Without reading the title of this post have a guess where i went last weekend…….nope not the Lakes, the Peak. It was ace but fuck my ass was it expensive! Holyyyyyyy! Things started to go down hill (on the money front at least) when i arrived at Sheffield train station at just gone midnight with plans to stop there for the night before heading off for a day’s soloing at Burbage early doors. The train station shuts at midnight though. Ah. So i was moved along. Found a taxi (£8) and was driven to a hotel (£35) which had the unusual combination of a brick for a bed and pillow with the thickness of a flannel for a…well…pillow. Nevermind a bed’s a bed and it beats getting raped by a tramp. Got up and had a leisurely breakfast (on the house) before getting a taxi (£7) back to the station. Needed to buy a ticket so i went to the cashpoint and withdrew £30 (for food too of course) however i had a change of heart and my sub-conscious thought it best that i leave the £30 hanging out of the cashpoint. I’m just the gift that keeps on giving! So if we tot that up i’m £80 down before i even get climbing!! What the fruit?!?
Of course i got to Hathersage and decide to buy a helmet (wise as i seem to be having lots of heavy gravity days this year) which sets me another £40 out of pocket. I had a cup of tea and walked up to Burbage North. Some grannies laughed at my shoes cos they’re red. Told them to go fuck themselves. Burbage (North and South – i checked) was wet. Balls. Pottered around on some easy solo’s dodging the walkers and trying to stay warm but gave up around 2.30pm and went down the pub to wait on Dan. I’m convined now that Dan is some kind of prophet cos when he arrived (having mach 3’d it over from Manchester way after work) the psyche levels soared and all became good (this isn’t some ode to a lost love by the way – it’s just that the lad is enthusiastic and it’s catchy!) Anyway got some food – courtesy of Dan after he heard my sob stories – and went over to get some kip in the camping place near Bamford.
Next day we boosted up to Bamford (never been before) and did Gargoyle Flake as the sun cam up to warm the crag. It’s ace! Those jugs you see on the photo’s are real. In fact they’ve been photoshopped to appear smaller on the pics cos maybe people are embarrassed by how large they are and don’t want their mates to know they’re yarding on buckets. Anyway did that and then did Wrinkled Wall, which to be fair is pretty average inspite of it’s 3 stars. Fannyed about on Jetrunner then went to Millstone where we got scared off by the wannabe-wads who skulked about looking (for something) hard. Got to Stanage as the sun was setting and watched some lads we’d met at Bamford having a shot on Flying Buttress Direct. In a word – sketchy! The first fella went up and placed a nut just before the roof before hitting the lip and cutting loose. Unfortunately said nut also chose that moment to cut loose and your man was left with no gear. A hastily snatched cam was placed and he got lowered off. Quickly! Turns out it was his first effort at E1. Bon bloody effort if you ask me! Anyway we just ticked the classic Flying Buttress and went down the pub as the sun sunk back over the hills.
Next day we hit up Froggatt. After a start so early that it can only be described as retarded we found ourselves warming up on Chequers Buttress. Shit the bed thats a good climb! The best i’ve ever done on grit and one of the best i’ve ever done anywhere, full stop, case closed, stop following me etc etc. If you’ve not done it, please, please do. It’s awesome. Good gear, a bit of exposure, unobvious (?) moves and a perfect line easily make it a 5-star uber-classic! After that we went up Heather Crack (?), Sunset Slab and Sunset Crack. We’d become star whores by this time. It’s worth saying that this was Dan’s first outdoor climbing since doing bad things to his ankle back in July. Understandably his head game was a bit Vauxhall Conference – at least at first – but i reckon with one or two more leads he’ll be back to his old form. He’s certainly not lost much at all in physical aptitude so the yellow brick road awaits.
Anyway shit went down – not necessarily hard shit (they’re painful anyway) – but we went out and had fun. Did some awesome classics and enjoyed ourselves. It’s bloody good to be climbing with Daniel-san again i’ve got to say. I like positive people! For the record i didn’t really tell those grannies to ‘go fuck themselves’ it was a joke.