm”.  This involves saying “My *name animal in field while pointing*” to claim said animals, to accrue a large estate, the winner having to most farmland.  Now, one key rule is if you see a graveyard you can point and shout “BANG BANG” and kill swathes of animals from all other players than yourself.  After a long period of Rooney building a diverse estate, me being able to spot graveyards fast, and Jonny having the biggest farm, a gang war had erupted and the winner was likely to be decided by who ever spotted the last graveyard.

There was more tension in the air than an attractive woman’s underwear in the key of G sharp (work it out).  In the end Rooney saved his farm by spotting the final graveyard, and put and end to the violence.  Finally we were at the ferry terminal, and after more coffee, we were fighting our way through more football fans, this time Celtic supporters, and we were homeward bound.

 

Thoughts about the trip, and things that do not make sense.

  • Mary and Margret are two very nice ladies.  After much discussion they were decided to live together in rural Donegal, and are both sisters who are widows.  Mary’s late husband is called Tommy, and Marget’s late husband is called Jimmy.  
  • Their son’s are good boys, led astray by the Jones brothers (the hellions).  
  • Rooney may be a vampire who does not age, and is possibly hundreds of years old.

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An early painting by Valentin Serov (1865-1911) of his eccentric friend, Count Felix.  Soon after the painting was complete the Count disappeared, believed to have emigrated to Ireland.  

  • Awesome walls is very expensive.
  • Puddles may be trans-sentient beings, who can perceive and manipulate up to 7 dimensions.  
  • I have a great room for improvement in my crack climbing.  
  • Weasel poo coffee is good, even if it isn’t as expensive as civet poo coffee.  
  • Henderson’s Relish can go in everything.  
  • Black pudding is the best way to eat dried pig’s blood.  
  • What is in white pudding?
  • My nose-bleeds are a semi-accurate weather prediction methodology.  
  • English climbers are friendly and good craic to talk to.
  • English boulderers also abuse and insult their friends while they climb.  “You see, if you used the ACTUAL start hold you would have done it…”
  • I need a new sleeping-bag.  
  • A bus can run on fear and anxiety for at least 10 miles.