Sun 21st May, 2000
Members present: Sabina Cosulich, Chris Williamson, Al Metelko, Rick Davis, Tony Major, Dave Dillon, Christine Beeston, Sheena Hendrie, Dave Garland, John Evans and Duncan Lee.
Guests present: Lance Davis, Marion Maddon and Alexander.
A break in the spring monsoon allowed a limited supply of sunshine to occasionally squeeze through tiny gaps in the blanket of grey cloud to glissen on Chee Tor's water streaks, seepage and vertical dandelion forest. High water in the River Wye had submerged the stepping stones but a very convenient fallen tree provided an excellent natural bridge to the crag and a source of amusement. Unfortunately despite a few wobbles everyone made the crossing dry shod. Shame.
Upon closer inspection the cliff even revealed a large number of dry routes. Dave D and Christine checked out the first couple of pitches on The Girdle before abseiling off for their sandwiches. Suitably refreshed Christine led Gulle Gulle Groove (VS). Tony, Scumbag and the Tape Worm teamed up to ascend Leering Wall (HVS) and G.G.Groove whilst John, braving a shoulder injury, acted as team photographer. Lance, Marion and Alexander put in a guest appearance but refrained from balancing the log. Instead they settled for a riverside picnic whilst spectating. Sabina (sprained ankle) and I fought lethargy and gravity on Match of the Day and Sunny Goodge Street whilst Al and Rick busied themselves on Great Central Route (HVS), Valentine (HVS) and Leering Wall. Al was last seen leading Nostradamus (E1) as the drizzle began to fall.
Sheena and Chris combined forces to provide the cabaret for the day. After warming up on Leering Wall Sheena had a quick play on The Chopper before Chris had a considerably longer look at Flycatcher; a mean little E1! After due consideration and lengthy deliberation he decided to test Sheena's belaying by throwing himself off the crag, spraining his ankle in the process. Another addition to the clubs injury list. As Sheena and I cleaned the route Chris tortured the fish by bathing his ankle in the river. Wavey fashioned Chris a suitable stave for the slow hobble back to the car and the Whaley Café.
Many thanks to everyone who braved the weather and the arduous approach.
"walls, arêtes and corners contain many superb routes which, for quality and difficulty are among the best in the country." K. Sharples 1987 guidebook.
Spring is a perfect time to climb in this glorious limestone dale, the luxurious vegetation will not have reached head height yet. Chee Tor, which catches any sunshine on offer, is the sportsplan for the day. This impressive crag has classic routes from VS upwards including The Chopper (VS 5a *), 42nd Street (E3 5c ***), Autobahn (E5 6a ***), Great Central Route (E2 5a,5c ***), Sergeyenna (E1 5b ***) and the highly sociable Chee Tor Girdle (VS 4b,4b,4a,5a,4c***); a route which guarantees meeting everyone else on the meet.
I plan to approach the crag from Wormhill (careful parking /car sharing essential) and to be on the rock by 11am. Contact me by phone or at the pub on a Thursday for further details.