Posted at 12:51:17, 26/4/2004
The Yummicks went down to Yorkshire this weekend, back to where it all started for me. I haven't climbed there for about 5 years and it was good to discover that it really is as good as I remember.
We headed to Ilkley on Saturday for lots of soloing and a few routes. There turned out to be a lot of easy (VDiff/Severe) stuff that I'd never done before - things like Doris, Peg Crack and the severe layback crack at the right hand side of the quarry (name anyone?). I soloed these and a few other classics such as Fairy Steps and The Chisler. I faced my demons by leading the first route I took a leader fall off - Napoleon, I also did S-crack (again) and the direct (5a) start to Waleweska, which is steep, good and pleasantly unpolished.
We were camped in a field behind The Royalty pub on Otley Chevin, very convenient for Saturday night, and lots of Black Sheep was consumed! Unfortunately, England still hasn't got its senses together and the pub shut at 11pm instead of the much more sensible 1pm of Scotland!
Sunday, hangovers reduced by the enforced early night, saw us head to Almscliff, possibly the best crag in the entire universe! Having been dragged up Great Western, the only 4-start route in the guide book, many times when at school, I decided to lead it. I'd forgotten how steep it really is, but the holds are correspondingly large, and really... the 5-star finish had to be done! I also soloed and bouldered some more stuff and then managed to fall of Demon Wall - fairly easy if you know that the top hold is off to the **-hand-side (now that would be spoiling it!).
At Almscliff on Sunday I was fortunate enough to meet Nigel Leech - the teacher who started me climbing at school about 10 years ago. Its always strange meeting people who you haven't seen for ages (about 6 years I think) but it was good to see that he stood at the problem and shouted abuse in just the same fashion :-)
I was knackered enough on Friday to forget to take my camera but hopefully Viv will send me his photos when he gets the film developed, watch this space...
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