Sat 10th Jul - Sun 11th Jul, 1999
Langdale Camping & Gimmer
Members present: Dave Wylie, Neil Perry, Sue Brooke, John Dobson, Rick Kruze, Ruth Ashton, Neville McMillan, Sheena Hendrie, Duncan Lee, Sabina Cosulich, Chris Williamson, Lynne Williams, Pete Leeson, Christine Beeston, Dave Dillon, Roger Mapleson, Bridget Mapleson, Michelle Harvie, Mark Garrod, Craig Marsden, Al Metelko, Sandy Gregson, Jim Gregson, Lester Payne, Joe Flynn, John Dwyer, Gavin Anderson, Virginia Castick, John Castick, Bob Astles (30)
Guests present: Elaine Beaulieu, Joanne Castick, Sue Marsden, Mike Hall, Thomas Marsden, Pheobe Marsden (6)
On Thursday night in the pub at the end of a long hot summer evening Langdale seemed a good idea. Friday night in the ODG, prospects still looked good despite the clouds looking threatening. So, being woken up on Saturday by rain on the tent and Dave Bone already packing to head south was not exactly what this meet leader had in mind. We were right on the edge of a weather front, with everything south of us apparently basking in sunshine, but in Langdale hardly able to see even the nearest hills through the drizzle.
After much debate no one else followed Dave B and Dave Garland south, with six (Chris, Lynne, Ruth, Rick, Duncan and Sabina) departing to Trowbarrow with promises to return and the rest dithering in the camp site. Dave Dillon and Christine Beeston arrived to assist the dithering, with the pattern repeated with the arrival of the Maplesons. So, eventually, we departed to the pub for morning coffee and scones.
Sitting at the pub, the sun made a well timed appearance, as did Mark and Michelle. Shortly thereafter there was a mass evacuation, with Roger and Bridget heading off for Bowfell Buttress, Sue and John going for a walk from Elterwater and the rest making mass ascents of routes on Raven Crag - The Original Route, Centipede, Holly Tree Traverse and Evening Wall all got ticked. Comparing notes later in the pub, those returning from Trowbarrow reported baking heat, escapes into the shade of Red Wall and funny noises emerging from the undergrowth - attributed to the adverse effects of soapy rock on sweating leaders (?)
Sunday morning was genuinely hot - even at 7.00am. The youngest guest (Pheobe Marsden) put in an honorary appearance before people headed off. Team Trowbarrow changed their allegiance to Pavey Ark where Lynne and Chris are reported as having a measured but traumatic ascent of Arcturus. Rick and Ruth also ticked Arcturus before going for Poker Face, while Duncan and Sabina completed The Bracken-clock.
Back at camp Neville and Sheena had made an early start for Gimmer. Having got to The Crack first and made a pre-emptive strike ahead of three teams from Aberdeen (who caused the subsequent day-long queue - NOT US) they returned to the SE face in time to witness the KMC successfully blocking Bracket and Slab against all-comers. Joe, Lester Mike and Gavin had made an appearance from Rawhead (and Ohio), and were accompanying Mark, Michelle John, and Sue in a shouting contest on this classic route. Only Jim, being of independent mind, appeared not to be joining in the fun but was disdainfully supervising operations from underneath a large multi-coloured umbrella. However he reported that the Casticks merited a tick having been spotted heading for White Ghyll while Bob Astles was also somewhere in the vicinity. Thanks to Jim for filling in the gaps in the attendance list.
Apart from Bracket and Slab, other routes ticked included NW Arête, F Route, Main Wall Climb, D Route and Asterisk. Michelle and Ruth completed the day in Stickle Tarn while the escapees Bone and Garland apparently experienced the Yorkshire delights of Twistleton and Attermire. (Not sure if this merits a tick - being in the wrong county.)
Meanwhile back at Gimmer, the meet leader was last seen (and heard) on Bracket and Slab.
So, an excellent turnout and a good weekend I hope was had by all despite its unpromising start.
In the optimistic hope that we will get both nice weather and a "quiet" weekend before the school holiday rush the plan is to camp at the National Trust campsite opposite the ODG. The meets list says "Gimmer" because I have never climbed there, so the hit list includes a number of classics - Bracket and Slab (Severe ***) and The Crack (VS ***) amongst them. For those looking for something harder more *** routes include Kipling Groove HVS and Equus E2.
Other options include Pavey Ark, while at a lower level there is White Ghyll (with its various "Nots" including Laugh Not HVS *** and The Gordian Knot VS **) or Raven Crag - fewer starred routes but very convenient for the ODG!
With a large choice of routes across the crags there are harder and softer alternatives to suit all standards and walking alternatives for those not inclined to climb. Hopefully there will also be some sun bathing alternatives! See you there.
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