Plans were hatched over a leisurely breakfast while the weather remained decidedly damp, and rather windy. Spenser, Kevin and Fruit (aka Andy) settled on Angelsey to see what The Range had to offer; Mike needed something gentle to nurse a broken shoulder back into climbing, and set off with Clarke for a traditional mountain day, while the rest of us followed George’s suggestion of Hornby Crags on The Great Orme. At the Orme, we discovered the crag had rather more atmosphere than the usual sports crag, and we set about climbing all the decent routes on the crag (at one point pretty much every route must have been equipped) and climbs from 6a to 7a were done. One or two people even got into the spirit of sports climbing and fell off, while Vun and Tim had a look at a 7b. Callum and I switched to trad part way through the day and enjoyed a couple of excellent E3s, including Gritstone Gorilla, which I’d fancied for a while (mainly for the name). I think it’s safe to say that the highlight was watching a pod of dolphins swim past, and the most impressive feat was by a French couple, who had set up a 120m slackline between the crags!
Gathering back in the hut for a communal dinner in the evening, we found that the Angelsey trio had had a damp start but a good afternoon. There was talk of a dead seal and a stick, but I didn’t ask for details. The mountain team had also enjoyed a remarkably bright and dry day on Amphitheatre Buttress, and everyone was in good spirits. A most convivial evening followed, with far too much food consumed. Custard featured quite late and in vast quantities.
Sunday dawned damp, and we turned to George again to suggest a dry crag. He was initially reluctant to spoil his record, but committed to Craig y Forwen, recently reopened after having been banned for many years. Spenser and Kevin opted for Clwyd limestone as it lay on their route home, but the rest took George’s advice and headed off along the A55. Driving past Llandudno in heavy rain I for one was not optimistic, but happily for all, George maintained his status and we had an excellent day. Highlights were Eoin cruising up the intimidating Sangfroid for his second HVS lead and interloper Callum showing himself to be a strong and capable climber on the classic Great Wall.
All in all, an excellent meet – good social, two full days of climbing (proving that a damp weekend in North Wales needn’t be a write-off), and new friendships and partnerships formed. I hope to see you all again soon.