/ Hard Rock Challenge 10 years on today!

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Sam Mayfield - on 13 Jul 2017
Hard Rock by Ken Wilson (first published 1974), 22,000ft of climbing, 180 miles of walk ins, over 3000 miles of driving. Only two climbers are known to have climbed all 60 routes, and they took 10 years each to climb them. A team of two started their challenge attempt on the 13th July 2007. The climbers Rich Mayfield and Mark Stevenson completed all 60 routes in just five weeks during the worst Summer on record!

10 years ago today with support from UKC, DMM, Needlesports, Keith Sharples, loads of Celeb climbers and many many other people the boys did the first route in Chedder Gorge. Facebook was very young back then and not used much so we didnt have a page.

How many on here remember it?

How many said out loud it could not be done?

How many more people have since completed all the routes?

How many have not got a clue what the book is?

I am posting the blog posts each day on the facebook page, if anyone would like to follow what I am probably most proud of, and of the boys Rich (husband) and Mark then click like and follow.

I will be sorting out a new donation link from the MR later on today.

Sam Orange
Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Saturday, 14 July 2007
Day Two completed!

We drove from Bristol to Ardrossan in 7 and a half hours! So a late night for Simon and myself, the boys slept on route.

Alarm went off at 6am and a bit of a panic to pack, make sandwiches and film a short piece to camera! 7am ferry crossing and the boys have left me. Good job really as I need to sleep!

Taxi took the boys to Glen Sannox and then a nice walk up following a good path, pity about the rain.

11,000ft in the rain, all slimy and the wind decided to blow strongest as they attempted the crux! The Y cracks! Sun came out as the boys walked off. We then went and had a nice meal by the sea looking out across the water the Arran.


Tonight we are now driving to Poolewe in the far north west of the highlands so the boys can climb Dragon and Gob tomorrow.

Then off the Skye on Monday morning then the Harris crossing in the afternoon.

IMPORTANT - Next weekend we will be in Glen Coe so come and say hi and bring your wallets as you can buy the T-shirts from us. Saturday night in the Clachaig Inn.
Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:
Bad grammer in my sentence!

I didnt mean Keith was with us in the Gorge at the start that was the amazing Mr Simmonite! Who came and did shots all over with us.

Trust an editor to pull me up on my error!


David your email is working as sent a message saying sorry! xxx
Post edited at 13:06
Ian Parsons - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> Bad grammer in my sentence

> Trust an editor to pull me up on my error!

What's he like on spelling? [;-)]

Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

got to be wayyyyyy! better than me!

Dave was an absolute legend on this trip and I was stupid to miss his name off the first ones and put Keiths up! Blame the hormones or the heat as its baking the slabs over here in Bulgaria at the moment.

Sam luvs Dave xxx
Ian Parsons - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

....and what was that cheese, again?

[Gets coat, and puts it on over suit of armour!]
Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

you lost me!
Ian Parsons - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

You know: that really GORGEous variety.
Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

you could have just said, Sam you spelt Cheddar wrong!

Ian Parsons - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Sorry! Being of a certain [Monty Python] vintage I've long been a fan of cheese-based humour. Which prompts a recollection. I hope you're sitting comfortably.

Some years ago I encountered a French family in one of the pull-offs in The Gorge - probably the one opposite Pinnacle Bay; they were en voiture and, as I recall, en pique-nique. Said vehicle was parked tight against the steep slope and I suggested that it might be at some small risk of bombardment from on high, indicating by way of explanation a flock of local faunae - specifically the Mendipean Trundling Goat [or possibly Sheep] - munching its contented way across the overlying ground directly above. The odd stone clattered obligingly down, as if to prove the point. They thanked me politely and then Monsieur enquired, with no discernible irony, whether I knew of anywhere in the vicinity where it would be possible to "acheter du fromage". Bearing in mind that seemingly every other retail emporium on the drive up from the town appears to nestle behind a large sign bearing some claim wherein the word "cheese" is prominent, I can only assume that they had approached from the top end.
Sam Mayfield - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

or people at the orange house pressing the buzzer below the sign that says "tap water is drinkable" to ask "is the tap water ok to drink"

I could go on and on with them ones but would get might boring!

Now now gromit!
Mick Ward - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Ian Parsons:

A lovely story.

Sam Mayfield - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

I just tagged you Mick thats weird!

I said it would be good to know how many they did in the wet! I am sure it was more than 50%.

Day three was no update to the blog as I had no internet and the boys spent the night on island I think!

Sam xxx
Mick Ward - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Hi Sam,

Or did they spend the night on the island? (Yes, they probably did!)

Mick xxx
Ian Parsons - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

Too kind, Mick. Unfortunately I'm as yet unable to relate any experience - vaguely amusing or otherwise - involving an albatross.
Sam Mayfield - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Mick Ward:

I think they did, I wrote a daily diary but that is in storage in Spain, I really wish I had it now, that had just what I was feeling and not just the logistics. Idea was to get that typed up one day, but could have gossip and allsorts of crap in it! lol

Sam xx
Sam Mayfield - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Day Four was also radio silence.


Offwidth - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I remember enjoying a talk on this at Kendall... really ten years ago, yikes??
Sam Mayfield - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Tuesday, 17 July 2007
Day 5
Base Camp has not managed to get contact with the intrepid explorers today. We can only assume that this is a good sign and that progress is still going well.

Hopefully they made it onto 'Harris' successfully and therefore have no signal to the outside world.

We should have a report back from them sometime tomorrow so will update everyone as soon as possible.

Hope to see everyone in Glencoe on Saturday to cheer on the guys and sell some Hard Rock T-Shirts!!
Posted by Sam Rich Mayfield at 14:01

Sam Mayfield said...
Sis, Glad to see all is going well. Hope the boys are having fun with the weather. x. Little sis & rich....ard.

17 July 2007 at 14:41
The Mee's said...
Sis, Glad to see all is going well. Hope the boys are having fun with the weather. x. Little sis & rich....ard.

17 July 2007 at 14:48
Vicky and Derek said...
Hi Sam, Rich and Co.

Just wanted to let you know we are regularly checking the boys progress. Olivia says hello to Tufa! Glad to see everything seems to be going well (except Cheryl bless her!!). Hope you are coping with all that driving Sam. Hope to see you at Malham, save us a tshirt (Xlarge for del beer gut!!!)
Love to you all

Vicky, Del and Olivia xxxx

17 July 2007 at 16:02
Chris said...
Morning all,

Hope you're all on form. We're all off to Friedrichshaven to see all the new shiney climbing kit for next year.

Si, you need to give this watching/following thing a go, it is far better than the doing.....and you get a lot more sleep!!

Climb strong guys, and remember, if it was easy, you wouldn't be doing it.......and someone else would have done it before!!!!


17 July 2007 at 23:18
Denz said...
Fantastic project. I remember well when the book was published.... Hope the rest of the plans hold to schedule and our glorious summer weather doesn't put you off ;-)
Denzil - Oldham MRT
petestack - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

> How many on here remember it?

I do. Met them (maybe you too?) in the bar at Glenmore Lodge one night when I was there for ML Training and they came in and told us all what they were up to. Think from cross-checking your blog against my diary it must have been 5 August, which was the night before our course started, but do remember them being surprisingly full of beans given the conditions and also (I think) possibly collecting with a bucket?

Surprised to hear it's ten years ago!
Stuart S - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

I think possibly the only time I've seen you and Rich in the UK was at a Hard Rock Challenge event in Barnstaple, Devon (I think) in the summer of 2008. I was down visiting Gemma and we popped over for the day to say hi. Pretty sure Tufa was with you too - first time I met one of your dogs!
Sam Mayfield - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Stuart S:

lol small world! Tufa was amazing Hard Rock apart from when we lost her in Scotland all day!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Day Five - The Scoop
Arrived late at night in strong winds and had to drive up the most scary road! under a large water pipe.

Had an early night, but even so the boys would not get up early in the morning, are they trying to delay me thinks!

We all walked in with every bit of climbing gear the boys have.

No rain and the strong winds have dropped slightly so all looking good, until we try to scramble to the bottom of the climb! too wet and dangerous so the boys rope up! Gues what Rich has the wrong climbing shoes with him (he picked up Marks!) so Simon has a long walk back to get the right ones.

Pitch one at A3 takes Mark 5 hours, then Rich leads pitch two A1 in one hour. They then come back to the van for tea and to refresh ready for tomorrow.

We have booked the ferry out for Thursday so the boys have to do it all today!
Sam Mayfield - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to petestack:

ten years is a crazy amount of time and yes we did have a bucket and I am sure we met!

At one point soon we have to leave Scotland and then come back up as the weather was just too grim and dangerous! Poor lads had heads spinning most of the time and yes they stayed upbeat throughout the whole thing.

I think when someone just says go climbing, you climbers just say ok then!

Sam lol
Sam Mayfield - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Saturday, 21 July 2007
Day Nine - edition one
Sat at friends house in Inverness, thanks Kathy and Geoff. I will tell the story about Geoff later in the blog, he is one of the reasons we need to raise money for the mountain rescue teams!

We are here because 'Cheryl' is having the electrics fixed (we hope). The boys left early this morning to climb Yo yo, Trapeze and hopefully Carnivore, Rain is falling here in Inverness!!

Dave Simmonite arrived yesterday and getting some great shots, which hopefully I can get on the blog later tonight when we go back to the pub.

Plan is that we have one more day here and then head to do The Old Man. Hoping that the weather inproves as we come back down to finish off the Scottish leg!

The boys are really tired now, but not moaning at all. Dont know how long that will last though. I am very proud at the moment, but they still have a long way to go.

Be back later tonight to let you know how they got on.

Posted by Sam Rich Mayfield at 03:24
No comments:
Sam Mayfield - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Sunday, 22 July 2007
Day Ten
Well we are on the road again, this time all the way to Hoy! Looking forward to that.

Here is a list of the routes so far to keep you up todate.

Coronation Street
South Ridge Direct
The Scoop
The Great Prow
Yo yo

The boys are a few routes down but the weather is not looking good for the next few days so we will be back in Fort William in a few days. The van is now fixed (at last) so all ok logistically. The boys are really starting to get tired, legs and arms aching! Still up beat though and having fun.

Photos below from last few days

Cheryl before we got her electrics fixed in Inverness.

The Sherpas getting ready to carry the bags! I thought this was supposed to be 'Hard' for them?

Posted by Sam Rich Mayfield at 04:35

Joe Coll said...
Hi Sam and Rich,
Sorry I couldn't get up there to the Coe to cheer you on. Well done so far and best of luck. It's not quite the weather the Oranges are used to in Spain.

22 July 2007 at 13:22
john said...
well done lads i thought the scoop could be a stopper how are you coping with the midges??Spent a week at the orange house 2 weeks ago 35deg. got some routes done but spent a lot of time by the pool.Keep on rockin.

John Warby
Skyfall - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Remember it well. Where does the time go ?!

Sam Mayfield - on 23 Jul 2017
In reply to Skyfall:

you tell me! They say its getting faster as you got older and that is defo true!
Sam Mayfield - on 26 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Day Eleven
Drove to the ferry port at the Scrabster and went over on the last ferry. Got a great view of 'The Old Man' from the boat. Boys getting excited.

Decided to stay on a campsite and head to the council one in Stromness - the best site I have ever stayed at, it had just the most amazing views out over the water. Sun shining and a guy even turned up the play the bag pipes for us.

Early start in the morning in thick cloud, we left the van on the Main land and took the little ferry across to Hoy, the taxi up to the start of the 3 mile walk in and its now raining!

I setup the camera at the top looking across where we thought 'The Old Man' should be, great day for me! Not!. Boys go down the path and all I hear is voices in the mist!

After about an hour I get woken by Simon on the radio saying "wake up and start filming!", Wow what a view, the mist starts to clear and I can make out 3 little figures on the rock infront of me. Yes 3 as Simon has always wanted to climb this route.

Back to the great campsite and a great day was had by all.
Posted by Sam Rich Mayfield at 10:01
Sam Mayfield - on 29 Jul 2017
In reply to Sam Mayfield:

Day 17!!!!

We left Scotland and made the drive South to Yorkshire as the boys started to get disheartened! The sun came out, the friends came to see us and all was well in the world!

Update above and some great photos that people took for us.

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