The Perse School

Climbing Club trip to the Peak District

22 May 2012

The Perse Climbing Club recently embarked on a trip to the Peak District to experience climbing outdoors. Despite the relentless wind and rain, those who hadn't climbed outdoors before quickly got used to the nature of the local rock, which was a particularly vicious variety of gritstone. We climbed happily all morning on various roped routes, with some of the more senior climbers completing an impressive overhang. The already strong wind had been channelled up a gully to the top where were setting up climbs; it was so strong that if we hadn't crawled up to the edge on our belt buckles we would have been blown right off our feet and over the edge!

One of these great routes was an E2 (Extremely Severe Level 2) which beat us all, despite some very impressive attempts. The other climb had its crux over a bulge which thwarted some of the group only a couple of meters from the ground. As you reached the top of the climb – about 80 feet off the ground – the wind howled through a crack, numbing the fingers for the final move which had very small hand and foot holds. Nevertheless, the climb involved some pleasing moves and views and once completed, it was a joy to have climbed.

The deteriorating weather meant that outdoor climbing was not an option for the final day. Instead, we headed to the large and impressive indoor climbing wall at The Foundry Climbing Centre, Sheffield. The centre had a large leading wall which had varying levels of overhang, and around the edges were a number of top roped routes and a good bouldering wall for all to get involved with.

Although the conditions weren't ideal, we certainly had an adventure and are already looking forward to our next outdoor climbing opportunity.

By Aylwin Racher and Jo Schoenberg

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