Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Rock climbing on Bank Holiday weekend

The British bank holiday...

Leading up to it, everyone watches the weather forecast like hawks, making at least two separate plans - The Good Weather Plan & The Bad Weather Plan.

In the week before, you usually commit. "We'll go with Plan A", we state in our best leadership voice (bring it down two octaves). 

However, this bank holiday weekend gave us a mixed bag to play with. The weather man went crazy at the meteorological pick'n'mix and just grabbed a handful of all sorts. 

The week leading up to Bank Holiday weekend was wet and miserable. I swear I saw some snow. Hail. Lots of rain. Wind and cold. It was bitter. Mean, even.

The first day of the Bank Holiday - Friday - and this mean streak did not abate. Instead, it rained. And it rained. And it rained. It wasn't especially cold anymore, but it was wet.

We climbed anyway, taking to the ropes at Awesome Walls Sheffield, in a peremptory strike on poor endurance ahead of our planned trip to Spain in 6 weeks. We don't need nor want to climb hard, we just want to be able to reach the anchor on at least half a dozen routes.

Saturday was much improved. It stopped raining. But the previous day's weather had planted a seed of doubt in the brain. Would anything be dry? Is it windy?

We made a break for the Peak District, if only to explore new crags for a drier day. To my surprise, lines were dry. And it was getting dryer. By the afternoon, the sun was out and we bathed in UV light. 

I also found a great climb at a crag I've never been to before. It's not much to look at, being a traverse, but it has great movement. It's power-endurance focussed and it's hard (for me). I won't disclose as I didn't finish it.

Easter Sunday was even nicer - the sun shone and the warm enveloped the country like a blanket. I took it easy, climbing a couple of things in the morning and then sleeping on my pad for much of the rest of the day.

Monday simply copy and pasted the weather from the day before, except with added warmth. Temperatures soared, for this time of year, and many took to beer gardens and BBQs.

I wanted to get back to the Traverse (henceforth dubbed until completed) but only managed three attempts before the sun hit the holds and made climbing nigh on impossible.

I left rock climbing there for the weekend and went off to enjoy the sun like the rest of the populace. Any bank holiday packed with rock climbing is a good bank holiday in my book.

When's the next one?