Sat 20th Aug - Sun 21st Aug, 2016
Members: Lucie Crouch, Fiona Dixon, Roger Dyke, Nils Elgar, John Evans, Jared Kitchen, James Meakin, Geri Mihalkova, Gareth Williams, Dave Wylie, Duncan Zerafa.
Guests: Caroline Churchill, Gareth Collom, Patrizia (Pati) Patz, Chris Vernon
Extras: Christine Beeston, Cathy Gordon and Neil Boynton were spotted on the access path as the leader was departing, but as there was no climbing gear in sight he was uncertain whether these should count…
Saturday, the first choice day, fell victim to poor weather… isn’t that how I began my trip report for Burbage North? Sunday, looked to be the choice day but was slow to deliver. At 10.00am, the leader could be found sheltering in his car with Geri and Caroline waiting for the showers to end. However, it did and by 11.00am climbing was underway. The meet lost a few individuals variously to bad weather, a stomach upset and DIY, but the numbers were still healthy. A westerly breeze kept the midges and flying ants away and steadily dried the crag.
The report that follows is compiled from responses submitted post-meeting and so has some gaps…
The meet began at the Downhill Racer Area. Nils teamed up with Caroline and climbed: Slab Recess Direct (HS 4c), Green Gut (HS 4a), Heather Wall (HVD 3C). Caroline departed at this point for another engagement. Meanwhile Chris and Geri climbed Slab Recess (Diff), Gamma (VDiff) and Heather Wall. Nils joined Chris and Geri on the last route to top rope CMC Slab (HVS 5a), which was eventually completed after leaving a trail of rubber down the slab, where the climber was not quite up to the task. Chris ended the day with a good lead of Tody’s Wall (HVS 5a), which was followed by Nils.
Dave Wylie started off by climbing with James Meakin, who wanted to get some leading in. Dave followed him up Gamma (HDiff) then Heather Wall (HVD 3c). Dave then teamed up with Duncan Zerafa, who led Slab Recess Direct (HS 4b) which Dave followed. Finally, it was Dave’s turn to get onto the sharp end of the rope. Encouraged by Lucie Crouch, who belayed Dave, he managed to lead Trapeze Direct (VS 5a). Dave hadn't actually noticed the unexpectedly high technical grade in his guidebook and admitted that if he had done, he probably wouldn't have attempted it! That is probably a lesson for all of us… To finish off, Dave belayed for James who headed up the non-direct (VDiff) version of Trapeze. Dave didn't follow, though; one of our prospective members (the new Gareth) did that instead. Dave wandered along the crag to watch Duncan have a go at Hawks Nest Crack, lending a couple of bits of gear to him.
Duncan was seconded by Pati, but she couldn't get one of Duncan's runners out so he stayed around as rigging consultant to help Duncan make a safe abseil to retrieve the jammed hex.
Meanwhile with John and Fiona climbing as a team, John attempted to lead Trapeze Direct (VS) but couldn't get over the bulge and, for posterity recorded his first lead fall! He opted for the VD traverse instead. John also led Heather Wall (HVD 3c), both followed by Fiona.
Fiona led Slab Recess Direct (HS 4c) and blamed the recent rain shower for doing the first section so badly... She had a look at Hawk's Nest Crack and decided that whoever wrote 'a good first VS lead' in the guide was a sadist. Instead, she opted for Sunset Crack (HS 4b) instead. Both routes were followed by John.
Duncan Zerafa followed Pati up Trapeze Direct VS 4c with Jared. He then led Slab Recess Direct with Dave Wylie. Pati then led Sickle Buttress Direct VS 4c with Duncan seconding! Duncan finished the day on the Joe Brown classic 3 star Hawk's Nest Crack VS 4c seconded by Pati, which ended up with a late abseil to retrieve some stuck gear.
Great Slab (E3 5b) saw some attention by Jared, Pati and Gareth, but no formal submissions were made on this so I’ll leave the report there…
Another example of a dodgy-looking day coming good…
UPDATE: THURSDAY 18 AUGUST
The weather forecast is poor for Saturday so the meet will take place on Sunday 21 August from 10.00am as described below.
Is there a better Peak vista than from Froggatt? Simply stunning views from this most picturesque of crags.
I hope Roger didn't mind me sneaking this meet - I was just a little worried it might not go ahead and it is a truly excellent venue. The aim is to climb on Saturday 20 August, if at all possible, keeping Sunday as the reserve day. I will aim to finalise the arrangements via an update to this promo and a scribble based on the weather forecast. Climbing will be on offer on both days if the forecast is excellent throughout.
Stealing Roger's helpful directions from last year:
There is plenty of parking in the National Trust’s Haywood Pay+Display car park just off the A625, 400m S of the Grouse Inn. Free if you put your NT Membership card behind the windscreen.
Or if you are early enough, free at the side of the A625 near the start of the track to Froggatt Edge at SK255775.
Fifteen minutes gentle level walk to the crag, where I suggest we meet at 10.00am where we left off last time - at the Downhill Racer Area.