Having arrived at Burbage at roughly 10:30am, I quickly realised that it wasn't the sun's doing. No, it hadn't tidied away the blanket. Its bed-fellow, the wind had done the honours. And boy was there wind. It was huffing and puffing and blowing everyone carrying a bouldering pad down. As though flying a sail, every time a gust came blasting in, climbers changed direction, shuffling sideways to maintain balance or simply falling over. Though funny, it doesn't make for the best climbing conditions.
Despite the difficulties, I made it to the base of a boulder, not far from the car park. I needed to warm up so I started climbing in my massive shoes (of the skateboarding variety) until I couldn't take the slippery sliding around anymore and swapped for my rock boots. Then I got the chalk bag out and managed to douse my hands in white powder once, before a thief whipped in and whisked it away, scattering its contents all over the ferns and floor. The wind wasn't playing fair. After I retrieved my chalk bag, I stuffed it under a rock (now empty, it didn't matter) and jumped on the wall. A slightly overhanging arete was the problem of choice. However, shortly after stepping off my bouldering pad, the wind thought it would take that away too - but I battled on. I wish I hadn't. A heel hook blasted off a nice ledge and I came tumbling down horizontally. I hit the floor, hip first, and whipped my head pretty hard.
I was defeated. I wasn't having any fun. And bouldering / rock climbing is all about the fun. Otherwise, there's no point. And this definitely was not my idea of a good time. So I shot off to the Climbing Works, where I had a really good session. A wobbly start necessitated a cup of tea, which solidified my resolve and gave me extra impetus to climb hard. I can see where the phrase 'the British Empire was built on cups of tea' comes from. It really does reinvigorate, refuel, revive, rejuvenate, and ready you for the hardships ahead. I subsequently sent loads of problems I hadn't tried before and came away feeling elated but bushed. A good day's climbing and much more enjoyable than being beaten up by an invisible enemy - dancing in and catching you unawares.
And it ended especially well, as I nipped over to see my parents and was served steak pie, with potatoes and carrots, and a warm chocolate brownie with cream and raspberries. Come on! Now that's a lunch of champions. Turned into a good day afterall.