Getting back into climbing with a steady route and some sun
Myself and Emily have not been climbing together for a while, partly due to friction most couples face while climbing together and also due to the new job I have at Bloc. This weekend I had off though and the forecast was for sun on Sunday, Em to my surprise had brought up the topic of climbing, with no more encouragement needed, the bags were packed and by the door with the route chosen.
It was suggested by Dave Talbot that this was the perfect route for someone who was anxious of Trad climbing or needed a boost in confidence, with plenty of nice little sections and ample belays to choose from.
Dave has taken many groups climbing up the route even with large groups and due to fact that you can pretty much set up a belay anywhere due to amount of trees along with a possible harder last pitch and some good view it seemed to be the perfect route for a sunny day
Climbing the Easy Route in the Sun
A good relaxed morning, with me packing the car and fixing breakfast outside was important to settle Emilys nerves, any pushing from me to hurry up would surely end in a argument fumed by nerves and could as often before led to the end of route before starting, however with lessons learned from previous outings we were on track, the knowledge to alternate our days as belayers was priceless, this was Emily’s day climbing, so it her pace, if I didnt make it onto rock, the oh well, my day is next.
Hardly put off but the inner city traffic we made it to the crag to meet the crowds already climbing at Avong and gear up in the sun
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Not really needing much, I ditched the Cams, kept a set of Nuts and plenty of Slings, I kept the Nuts because I also wanted emily to practice taking out gear on belays and while climbing, while not loads of placements still more than enough for a new climber to get to grips with the idea.
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True to Daves word the route so far was a gentle stroll up hill with good holds, solid and grippy rock with plenty of ledges to stop on and rest, still though I was surprised when we arrived at around the starting ledge for Emily to declare she was more than happy to carry on without the ropes but would like her climbing boots on “if that was ok”
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We split pitch 1 in half and soloed it, with me closely behind, with occasional help, Emilys natural climbing talent came shining through. The route eventually involved a bit of ‘proper’ bit of climbing slightly steeper so we tied on to the 60m half rope double up I had ( making it 30m ) and wandered up the line, to be constantly surprised by the quality of the rock and the fun I was having.
I set up a little belay and brought emily up, already smiling.
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Meeting us on the comfy belay was another climber getting back into it after a bad fall last year, Rosemary seemed more than happy to share a belay while also having her photo taken by me along with Em.
Heading off for pitch 2 involved a couple of metres of vertical climbing into a lovely slab to get the feet and mind working before another huge selection of tree belays and a path cutting through onto the next pitch. I brought Emily up with another couple of photos.
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Heading up the final slab I was not sure if the 3om rope would make it, I had eyed up a undercut flake around 15m away which would make a perfect semi hanging belay ( although most of you wait would be on your feet ) in which to practice taking apart a belay based on Nuts and Cams, I sensed Em’s uninterest in this and not wanting the ruin the lovely day I pushed on thinking I might make it if not climbing back down would prolong the enjoyment or I could just keep climbing while Em took apart the belay giving me a few more metres.
No need though as the the pitch was perfect and just as the rope went tight I made it to the tree, a quick sling belay and setting the plate in Guide Mode so I could take yet more photos and Em was on her way up the excellent final slab to probably the best finishing belay in the world!
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The Happy Team[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″][su_lightbox type=”image” src=”http://stevewinslow.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_3994.jpg”]
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The Way down and a quick picnic before the rain
Following the “Easy Route” is possibly an even easier way down, a tarmaced path!
At the top of the route after the perfect tree belay is a Tarmaced path, we followed this path all the way down to the Portway and walked back to the car, smiles all round.
In the car and heading to sea walls to meet the other teams, get the blanket out and grab some lunch on the grass.
What could make this better? An ice cream of course, we headed up to downs to find one, as quickly as we have got there the weather had change and now was pouring with rain and the entire Downs emptying.
Feeling bad for Rob and Will who we had left half way up the pitch of Floggs Folly, but not bad enough to go and check on them we retreated to the Miners for a celebratory pint and a pickled egg.
A great day out and a Route I will certainly be taking more people on over the summer.
If you would like to have a day out like this or would like any other form of climbing instructing, beginner or performance climbing coaching please contact me to quick chat to see I can help