Rearranging the Stanage meet to Froggatt was probably a good idea given how chilly it was on top of the crag, but what a beautiful day – the Peak at its best! Eight of us enjoyed clear blue skies and sunshine for most of the day and the grit was in very good condition.
Steve and Shirley led the charge on the route count with a very respectable seven, and it looked like Steve was going to avoid anything offwidth up until their final route, when the lure of North Climb, a Puttrell special from 1906 (good effort Jimmy), proved too much to resist. What’s more, Shirley seemed pretty happy too with her introduction to the world of wide.
The houndless Hudson may not have had Freddie to look after, but being paired with Wardy meant he had quite enough to deal with. To be fair, John did behave himself, other than when on the Traverse of Trapeze where he lured an unsuspecting ascensionist of the Direct into a protracted conversation, the meaning of which did not become clear until John chose to reveal the stuck cam that had temporarily halted his progress.
Brian and Martyn teamed up for the first time, making short work of routes like Heather Wall, although a nagging injury caused Brain to depart early, leaving Martyn to join me and Erica for the first time since Conductor Cove at Neist, six years ago. Some rather thin slab action ensued, and it’s only fair to say that Erica demonstrated the best technique on both routes that we did as a three, especially on the appropriately named CMC Slab (put up by the Castle Mountaineering Club), where neither of the men could ascend the top crux without an off-route diversion. As a consolation prize, I did manage an onsight ascent, although with only 52 UKC ticks, Sorralion is unlikely to gather the crowds like Heather Wall with its 3,734 ticks.
So, a good day out with smiles all round, and in a subtle twist of fate, a change in the programme means that we only need to wait two weeks for a second attempt to get to Stanage High Neb – fingers crossed for the weather.