12 August 2012

Almscliffe All-nighter

So, me, Bryn, Cosmo and Louis finally consummated our love affairs with Almscliffe by sleeping with her.

As noted in my last post, a bivvy was on the cards. I'd loved being outdoors this week, with the two climbs complemented by a twilight walk on Thursday night. A few other weekend plans shifted around and fell through, so Saturday night looked good. I suggested it to Bryn, then accidentally phoned Louis whilst on my mobile to someone else. He put the word out in the Facebook group we use to coordinate our climbs, and it all came together. Supplies (ie. booze) were purchased and we met at the crag at around 8.

It didn't feel like it would be too intense a session. We warmed up on Boulder 10 - me in my walking boots - before taking up residence at The Crucifix. We dabbled with the rock - Louis ascending The Crucifix in the pitch black being a highlight - and with the booze, threw some juggling props around, as well as a glow-frisbee which turned us all into warriors from Tron, albeit it slightly less graceful. We were joined by Chris for a while, his arrival heralded by the piercing eyes of his hound, Stella, emeralds in my torchlight, skittering through the grass around the crag. She had a good time with the frisbee too, and it was amusing to see it land and then appear to pick itself up and float back to us.

War of the Worlds?

Our beds began to beckon. Bouldering mat mattresses, rock headboards and sleeping bag duvets. Bryn and Cosmo took a spot below Demon Wall Roof, whilst Louis and I braved the open air nearby. A fairly uniform blanket of cloud meant it wasn't as enchanting a night as it might have been - stars and meteor showers alike were hidden from view - and our sleeps were naturally somewhat broken up. I found that my bivvy bag was surprisingly damp, so slept most of the night with my head protruding from it. Hat, hood and buff kept me warm, and this allowed me to see the sky - it may not have been its best, but I'd still rather feel that I was under it. Louis had no buff, and improvised a solution by putting his shorts on his face - apparently surprisingly effective!

Sunday morning haze

Bryn was up first, before the rest of us were disturbed at around 930 by the arrival of another climber. I put my shoes on for the first time this visit and surprised myself by putting The Crucifix to bed with little trouble. A splendid Sunday morning tick, given how achy I was from climbs earlier in the week and from the less than luxurious sleeping conditions.

Sunday morning daze

We gathered our belongings and made our way back to our vehicles. Bryn entertained us at his place with a very welcome cup of tea, and we resigned ourselves to a return to reality. We may have left sweet Almscliffe behind for the day, but we know she'll be waiting for us, and she knows we'll be back.
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