Last week I had a couple of days away from work, and away from the Lake District. Going back to the Gritstone of the Peak District and climbing with Colin, just like the old days.
It was Colin who started me off rock climbing (over 25 years ago), and I will be eternally grateful to him for this gift. Now in his 70's he climbs a little less often, instead there's an even stronger focus on that other fine pastime, tea drinking!
But for a couple of days, we got out 'cragging'. Firstly at Froggatt Edge near Sheffield. I'd visited once before but the heavy rain that day put a stop to any climbing plans. Thankfully on this visit we enjoyed warm sunshine and dry rock. I'd forgotten how different Gritstone is to the volcanic rock of the Lake District and North Wales. It's tricky!!!
The highlight of our visit to Froggatt was most definitely climbing '3 Pebble Slab' E1/HVS 5a. It's so inspiring to see Colin cruising such routes in his 70's - and this was the first time he'd climbed it too.
With a damp forecast for day 2, we didn't venture quite so far, just to the Wilton quarries near Bolton. We'd both climbed here before, but many years ago. I remember it feeling very hard. My memory was quite correct. We managed 3 routes before calling it a day as rain threatened to give us a shower.
Always great to be out with the old master, he can still do the moves too, totally ace.
Now glad to be back in the Lakes, and back on the volcanic rock with somewhat more helpful handholds.