May 16th - 18th:

Friday

Mike P and Ed Samps arrived at Clapham hut around 13:00 to unload supplies and sundries, to be joined by the 'Wolf' (Syd) 15mins later. There had been rumours of 'Bunny' Brown, having left the hut just that morning, suggesting the inadequacies of cookware and the need for better pans for frying. One can only assume that he had been on holiday with Sainsbury in the Yorkshire Dales. Once fry-ware issues were deemed acceptable a relaxed afternoon climbing was soon to ensue. 'Robin Proctor's Scar' was sighted as the closest crag of reasonable grade to attempt, with a pleasing outlook and fair weather promising an enjoyable afternoon. Three initial routes ranging from 5 through to 6a+ were dispatched with notable delight, on sound and positive limestone. The afternoon concluded with the ascent of 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' 6a+, a fine flake to face climb, well worth doing. Enjoyment had by all.

 

That evening saw the initial three occupants swell to 6 members, as Clowes, Hood and Rob, with guest Glyn (caver extraordinaire) in tow. All joined to share an evening tea followed by untamed chauvinistic merrymaking until late.

Saturday

Ed, Mike, Glyn, the ‘Wolf’ & peg leg (Rob) went for a walk most of the way up Ingleborough in their caving gear. The aim of the day was to descend Meregill Hole, however a considerable time was spent attempting to find the cave entrance. Mike initially descended the ‘first pitch’ only to report that a sizable underground lake was blocking the way on and that there was ABSOLUTLEY no way that he was going to swim through it. He returned to the surface a defeated man and sweaty man.  After another 45 mins looking for the entrance to the cave Mike was redeployed down the ‘first pitch’ again to have another look. This time he landed on the ground facing the other way and he immediately found the way on which had been behind him all along! Meanwhile Glyn had been sunbathing on the surface and was shrivelling up like a prune with a beard. Mike stormed ahead and rigged the pitches, though the speed of knot tying was reduced markedly by the high consumption of beer the evening before. Rob abandoned the trip at the top of the third pitch owing to the fact that his leg had only been screwed back 9 weeks ago. The rest of the party continued to the top of the fourth pitch before deciding that time was running out. A pleasant walk back down Ingelborough and a pint followed.

Meanwhile Clowes, Hoody and the well-spoken man (Lionel) had been for a walk somewhere. At some point in the walk a farmer had somehow persuaded the two southerners and the well-spoken man to eat some sheep feed! The walkers normally think that the cavers are daft!

Sunday

After the previous days caving in extraordinarily fine weather (just bloody wasteful) the group was persuaded to make best use of the clement weather and head out climbing. We all found ourselves drawn to the gritstone delights of not-so-faraway 'Eastby Crag' after considerable navigational effort. The nature of the climbs varied from typical grit friction padding on blankish slabs to juggy and airy arêtes. Grades took in Diff through to E1 5b. For some unknown reason, Glyn made the climbing much more difficult by climbing in his walking boots whilst his rock boots were clipped to his harness. The sunbathing the previous day had obviously affected him. A great days climbing - well worth another visit!