That Golden Summer

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 Greenbanks 11 Feb 2022

As we veer sharply away from a non-Winter towards what hopefully will be a Summer to remember, I'm left reflecting on what has been my 'best ever'. It was 1995 I think - and something of a heat-wave, I recall.

My July/August and early autumn highlights included: Mortician, Banzai Pipeline and Conclusion (a 3-crag day in Borrowdale); Golden Slipper as the sun came up and the magic of an inversion in Langdale; Dovedale Grooves (on my list after watching the Bonnington/Whillans effort!); a magic day and wild camp in Eskdale for The Red Edge, Great Central and my hardest solo, Bridges - what was I thinking?); that sojourn in North Wales with Dave - Munich Climb, Cemetary Gates and crawling all over the Mot) then relaxing in Pembroke, punctuated by Strait Gate and other less demanding gems. It never stopped giving - even Scotland was generous in that regard, donating Centurion and Bullroar on the Ben and Spartan Slab further East. The sun shone & we felt like kings. Lots to cherish and hopefully lots more to come.

When was your 'Golden Summer'?

 alan moore 11 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

1976. Every day hot and it never seemed to rain. Playing whizzwheels on the lawn. Play tent stayed out all summer. Queueing up with pots and buckets behind the water truck,  with me Mum, after the reservoir ran dry. I was 10 at the time.

 DaveHK 11 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

1999 I did Shibboleth, The Bat and Carnivore on consecutive weekends. All three were right on my limit but I climbed them well. That was pretty special.

 jimtitt 11 Feb 2022
In reply to alan moore:

Yup 76. I was a "dole climber" in Swanage at the time (actually Professional and Executive Register if anyone can remember that far back in the social welfare system), one sweated up routes in the Ruckle, went boating a lot and the Guiness was f#cking awful due to the lack of cold cellars. Changed to lager. Dope plants at St Aldhelms Head died from lack of water

 Tom Valentine 11 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

Looks like a list of great routes I never got round to doing.... 

OP Greenbanks 11 Feb 2022
In reply to Tom Valentine:

Summer 2022 is going to be lovely...get at it!

In reply to Greenbanks:

1986, Left Wall,Foil, T-Rex, The Dervish, Face Route, Wide Spread Ocean of Fear.........

It’s been down-hill ever since🙂

In reply to Greenbanks:

Same as you! Summer 1995 in the Lakes and my first proper experiences of multi pitching.

Yes, it was amazing weather. The end of my first year at Lancaster Uni and endless fine days lay ahead.

Engineers Slabs in the evening sun as my first mountain multi pitch. Bivvying at Great Moss with just down jackets and karrimats and doing Bridges Route and Red Edge (that bold start, never HVS).

A weekend at Wasdale Head. Botterills Slab and Mickledoor Grooves on the same day.

Centaur and Yellow Slab. Broad Stand in descent between the two felt harder than both. Tophet Wall in early morning sunshine with strawberries for breakfast at the top as a nod to the first ascentionists.

Thanatos/Electron combination as my first route on Pillar. Later learnt that many people wait years for this to be dry.

I'm a different kind of climber nowadays. I can't wait for it to warm up a bit so I can get to Clattering Stones, the Dovestones on the Yorks/Lancs boundary, Sypeland and Ash Head.

So much to do and so little time!

 Tom Valentine 11 Feb 2022
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Did Thanatos/Electron as part of a three route day in the 80s ( plus Overhanging Groove and Vandal). When you walk in from Wasdale and do 3 routes on Pillar you know you've been climbing

In reply to alan moore:

Aye, 1976. I was 14. Parents grew 48 lbs of strawberries. Sun never stopped shining.

Post edited at 23:00
 the sheep 12 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

Can’t remember the year but the first time I did Mango at The Brand after finding it out as a local crag was wonderful 

Just a perfect place in private grounds that still allows people to climb 

The ambience of the day was perfect warm, quiet, wagtails flying around us picking off insects 

The ab in was round the corner as the route was above water so a wee traverse to gear up at the base was fab to take in the location. It’s surrounded by some bloody hard routes!

Anyway the route was an absolute joy, hard for me at the time but the moves flowed, I got the right gear in when needed and topping out was euphoric!

The most  memorable single pitch route I have done 😊

In reply to Greenbanks:

2010.  Back from foreign travels with a yearning to climbing anything anywhere, and my logbook shows I seemed to get out most every weekend and most mid-weeks too.  I knew no fear and no-one I knew had ever died climbing.  Halcyon days!  Avon, Wye Valley, Gower and Dartmoor.  I'd wake up raring to go and just get out and touch the rock.

2011 and I became a parent and everything changed : )

In reply to Greenbanks:

I had two 'golden summers' of climbing. The first in 1968 (Moderate to HVS in three weeks in perfect weather in N Wales), the second in 1983 (that was while I was working very hard at Pinewood in the film industry, going climbing every other weekend, working all weekend the other weekend) - a 'second wind' in my climbing career, found myself floating up things like Weaver, Vector, Cemetery Gates, Curfew, Nexus, Debauchery, West Flank Route. Soloing loads on SE sandstone like Unclimbed Wall and the Bowles Girdle (by far the best route, surely, on southern sandstone??).

Plus a whole succession of amazing trips to the Lakes on many different summers ... would need to look at my log book, classics on Gimmer, Gable, Pillar, Scafell, etc.

Post edited at 03:15
In reply to Greenbanks:

As others have said, 1976; endless sun and the year my Munro bagging really got going. Also 1984, camping beneath the Cromlech, pushing grades and picking off all the classics in long days from Cloggy to Idwal. Also 2014, travelling around picking off all the rarely dry high mountain classics in Scotland.

In reply to DaveHK:

> 1999 I did Shibboleth, The Bat and Carnivore on consecutive weekends. 

I had a similar spell in the spring of 1992. Over three consecutive weekends we did (not in this order) Carnivore, Shibboleth, Yo-yo, Unicorn, Scansor, Big Top, Spacewalk (sort of), Minus One Direct, The Bat, Torro and Titan's Wall. The concept of rest hadn't yet registered in those days!

 AlanLittle 12 Feb 2022
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

Was the Dervish still "E5" in 1986?

 AlanLittle 12 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

'84 started well on Skye. Eagles & otters on the hike round to Coruisk for the Dubh Slabs. The Ridge. Vulcan Wall, Trophy Crack, Grey Panther. Fell off my ground-up attempt at a new route on the last day and never made it back to finish the job.

Got cocky after I got back from Skye in June though, made an ill-advised attempt on the direct start to Brown's Eliminate on a hot, humid day in July. The resulting broken wrist and damaged knee cartilage put paid to the rest of the summer.

The Skye trip is still a lifetime high point though.

Post edited at 10:47
 The Lemming 12 Feb 2022
In reply to alan moore:

> 1976. Every day hot and it never seemed to rain. Playing whizzwheels on the lawn. Play tent stayed out all summer. Queueing up with pots and buckets behind the water truck,  with me Mum, after the reservoir ran dry. I was 10 at the time.

My best summer as well. 😀

I seem to remember 1976 was a washout with flooding.

Post edited at 10:54
 peppermill 12 Feb 2022
In reply to Greenbanks:

2011 was the first one, I'd say. Nothing hard done but for sheer volume it was superb, and still in those halcyon days before social meeja became the circus that it is today.

I was living in the lakes at the time with a flatmate that was super keen to get out climbing as much as possible, multi-pitching after work into the evening type stuff. I don't remember the routes and I'm pretty useless at logging stuff on here at the best of times, but I remember the company and the experiences, and who really gives a crap about anything else.

The cherry on the top of the season was my first trip to Yosemite with the same flatmate, no big walling, but day after day of big multipitch routes, having our mind blown by the exposure and generally living like a pair of dirtbags. I've been lucky enough to go back to the Valley since but nothing will top this trip.

I think the second one surprisingly is 2020. It didn't really start until the end of July due to travel restrictions, but my university course wasn't starting up again until October and several climbing partners were either still furloughed or working flexibly. Many E points accumulated with some of my closest friends, which I hadn't been capable of in about a decade, along with a few multi-day hikes just p*ssing off into the NW coast by myself.

Post edited at 11:00
 robate 12 Feb 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

What a great haul of routes!

In reply to Greenbanks:

My perfect summers day in perfect weather was not the one with the most e points, but we left the Peak early and travelled up to the Lakes. Walked in to Esk butress and climbed Cumbrian, then on up to E Butress to do Shere  Khan. Fish and chips in Ambleside and back home for a couple of pints at home. Went to bed totally content.

In reply to AlanLittle:

No, definitely Yorkshire HVS (E3)! 

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