Wed 18th May, 2016

Alderman Rocks, Chew Valley


Members: Andy Stratford, Dave Wylie, Geri Mihalkova, James Meakin, George Williams, Clay Conlon

Guests: John Evans, Fiona Dixon, Duncan Zefera, Emily Thompson, Tom Nicholson, Ali.

Pub appearance: Dan O’Brien

Despite a gloomy forecast earlier in the week and a rain shower mid afternoon, the crag was very dry and in excellent condition, then out came the sun and we enjoyed the final warming rays of a fine evening.

Duncan and Dave teamed up with Dave on lead for Great Slab Arete (S 4a) and Duncan leading on Rib and Face (HVD 4a) and the enticing looking HVD of Cleft and Chimney.  "I like climbing on a slug" explained Duncan.  He finishing with a solo of F Route (VD 3c).

Andy might as well have solo’d Crispy Crack (HVS 5a), a delicate affair with one lonely nut very low on the route. Geri and George both followed commendably.  Great Slab Right (HVS 4c) was next then Geri and Andy were joined by Emily for Pigmy Wall (S 3c), P2 of Rib and Face, Great Slab Arete and P1 of Great Slab.  Meanwhile Clay was determined on both pitches of the classic Great Slab, making a fine finish up the tough jamming crack of P2 with only minor blood loss.  George and James both followed with some amusing variations.

John and Fiona did a combination of Great Slab Arete and P2 of Rib and Face (a much better combination than the original route and more balance across the grade), then top-roped Crispy Crack.  Andy lent Fiona the crucial micro cams for Pygmy Wall.  George finished off with a lead of Great Slab Chimney, as did Tom Nicholson and Ali.

The whole team made it to The Clarence where we were joined by our esteemed Outdoor Meets Secretary, Dan O’Brien complete in paint splattered work trousers and playing the "look i’ve just been doing DIY card".  Who had actually nominated Alderman last week...?  Dan...?

Emily Thompson advised that a fell race was being held next week at Dovestones so the consensus was to try elsewhere: Crags on the table for next week Castle Naze. Angleszarke, Pule hill. Cows Mouth.

With the "hole in the ground with a swamp" only getting the one vote, we quickly moved to the three venues with the views, with Cows Mouth eventually winning by a good margin over Pule Hill.



Andy Stratford







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Karabiner Mountaineering Club