Sat 29th Apr - Mon 1st May, 2000
BH Wye Valley
Members Present: Mark Garrod, Michelle Harvie, Sabina Cosulich, Chris Williamson, Dave Garland, John Evans, Joan Stewart, Kevin Anderson, Mary Stuart, Colin Maddison, Sheena Hendrie, Dave Bone, Vanessa Addison.
Guests Present: Lee Wood, Andy Roberts, Sarah Roberts, Al ??,
"Why not come along to the sunkissed crags in sunny South Wales, you know it makes sense!" Well for those who did it did, the days were long sunny and warm.
Well firstly I must thank Dave Bone for the campsite recommendation, superlatives don't do it justice. I have many excuses for the inaccuracies in the report t follow, age (though in the KMC that's no excuse), cheap aluminium pans, kids and probably most significantly I've left it far to long to write this damn report. If I have misrepresented any then tough why let the facts get in the way of any story good or bad!
Eventually everyone was assembled at the campsite the stragglers, including the meet leader. A leisurely morning ensued with the usual debate as to exactly what crag we were going to. An early decision ( well before dusk anyway) led to an assault on Wintours Leap. At the crag the group soon dispersed with various areas receiving visits and nay even ascents, Central Rib3 (VD) in the South bay area, Zelda in the Far South bay (HS) and Firefly (E2) on Fly wall, as you can see something for everyone. New techniques were displayed such as levitation by whinge, it seems to work but bring you ear plugs next time JS, wait until any polished holds are eroded, don't forget shaving kit next time Colin!.
A quick return to the campsite via the pub (only 1 mile away not 3.5 as reported) , to check out food meant that we only had 20 minutes to get back to the campsite dump the car and return. The beer beckoned and so the most driven, Colin, John and myself made the return trip to enjoy excellent steaks and beer. 2 of our newer guests proved their KMC worthiness by missing the pub by one whole village, maintaining the KMCs navigational prowess.
Day 2 started with clear blue skies and a sympathy decision, on DG and Vanessa's behalf, to walk down to Shorncliffe. They obviously enjoyed the walk back from Wintours Leap in the dark so much that a gentle stroll down to the delights of Shorncliffe was just what the doctor ordered. A mass assault started on the Central cave area with such classics suffering the ignominy of multiple ascents as Laughing Cavaliers(HVS), The Bitter Battle Tears(HVS), All for one (HVS), one for all(HS).
A good day was had by all, I think, and was rounded off by wine and whiskey at the finest mobile restaurant in the country.
Day 3 was a much more dispersed affair with Mary and Michelle pushing navigation to the limits and going out together on bikes. Lee et al deciding the delights of GO wall at Wintours leap were for his motley crew and Sabina "Isn't falling off easy ouch" Cosulich and Chris "Is that a gargoyle climbing with Sabina" Williamson heading for another repeat at Shorncliffe. I'm sure if I tried much harder I could create more enemies but its getting late... oh what the hell.
Other activities undertaken: Mountain biking, walking some considerable miles I believe, getting lost and throwing oneself off various climbs. Not too much in the way of technical climbing terms was heard, I spent most of the weekend muttering. My general impression of the meet / soundbites were; an excellent campsite, Wintours leap good in places chossy in others, King Kong now looks considerably harder, Shorncliffe excellent slab climbing with good protection, a new term was heard (multiple times).. Oh no its a Sheeenaaaah!! I hope you all enjoyed the meet as much as I did!!.
Suggestions received for the King Kong competition
Is that Malcolm and Lardy man up there?
Joan are you sure those were organic bananas?
Sabina you really must get him to cut those dreads, they look like they are covering his whole body from down here.
Oh Dear! People doing a Sheeenaaaah always gets him angry!
As a quote from Dave Bone advertising last years Wye Valley meet:
"At this time of year it has to be either "Winter" routes in Scotland or rock climbing in a winter sun venue".
Seeing as the Muir of Invervey meet last week was decidingly warm then I would vote for the Wye Valley!!
I have only climbed there once, on last years meet in fact as the only attendee!! but Shorncliffe certainly had a stunning setting. There is excellent climbing for all with a myriad of *** routesfrom VD up. A whole range of cavaliers at Shorncliffe, a mythical ape at Wintours leap or bolts at Ban-y-gor for those almost resident in Spain!
Of course Bristol is within striking distance if wet weather arrives, although I did manage to climb in the rain last year, significant tree cover helps keep the cliff dry.
I will take Daves recommendation of camping at the Beeches (OS162 GR549006), I believe it to be a basic but large & quiet site high above the Wye. Directions will be supplied, when I have them, ( you apparently will need them). The nearest pub is unfortunately 3.5 miles away- the Rising Sun in Woodcroft (Wintours Leap) which does good food!!
I will see you in the pub the week before the meet i.e. 13/4/2000.