Smithy – Vets and Beginners Rock 4th/5th May

Present: – Chris Ambler, Nigel Callaghan, Tim Elliott, Mick Green, Peter Haigh, Dave Pettifar.

The original objective of this meet was to enable members – who had not climbed for some time and others who had never climbed but might wish to try – to get onto the rock. In the event it turned into a ‘Past Presidents’ meet! The weather was not very promising at the Northern end of the Lakes so Langdale looked to be the best option and Raven Crag being south facing was likely to be dry. Although it was fine and the rock dry the higher crags didn’t look inviting and there was still a large patch of snow at the bottom of Bowfell buttress – there might even have been a bergschrund!

On Saturday the above, with the exception of NC, headed up the well-made path up to the foot of Bilberry Buttress. MG opted for Bilberry Buttress with CRA who followed with many calls ‘keep the rope tight I’m moving’. At the top of pitch 3 MG said that the next pitch looked rather damp with seepage and that the top pitch of Pluto (HVS 5a) would be a better alternative! CRA realised that recovering the well place protection would mean that he had to follow. Once again there were calls for tight and even tighter rope! TE and DP moved further to the right and climber Revelation whilst PH spectated from a recumbent position.

MG and CRA then climbed the much more amenable Evening Wall and as DP had never set foot on Middlefell Buttress that seemed like a good way to complete the day. At the top of Evening Wall the wind was cold and strong making it very unpleasant. A sociable communal meal was enjoyed in the evening.

NC arrived on a rather damp Sunday morning. Thoughts of climbing were abandoned and a trip to examine the state of the top of Overhanging Bastion proposed. We were unable to get close enough to really assess the problem but the loose tree that PH had seen on an earlier visit had gone. At the bottom of the crag there was much speculation regarding the likely devastation should the cliff collapse. MG, TE and DP headed home whilst NC and CRA circumnavigated the Rigg before heading home. PH stayed a further night.

CRA

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