May 2022 – Hardhurst Farm, Peak District

A weekend of climbing fun based at Hardhurst Farm’s luscious green campsite.

(There’s a slight issue with accessing the photos from the weekend.  They’ll be added soon when the issue is resolved.  Sorry)

[Photo – Campsite]

Friday 20th May

Early-birds Tom, Peter and Kathy set up at Lawrencefield, soon joined by Alex W, Alan M, Alex Th and Lee. James turned up in time to be the knight in shining armour, swarming up Three Tree Climb (HS) to rescue another team’s gear after their second was defeated by the slippery start.

Tom conquered his first unaided lead climb on Nailsbane (VDiff), and duly celebrated with a shopping trip for some shiny treasure at Outside in Hathersage.

[Photo – Tom’s first lead Nailsbane]

Lee led Eclair, a sketchy E1 5b slab that was his climb of the weekend, also greatly impressing those of us who had teetered up it on a top rope.

[Photo – Lee on Eclair Lawrencefield]

Saturday 21st May

Restored by refreshments from the Traveller’s Rest pub, and reinforced by the arrival of more club members on Friday night, we headed as a healthy sized group of 15 to Stanage Popular End, around Rusty Wall. With so many starred climbs there was plenty of fun to be had.

[Photo – A craggle of climbers]

A survey at the end of the day revealed a range of favourites, from Right Hand Trinity (S 4b – Gill), Christmas Crack (HS 4a – Neal), Dun (HS 4b – Adam) and Hargreaves Original (VS 4c – Alex W).

[Photo – Neal on Right Hand Trinity]

James, Kathy and Charlotte particularly enjoyed Bishop’s Route (S 4a), while Lee, Alex Th, Peter and Michelle picked out Via Media (VS 4c).

[Photo – Alex and Michelle on Via Media]

Tom scratched his new gear with more leads, including on favourite Scrappy Corner (Diff) (the name of the climb, of course, not a description of Tom’s climbing style). Alan M aced Queersville (HVS 5a), thankfully only telling us later the tale of a former club member who didn’t make it (gulp!)

[Alan on Queersville]

We returned to the Traveller’s Rest for another well-earned evening meal. (Perhaps they should rename the pub the Climber’s Rest?)

Sunday 22nd May

Another fine day in the Peak District saw us split into two groups: Alan M, Alex W and James heading to Millstone and the rest of us (with Alistair and Ali having joined on Saturday evening) returning to Stanage, this time to High Neb.

[Photo – Michelle (Straight Crack HS 4b) and Kathy (Eric’s Eliminate S 4a)]

Charlotte led her first routes (hurray!) on another full day teamed up with Adam, while Tom continued to make the most of his new gear.

[Photo – One of Charlotte’s first leads]

[Photo – Tom’s new gear]

By mid-afternooon, with some arms and fingers needing a rest, Peter (aided by Alistair) gave an abseil workshop. Well done to everyone who tried their first abseil (or at least their first abseil since school), especially given the strong winds at the top and the overhang to navigate on the way down.

[Photos – Abseil theory; Photo – Abseil training; Photo – Abseil in practice]

Lee demonstrated how to ascend a rope. Strangely no-one else was inspired to give the effort-intensive activity a go.

[Photo – Lee ascending]

Another fine day of climbing.

But wait, I hear you cry! What happened to the trio at Millstone?

We finally heard from them at nearly 5.30 p.m., Alex W reporting a successful day out. Alex’s highlight was leading the tough first pitch of Embankment (VS 4c) on which even Alan M admitted he was glad to be seconding rather than leading. Judging by the wide eyes of Alex W and James and Alan M’s smile in this photo, a good time was had by all.

[Photo – Wide eyed at Millstone]

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