Sun 3rd Sep, 2000
Members: Sabina (First Lady) Cosulich, Rick (Al's rope boy) Davies, John (Good on yer) Evans, Dave (Scumbag) Garland, Mark (Done the hard bit) Gledhill, Cathy (Destivelle) Gordon, (Sleepy) Emma, Duncan (El Presidente) Lee, Al (Red Baron) Metelko, Chris (!) Williamson.
Guests: Steve (?) Bowker, Tam (Can we climb something harder) Sayers.
For other than The Few, 'Lightweight' unenthusiasm was the order of the day. Noticeable absentees included Kevin & Joan. Word was, they were spending the day at Chatsworth country fair. A rumour that must surely be unfounded - though Kevin has been taking an increasingly unhealthy interest in sheep since Joan moved south. It's unclear how many people ended up at Black Rocks by mistake?
Those making the effort found the experience well worthwhile. Cathy & Mark were singularly undeterred and Cathy, particularly, well rewarded for the effort - dispatching a couple of the crag's classic VSs with consummate ease.
Never being one to dwell on how long might be spent executing a pitch, it's best to pass quickly over John Evans first afternoon in limestone; all of it spent on one route. But, good effort man. When it's hard, it takes time and pushing your limit is what counts. Dave Garland somehow kept awake through the experience, having been forbidden from leading lest his language was the cause of our eviction.
Duncan's 'Team Victim' award went to first-time guest Tam. No problem there - in fact here's a boy to keep an eye on.
Duncan actually appeared to enjoy the delights of Pleasure Dome, E2 5c, to the extent of prolonging the experience as much as possible. Hmmm.
Having escaped the duty of 'Team Victim', Sabina slowly realised she'd walked into an alternative form of torture. First leading Lone Tree Groove, HVS 5a, with a raging hangover - and wondering where and when breakfast was going to come back to haunt her. Sabina then got to be Steve Bowker's very own 'victim'. Zombie, E2 5c,... Quote 'There aren't enough Girlies in the Mynydd', so if ever the Ladies Luncheon Club comes out of hiding en-mass we can expect to see more of Steve?
As for Al and Rick - Al set the scene with Boomerang, HVS 5b, and they just kept on coming back for more. Thankfully, Al didn't use this as another opportunity to add to his long-haul air-miles collection.
And to finish... Nearly everyone had a go on the classic three star of the crag - Lime Street Direct E1 5c. An orderly queue formed for the ab off.
Thanks again to all those who turned out in support. I certainly had an entertaining day out.
Note change of date from Handbook
"The routes are extremely good, comparable with Welsh climbing in many ways. From the belays on top of the crag can be seen Black Rocks brooding in the distance behind the bushes, eclipsed by the more interesting routes offered by the limestone crags." 1965 Guide.
A step up the grade ladder from its near neighbour Wild Cat - more starred VS routes than you can shake a big rack of nuts at! Some pretty good HVS lines, too, by all accounts. After that - everything to E5 6c **
From Buxton, suggest approach by A515 / A5012 to join A6 in Cromford (or, if you like, crawl all the way down the A6). As you reach the lights you're facing the back of the crag! Make a right / south onto A6 followed by immediate left turn off. There is then a pay and display car-park on the right (or a rope length further on, a free one - ed) in the vicinity of the church on the left. Once on foot, crossing the road and going through a gate by the church takes you to the crag.
And an important point to note from the guidebook for those who, like the meet leader, are apt to force routes of an awkward nature into submission through gratuitous valediction and verbal abuse....
"The whole area is owned by Methodist Guild Holidays, which uses Willersley Castle, the imposing building facing the crag, as a holiday home. Climbers are all too obvious when on the crag and in the past have caused great offence to Christians both on the crag and at the Castle - as a result of multidecible oaths of a blasphemous nature... It is vitally important that we do nothing more to antagonize the owners or their guests." Dave - you have been warned!
See you at the crag between 10:30 and 11:00.