May 2024 – Pembrokeshire

3rd – 6th May

MKMC Attending: Kieran, Matt, Greg, Peter, Kathy, Ollie, Kieran D.

Add-on: Henry

On Friday members of Milton Keynes Mountaineering Club made the journey to Windmill Hill Caravan Park in Pembrokeshire, with some members travelling up on Thursday to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

Ollie & Kieran D made the most of their early arrival to head to Saddle Head to get some climbing in and scope out the area. Reporting back to the wider group that there was lot’s of good climbing to be had there and we should go there tomorrow (Saturday). On Saturday it was an early(ish) start for the group, splitting into two halves with Peter & Kathy heading to Crystal Slabs and the rest of the team heading too Saddle Head to be greeted with the most climbers we have ever seen.

With our (Safety) Matt rigging up the abseil for everyone we headed down the sea cliff to the platform to start climbing. Kieran D & Ollie scoped out a suitable climb for us Final Grove (1* D) all leading the way, whilst Matt, Greg & Kieran enjoyed the amazing views in the sunshine. After this the Saddle Head team stopped for a bite of lunch talking to a friendly climber (Henry) and learning how his climbing partner wasn’t able to join him for the weekend, we quickly invited him to join us and become an honorary member for the weekend. Due to the congestion at Saddle Head we moved onto Stennis Head where we climbed Highland Fling (1* HS), Quickstep (1* VS) & Small Beginnings (1* VD).

Climbing continued on the Sunday with everyone heading to Penally East. After Matt rigged us another (Super Good Enough) abseil we all descended down the slab to the bottom with Kieran Clarke, Greg and Henry all abseiling into a sea cave to complete the abseil hanging in the air. Once at the bottom the teams were organised with Henry leading Zawn Corner (2* S) made more difficult by him doing it in his approach shoes, Kieran D leading Wander Slab (1* D). On his ascent Ollie tactfully dropped Matt’s nuts into the swirling sea below, leading to the Hawaii Five-O moment we all love with Matt springing into action abseiling down at pace to retrieve them before they were swept out to sea. After this everyone retreated to The New Overlander Inn for refreshments and chips.

With everyone keen to take advantage of the weather on Monday looking fantastic we all headed to Flimston Bay for perhaps some of the most scenic climbing we had done on the trip with two Atlantic Grey Seals bobbing watching us climb it was truly an amazing experience with Flimston Crack (2* VD) & Fantastic Four (2* S) being completed. During our day there we were reminded of the dangers of sea cliff climbing with a large rock becoming dislodged and shouts of Rock! echoing down the hillside, Kieran and Henry sheltered against the slab watching the block fall between them feeling very thankful that nothing happened and all were wearing helmets.

With all members having an amazing weekend and experiencing some of the best climbing to date various people made their way home.

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