Castleberg Crag, Settle – Thursday 27th April

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Some days you curse the weather gods as the rain teems down or the chill wind blows and all you can do is go indoors and try to keep your strength up with yet another climbing wall session; then on other days you set off with a poor forecast, not expecting much, and the sun comes out, the rain stays away and you have a brilliant time. It seems so much sweeter when that happens, just as it did last Thursday at Castleberg crag, Settle. We had the contingency plan in place (Ingleton Wall) but instead we arrived in glorious sunshine and kept smiling all night as 9 of us battled with the steep challenges of this excellent little training crag.
Bern, myself and Matt tackled the classic Castleberg Outdoors 6c+, a guaranteed pumpout up the overhanging central corner while Peter, John and Linda worked their way through the very good climbs on the left side of the crag. Andy and Buxy worked hard at improving their Environmental Understanding (a tough 6c) but left defeated with more than a little respect for the grade. When climbs of this grade are only 14 metres high, they tend to be mean! Andy somehow managed to engineer his way across to an adjacent route and got to the lower-off and retrieved his gear that way, otherwise it could have been an expensive night for him!

                                                                           

And just as we were about to pack up anyway, the heavens opened and we scuttled down to the Talbot Arms below the crag for a friendly pint or two of golden ale and packets of crisps, the perfect finish to an excellent night’s climbing!              Rob Smitton

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