Friday, 31 July 2009

A niece day out

Top deck

I had a great couple of days with my nieces this week. We climbed, ate pizza, danced to Pink, watched chick flick, rode on the bus, visited Scottish museum, played and had lunch in the park and shopped for clothes. Great fun.

Lady bird joined us for lunch

All photos by Caroline Harvey

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Girls (briefly) on Grit

Flow stone in the cave

Emma and I headed down to the Peak District at the weekend for a wee spot of bouldering on grit. We were meeting up with an old University friend of Emma's who was coming to 1) escape from London for the weekend and 2) have her first experience bouldering outside.

We left Edinburgh early Friday afternoon in the hope of missing any evening traffic. We were going quite well until we started to hit the M6 and it all started getting busy and was very, very wet. It was not until we starting listening to the radio that we discovered that the English schools had just split up for the Summer holidays and everyone and their Granny was heading South, hoping for sunshine.

Many sets of road works and traffic jams later we arrived at Stockport train station to collect Tamsyn. The poor girl had had to wait a while for us in a cafe as her speedy train from London only took a couple of hours.

Despite the forecast, spirits were high and we were all looking forward to a good first day. We woke up to rain, lots and lots of rain! Not good for climbing at all, but we packed the car and headed out for the day anyway. First stop was at the Blue John caverns, somewhere Emma had been wanting to see for a while, at least it would be dry, just like our tour guide sense of humour.

Fallen rock

Blue John stone

Plant life

As we left the caverns the sky was beginning to brighten so we drove to the Stanage Plantation, at least we could have a look if nothing else.

It dried enough for us to do some easy problems and give Tamsyn that great first bouldering outdoor experience. We then moved on to Burbage South to find some more easy routes. Sadly because of our late start we did not have too much time there as we were going to Sheffield to meet another old Uni mate. All good though as we treated to a very tasty curry for dinner.

View at the plantation

Tamsyn on grit

Pretty good for a first timer

Sunday, it would be dry and sunny. It had to be!

No Sunday was wet too. Never to be defeated we headed out once it had cleared and hoped for some dry rock at Cratcliffe, and joy o joy we found some. Well for about 5 mins we found some and then the heavens opened once again. We hid in a cave until we got washed out of there too.

There was just no way it was going to dry in the time we had left so we had to scuttle back to the car feeling slightly disappointed once again. We headed into Bakewell for a cup of tea before having to drive home again. Needless to say it was sunny and dry the whole drive home.

View from our cave


More rain

Big puddles

All photos by Caroline Harvey

Sunday, 12 July 2009


Sarah looking strong

Yesterday Sarah, Rob and I headed to Dunkeld for a sunny day of sport climbing. I was picked up and told where we were going, great I thought I have not been to Dunkeld before, so should be fun, hard, but fun. 

We arrived and toodled on up the hill to the crag, and the always super psyched and strong Sarah was on the wall in a flash, however all was not good, not because Sarah was not climbing well but because of the distinct lack of bolts!

Now for all those that know me well, you will be aware that I can have moments of total muppetry and my memory is as good as a goldfish with amnesia. So it took me a while to remember, even though I have been reading about it on Scottish climbs for about a month now, that someone had chopped many of the bolts at Dunkeld. I felt slightly guilty at my stupidity, but Sarah said she would not have believed me even if I had told her.

Anyway all was not lost, the mighty Mirfin managed to put up a top rope and we had a great day making up our own routes along the line that we managed to clip. Sarah and Rob moved with relative ease over this tricky wall and I climbed better than I thought I would be able to considering the grade of the routes that are there. Although I think my belayers may have helped me up a little.

It was a great day out and taught me that I need to work on my footwork, strength and endurance.

The funniest part of the day was when we popped into the Scotmid in Dunkeld to get an icecream. Whilst in the store, Sarah picked up a few extra groceries and a bottle of red wine. Then we got asked for ID at the till! Ok, it was Sarah and not me that was buying the wine but we were clearly together at the till, which gave us a combined age of 61. My new anti wrinkle creams must be working. Love it.

The Robster

Our friend for the day

Me trying hard

Oops failure again

Still trying

Good times


All photos by Caroline Harvey or Sarah Daniels