The first four days had been, to be perfectly honest, a complete failure. It rained, it rained some more, and we had spent far too much money on Awesome walls. That would be bad enough, but on a trad trip it was just a joke. But the oracles had foretold of a time when water would not fall from the sky. “Madness!”, I hear you cry. While they are a good band they were not there, and I tell you the truth, there was no rain. We prepared in earnest for this mystical time-frame.
Well now, well now. Only a short week after climbing with Kyle and it was finally here, the Peak trip. An escapade where we travel to Sheffield to molest small brown rocks, with the unusual quality of being extraordinarily grippy. Or that was the plan at least.
For the last week, or there abouts, I had enjoyed being outside. Be it hiking or trad climbing, I had certainly made the most of the good weather. This had been the longest spell of such stunning conditions since 1299, the Year of the Long Summer, which had lasted three weeks in total, rather than the normal one week. I had persued my hobbies, but I desired to try my hand at a new pass-time, namely, wildlife photography. What with a degree in Zoology, I have always had a keen interest in studying the behavior of animals and the interactions with their environs. One of the most interesting animals of all is the Hue-man, largely due to their complex and manipulative social structure. Among all the clans and tribes of Hue-mans which exist, all hold this social structure to be above all else. But one group is different, and I propose it to be a newly discovered sub-species, known as the Cly-murr.
All study contained within is speculative, based on one case study of Cly-Murrs during a migratory stage in the life cycle, with four subject individuals.
After the brilliant day on Pigeon, Kyle and I had taken a rest day. This largely consisted of waking up late, and drinking coffee. A lot of coffee. Between us we managed through (struggled really, but we managed, fear not) three full french-presses, and two or three aero-press cups each. The other main activities were cooking a huge amount of Kung-Pao chicken, and watching streams of computer games and youtube videos. The sort that are entertaining, but you question why you watch a man make a kettle that runs on thermite (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg3bFxdAZsY). Any how, this day we would head to Hen for a threesome of climbing with the young Master Prebble, and hopefully get revenge on some hard routes, which had previously eluded our grasp.
So this was to be the first day of the trad train with Kyle and I at the controls. The original plans had been to start on the Wednesday, but sadly other events had to transpire. But this was a new day, a bright day, a day at Pigeon. Hopefully we would be joined by other parties, including Grew, Andrew, Rooney and the rare and as yet unidentified Dr Pelan. As we arose at the earliest of hours (9am) we poured a copious and most mentally lubricating quantity of the caffeinated-nectar that is, coffee. After this we got into the chariot and began the classical alpine start at the hour of 10am. And as we ascended we did dream of the mountaineering (trad climbing) glory that we would accrue (it would probably go entirely un-noticed in the grand scheme of the universe).
Sometimes a man gets lonely. He wants to climb but he cannot, for lack of a partner. I recently found myself in this position, and I finally did what I said I would never do. I relented to the climbing equivalent to anonymous sex in public toilets with strangers (also known as “a good night out” by some). That’s right, I responded to a call out on the Belfast Climbers group on The Facebook.
Have a listen as you read.
For some reason I have never liked Lower Cove. At some point after the fresher’s trip in my first year I just stopped liking it. I have absolutely no recollection of what the event which caused this irrational dislike was. There were a few bad days out, but nothing so bad as I could blame it for this blind hate. Possible reasons include: the only piece of gear I have ever lost was there, or that everybody ALWAYS goes to Lower Cove (it does get a bit excessive). And then all of a sudden, on the Sunday just past my thoughts changed.
I feel this is an appropriate song title given the circumstance.