The rains stop, the sun's out the woolly hatted ants swarm over the small stones of Upper Huby it's another Saturday at Almscliff. There am I, excited about trading winter plastic for grit, with a knot of excitement beneath my recently downsized beer gut.
Louis and James rock up. We get to work. Somewhere along the line I pull on and finish Beneath the Decks, that prow without the block for your feet at an alleged 6c, happy with that, James follows suit, result. James keeps up a rich vein of form and sorts out Flying Arete with an appropriate dose of fear as he rocks over, effort. Louis shows us the way, I get fended off close to the ground.
Bryn joins us and some Spanish wad is being filmed and slackjaw-gawped at whilst trying Bulbhaul. There is a fair old crowd gathered, tripods are aimed, a camera drone zooms by overhead. He makes the hard moves under the roof, throws a very big one, gets the holds on the lip then he is off, effort mind you.
We make do with fiddling around on a few old favourites, that crimpy wall on the Matterhorn, you know the worlds hardest 6a and the thing by the wall all get some hammer and a bit of my skin. Bryn gets to grips with MK Wall and sends it packing, nice work young man.
Pebble Wall teases, Louis can do it to order with one hand in his chalk bag these days, James is close I was nowhere, man. Then we are part of a gang of 30 ants all hats and mats and enthusiasm, more scruffy cult meeting or rave than meditative outdoor experience. We move away from the throng and warm down on a few more stones as the sun adds some colour to a fairly magical afternoon. James stays with the young folk, the over forties head off to massage their sore bits and grumble about things that ache.
Let the year begin.
Here is Bryn's video