With the weather forecast looking decidedly unfavorable it looked like yet another evening CMC meet would have to be abandoned. Despite the rain me and John decided we better get up to The Bank to at least meet up with Vicky. With the rain pouring down neither of us felt very optimistic but we arrived to find Vicky admiring the graffiti and the rain had stopped. With quite a stiff breeze blowing the rock actually felt reasonable. Time for the first route and John decided to lead Epitaph. If you haven’t had a chance to do this route then you should it is as good a Hard Severe as any in Yorkshire (which obviously means as good as any in the UK). Quite a stiff start for the grade and then up in to a recess, then an exciting traverse out on to the arete, finishing up the headwall in a fabulous position. I went up second re-clipping a rope for Vicky.
While Vicky was on the ascent I went off to locate the abseil point. The challenge here is to avoid an evil dog which lurks just behind a fence a metre or so from the edge of the cliff. This was something I failed to achieve on my last visit when the hound managed to poke its snout through the railings and bite me in the posterior. Luckily it appeared to be indoors or asleep so I crept gingerly along the fence to the abseil point and safety. From here I could see a small hand feeling around for the arete. It seemed to be feeling for some time and I was just contemplating whether is was attached to a body when the hand latched on to the edge and seconds later Vicky was swinging around on to the front face with a joyous Baildon grin.
Fortunately the hound never appeared and before long we were all back down and contemplating the next target. John suggested I tackle Baildon’s ‘diving board’ feature. And why not I thought, possibly failing to notice his wry smile.
We soon arrived beneath the feature. John seemed in alarmingly jovial spirits and suggested the climb really should be done is swimming trunks. Alas I had neglected to bring any swimming gear something I was to regret as goggles would have been quite handy in keeping the grit out of my eyes. The diving board loomed above me so I decided to poke my head over to examine the board and plan my approach technique carefully. Unfortunately I now found myself leaning out at quite an alarming angle. My feet had decided to part company with the rock leaving no option but to grovel ignominiously on to the board belly first flailing wildly for non existent handholds and with my feet bicycling madly in the air. To make matters worse the air was thick with laughter.
Still one great thing about this is at least I would get to witness John and Vicky having a go. I quickly nipped up the top section and made sure that I had a good enough belay arranged so I wouldn’t laugh myself off the top. And very amusing it proved too. I’m pleased to say no grace was shown by either climber and they both ended up prostrated on the diving board both having landed backwards puffing and blowing.
A great end to a fabulous evening.
Climbs were Epitaph (HS) and the delightfully named ‘Turd in the Hole’ (HS)