Climbing Club visits the Peak District
Last weekend, members of the Perse Climbing Club headed on their first trip of the term, for a couple of days climbing in the Peak District. Year 11 students Elizabeth and Charlotte have written an account of this action packed weekend.
“On Friday 2 October, 13 students headed off to the Peak District after school for a weekend of fantastic climbing. We made good time to our destination, the John Hunt Bunkhouse on the edge of Ladybower Reservoir. After a brief discussion of plans for the next day and a good deal of time spent poring over guide books, we made our way to bed.
Next morning we were up bright and early at 7am. The breakfast crew cooked a full English breakfast which tasted excellent despite being half an hour behind schedule! With our kit for the day compressed into rucksacks, and harnesses and helmets collected, we set off for our day of climbing on the Stanage Edge gritstone. Once we had arrived we hiked up to the edge which warmed us all up nicely. Having located our section of rock in the guide book, Mr. Parker and Mr. Slader made their way up to the top and set up the rope anchors for the routes we intended to climb. The first two routes were reasonably simple and featured an interesting hollow in the rock-face half way up. Once we had all succeeded in climbing them both we set up another climb to the left of it which presented interesting new problems. Some of the more advanced climbers in the group attempted a challenging HVS route around the corner which, through painstaking effort, five of the group managed to complete with several getting part way or three quarters of the way up. At the same time we had another entertaining route whose main feature was a massive crack running all the way which necessitated a lot of fist jamming for most of us!
We spent most of the morning on those routes and then moved along to Stanage Plantation for a few hours of bouldering. Here, Sam, Jo and George did very well in their attempts on a 7b+ called “Deliverance”. Around the corner from this boulder were several others, one of which we were all able to scramble to the top of and sit in a long line providing a superb photo opportunity. To finish off a wonderful day we had the it wouldn’t be a climbing trip without it… visit to an outdoor kit shop where we looked wistfully at all the great kit!
On returning to the bunkhouse the dinner crew of Jo, Elizabeth and Hector commenced with the creation of a rather sumptuous Thai green curry and couscous meal while everyone else set up a slackline between the trees, with Sam demonstrating some of his fancy tricks. Dinner was served 20 minutes early followed by apple pie and custard – large quantities were enjoyed by all after an intensive day’s climbing! Fortunately we finished in time to watch the rugby.
Sunday morning dawned slightly warmer and more inviting than the previous day so after packing everything up we headed off to Horseshoe Quarry for some top roping on an impressive sport climbing limestone crag. We set up two routes to start with both about 20 metres high, one presented the option of a full body jam in the crack which was amazing fun. The other more strenuous route required some very technical finger jamming and foot placement however with copious amounts of encouragement and advice the majority of us completed the route which was graded a 6a. The sun even graced us with its appearance which warmed the freezing rock up considerably!
Further around the quarry Mr. Slader and Mr. Parker set up a rather crumbly climb up to a ledge and then rigged up a via ferrata on the bolts round to a fantastic abseil back to the ground. All of us thoroughly enjoyed doing this – particularly the rapid abseil down!
After this we collected all our gear and trudged back to the minibus for the return journey. A huge thank you goes to Mr. Slader for organizing such an amazing trip and to Mr Parker and Miss Robins – it’s been great for all of us to improve our climbing immensely.