Well we haven’t had one of these ‘trip reports’ for a while so I thought I’d give it a go, at 2am.
For the full experience please listen to this while reading,
The year was 1846, the plan was set. Young master Prebs and I were to rise early, then actually get up early (if you know what I mean) in the mourning and make the pilgrimage to the fabled Boulderworld. However we quickly were thwarted by one factor, we aren’t bitches, so instead we headed to the Mournes for some trad climbing. Our sights were now correctly aligned on Bearnagh.
On the walk-in we discussed many a philosophical topic such as my Theory of Forgetability (short version: so long as there has been one walk between the last walk-in to said craig and the current walk-in, you will always forget how bad the walk really is, no matter how bad), but more often the conversation drifted back to the logistics of building a ski-lift up Bearnagh and funding ideas. Eventually the slabs were reached and THEY descended….
There was no escape, no running, no hiding. The conditions were perfect for climbing; warm but not too warm, no wind, dry and cloudy. These conditions however are also perfect for MIDGE. We sought refuge at the belay ledge half way up our climb, this was unsuccessful. Climbing with midge nets equipped, we suffered on, standing below the crux of our chosen route (Buttercup Summers for those interested) I decided I wasn’t feeling it (was terrified of falling) and looked instead to the other route reachable (High Anxiety). After even more standing about, I decided between the midge and even more “not feeling it” that infact Hypothesis (S) is a quality route which doesn’t see enough traffic for the fantastic climbing it offers (I probably wasn’t going to fall if I moved on to it). Much more midge induced swearing later, Prebs joined me on the top of the slabs and we opted to go to the tors, as this was likely to have more wind, and less midge.
After an uneventful abseil we began our hike to the summit, asking a druid (an old man wearing leggings with his…..”bulge” being well outlined) told tales of a midge free zone caused by wind. We kept going, spured on by these fables, and after being called an attention seeker by some walker for lying down on a rock, we arrived at the tors. Here we met the friendly Johnny Parr and Jeremy someone (Prebble tells me names and I nod, and pretend to have listened) who told us that only one face was midge free (that rat bastard dick flashing druid deceived us). Yet we forced our selves on, for the furtherment of the club’s legacy (so people wouldn’t call us shit).
Prebble mounted an assault on Edelweiss, showing large genitals with his beta of stepping left on not-really-there-footholds. Listening to the wise words of Johnny Parr and after some practice on second, I hopped on the old granite, successfully reclaiming my trad nads by using the holds directly under the roof and moving left to the jugs and upwards to glory (not falling). Prebble then repeated the old beast, finding that his previous method was absolute shit compared to using the actual holds. As we were in the only midge free zone of the tors, we decided to pretend to be Tom Whittaker and Pete Randal and top-rope some hard stuff. During this time we talked of my affinity for armchair climbing (both figuratively and literally) and I began to develop my own strict, but ethically sound manifesto. Such phrases included the following; “you call it headpointing, I call it disgracing your ancestors”, “hand-placed pegs are ok, so long as it’s only two taps” and the golden rule, if ever a strong boulder or sport climber’s name is mentioned in a praising fashion one must quickly ask “what has he/she ever done on grit?!?!” ensuring that your tone is part hurt that they would not grace the beautiful brown rock with their presence, but also disgusted by the awful proposition of allowing classic routes to be befouled by their sticky rubber.
Thankfully the clouds rolled in just as we thought we were hard enough to lead said things, and we descended again discussing the ethics of a ski-lift. I mean it just makes sense, less people walking less people eroding the paths.
All in all, 2 and some routes done, but still more than we would have done at Boulderworld.