The chalk storms, the rain dribbles, the snow begins to fly and the sun beats down on foreign climbs.
It's climbing wall season - and hey let's pray for beautiful autumn days out on rock as well - time to plan trips to Sun Rock, time to sharpen the axes in preparation for, we hope, another amazing season, and yes those bloody students are gathering en masse at a crag near you.
There's no better way of getting fit, and maybe even climbing a bit harder, than committing yourself to the BMC Leading Ladder - or climbing with a super multi-sport athlete like Jon Morgan as I did this afternoon at The Edge in Sheffield as the rain beat down on Steel City's pavements. I live in hope.
The BMC Leading Ladder is a fun and informal competition held at many of our local walls - 30 of them - with routes ranging from 5+ to 8a. They start early October and end in March.
Full details here: The BMC Leading Ladder Explained
Dates and Venues are here: BMC Leading Ladder Dates 2010 - 2011
With the students back and hard at work studying, it's time for the university climbing clubs to take their fresh meat out to the crag. This can cause problems, and raise tempers if the crag you decided to spend your precious Saturday or Sunday is crowded with new climbers taking their first steps into the vertical world - some crags get as busy as Malham Lower Wall or Kilnsey Crag on a dry weekend!
Some clubs have already posted on the UKC forums alerting climbers where they are going to be and a big thanks for that.
However, Rob Dyer, the new BMC Access & Conservation Officer, has formalised this 'Freshers's Meet Alert' with a post in the BMC forums at UKC, he writes:
Here's a link to the BMC's 'Green Guide to the Uplands' which gives advice on group use of crags in sections 11, 12 and 13 (pages 20-24): www.thebmc.co.uk/greenguides
I've also emailed all the Uni Club contact email addresses we have in the BMC database in case they don't check UKC. Post away and happy climbing!"
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