Wed 1st Aug, 2018
Andy Vine, Gowry Sisupalan, Andy Pierce, Rodger Dyke with a hand injury so acting as chief photographer, story teller and offering moral support.
So I arrived at what I thought was a deserted Hen Cloud wondering who on earth had voted for this place of nightmares. I visit every 5 years or so and get bitten chewed and spat out of its cracks being set home with my tail well and truly between my legs vowing never to return. However I always do eventually as the place is apparently riddled with classic routes!!! If only I could learn to enjoy jamming and offwidths. Sat contemplating my stupidity I noticed a route that mentioned the word delicate and wandered over to take a look to find Adam, Andy, JP, An other completing Little Pinnacle climb with mutterings and advice to avoid at all costs which I duly did. I convinced Andy that the delicate Bulwark was a good idea. The only problem being that in my excitement of seeing the word delicate I didn’t take heed of the quote ‘’often dirty’’. This led to an exciting ascent on scritty sloppers until at ¾ height a good cam placement meant the airy top could be enjoyed with a little less trepidation. Andy followed with comments like where is the crack (we really are polar opposites in our choice of route). Gowry then followed cheered on by Rodger. In the meantime the other three were tackling a rare thing for the Peak (well Staffordshire) that is a multi-pitch route namely K2. Adam took a slight detour on the second pitch and top roped the second pitch of Encouragement, a burly crack that makes a good contrast with its first pitch. Having had enough of delicate aretes Andy chose to lead the 28m Bachelor's Climb. Good value for its grade with a tricky exit right at the top after a good work out lower down. He was followed by Gowry and myself with just enough time to descend before dark. I couldn’t decide whether this pleased Gowry or not as it was her lead next and Rodger had convinced her the Great Chimney was the route to do which sent shudders down my spine by its very name. Ah well Gowrys first lead next time and incase I’m not at Froggatt on Sunday we penciled in Sunset crack.
Not too many climbs done but a successful night as Hen cloud was kind to us all and no one got battered or bruised, perhaps I will go back before 2023.