|Brian looking for the hidden hold Mike insisted was there|
After a couple of peaceful days, the second of which involved slow cooking pork shoulder, again (the third time this trip!) ready for Saturday which dawned rainy and wet. This was sad as we were expecting Jo and Mike about 10.00 to go climbing. Fortunately by the time they arrived about 09.30 we were up and ready and it had stopped. So off to Birchen Edge again, well we knew the route now and although it’s well below Mikes climbing standards he’d fallen off his mountain bike a couple of weeks ago and ended up in A&E getting butterfly stitches in his knee, so we thought a gentle testosterone free crag would save him from himself, and suit the rest of us for a pleasant day, which it certainly did.
It was hot and muggy with little breeze so we all took it gently apart from Ruby dog who we met there with two families with young kids on their first outdoor experience. This all added to the friendly chilled atmosphere, any time you had a moment free there would be Ruby with a stick in her mouth desperate for you to throw it, she didn’t give up, but did share her affections out!
|Mike with Ruby dog|
We were joined about 15.30 by Alex and Rob who had been at a wedding in Liverpool the previous day so had finally got away when Rob could extricate Al from a fab time catching up with a whole bunch of old friends. Rob was champing at the bit so leapt into action leading a climb B was keen to follow on while I caught up with Alex who I haven’t seen since she completed the Eiger Paraclimb challenge, her (with MS), John who is mostly blind and deaf, one of her team mates in the Team GB paraclimbing team, an autistic guy, two support crew and a couple of guys filming the expedition. What an achievement, we were thrilled to hear that she had summited on her birthday about three weeks ago.
|Jackie gives the route a go|
I was persuaded to give the route a go, despite the gathering storm clouds (the Met Office had issued an Amber weather warning for the area), sadly with the pressure of an audience, and lack of height, I gave it three goes but couldn’t get over the overhang! Sadly by the time Rob made his way down and was persuaded he wasn’t going to get another route in, it was too late, we set off on the 15 minute walk just as the heavens opened! Not allowed into Jo’s car dripping, we popped into the pub by the carpark to drip all over the floor there and have a quick drink before heading home to a lovely evening, some very nice (and expensive) wine provided by Mike and Jo and dinner and pudding made by me and him. TC seemed to enjoy the fuss, and the pork and did make us all smile when he put himself to bed about 21.50 because we weren’t sitting with him in the lounge! On moving to the lounge, he came too for a good snuggle with Al. (Another cat lover, sadly Rob isn’t….!)
|Brian and Mike at the top|
|A 4b start! Getting onto the jammed boulder was a full body workout!|
Sunday morning was lovely, so cooked breakfast in the garden in the sunshine. We must all be showing our age though, no one rushing off to do more climbing. Waved them off, put the washing in, and couldn’t find TC, anywhere! In the house, in the garden, we walked up and down local streets looking for a cat who has shown no interest in going out the front and walks very slowly with his arthritic hips. Texted the guys to look for stowaways….. Just hitting panic mode when B looked in the 3 inch gap under the sofa in the living room, into a pair of eyes saying “what are you looking so worried about? But if you could lift the sofa that would be great as although I got here I’m not sure I can get out again!”
|Mike leading 'Roger the Cabin Boy'! VS 4c|
Phew. So a short walk to get the Sunday paper to round off what was a really really enjoyable weekend
|Jackie attempting to get over the overhang of 'Top sail' VS 4c|
|Packing up at Birchen Edge while the storm clouds hover over. Jo is taking the photo, from LtoR: Jackie, Alex, Rob, Mike and Brian|
|The storm clouds gather and localised rain pours down! This one we saw on the way home after another like it drenched us on the walk down from the crag|
|Brian gets the cushions by the fire place. The red square is a card Tim and Jill have left for Brian's birthday on Thursday|