: On The Wall
5th December 2013
rain and 50 m.p.h. gales - seems like an "interesting"
day out to me!
said Bryan when looking at the weather forecast.
we had a plan. One to keep the BOOTboys
out of the wind and wet yet, at the same
time, give them (and me) a quite relevant
to my surprise, when I told the boys the
plan for our Christmas Party outing, they
jumped at the idea.
of me had hoped that they might have rebelled
because I don't like heights.
to be more precise, I have no problem with
It's drops I don't like and
this plan would take us vertically upwards.
the instructors at the Climbing Wall at
in Kendal make sure that you are properly
equipped and properly looked after. No unroped
drops for nervous novices like me. You
just have to trust the guy at the other
end of the rope.
Stan and Graham, I knew, all had considerable climbing
experience but how would the rest of us fare?
can only recall ever having been rock climbing once
- a 1973 event, led by Graham and John PL if I remember
rightly, and infamous for the unexpected appearance
of Pete's cherries. For more (if you must) see BB0838,
I quickly decided it was not my sport. Why
should it be any different 40 years later?
were given what I thought was a warm welcome at the
Climbing Centre. Then I read the small print of
the declaration we had to sign:
recognise that climbing and abseiling at the Lakeland
Climbing Centre are activities with a danger of personal
injury or death.
am aware of and accept these risks and I will be responsible
for my own involvement
I should modify the BOOTboys
centre was remarkably busy with at least two other groups-
one of Parachute Regiment soldiers from Catterick, the
other a party of young secondary school girls. There
was also a number of individual climbers doing some
radical things, including a seven year old girl.
after being kitted out with boots that crimped your
toes and harnesses that challenged your manhood, was
on the bouldering wall. This is not, as I originally
thought, a serious of artificial rocks over which we
had to scramble but a wall with serious rock climbing
toe and hand holds, the main difference being that it
ran horizontally, not vertically, so you were never
more than a couple of feet of the ground.
we started going vertically, supervised by our excellent
instructor assisted in that role by Bryan, who is a
member. Everyone seemed to cope fairly well with
the actual climbing; being attached to the rope giving
great but perhaps misplaced confidence.
down, to my surpise, was even better fun.
of us found that climibing was tiriing on muscles of
novices who were placing too much effort onto their
arms and insufficient on their legs.
still, for me at least, was belaying- being the person
holding the rope and thereby responsible for your climber's
life and limb if you get it wrong. The biggest
problem I had was when James was abseiling off the wall
(i.e. coming down in small jumps). His weight,
being rather greater than mine, was in danger of lifting
me off the ground so Pete had to hold on to me to protect
James. Or me!
one disappointment was lunch. To be fair, they
do not pretend it is a gourmet café and are quite
happy for you to bring your own butties. I wish I had.
I opted instead for the fruity porridge pot. It
was my second porridge of the day and I wish I had stopped
at one. If I ever go back to the Climbing Centre I will
certainly avoid that delight.
lunch it was back to work, this time in the main hall
and climbing considerably higher. By now, the
squaddies had gained confidence and some were going
seriously high. One of them appeared to be getting
into difficulties and had to be abseiled down with three
of his colleagues securing the rope.
the main room
noticed one climber some eighty feet off the round,
in a ridiculous position, seemingly hanging horizontal
quite what it seems. Click pic to
storming the battlements
star of the show, though, was the seven year old girl.
Without a morsel of fear, she hared up some forty
feet or so, putting us all to shame.
seemed to have enjoyed the experience and most of us
went home to bathe aching muscles in preparation for
the evening's strenuous activities, hoping their arms
would still do their job properly.
is not me up there!
time was at Infusion
in Kendal once again. As has become the norm,
no longer do we invite the girls to dine out on the
same night but at a different restaurant. Just
at a different table, which I think they prefer anyway
rather than being mixed with the uncouth.
of the boys were setting new standards in sartorial
red trouser boys
did a great job in looking after us and everyone seemed
to enjoy the meal.
then embarrassed me by calling everyone to order following
which he made a short speech on behalf of the boys and
presented me with the Tubular
Fells map of the Lake
District. To explain, this shows the peaks of
the Wainwright books, laid out in the manner of the
London Tube map, each book being represented as a different
line in a different colour.
was a "Thank You" for undertaking the task
of being the group's convernor, photographer and scribe
and was totally unexpected. It is me who should
be thanking them. Without their companionship
and willingness to accompany me on these adventures,
I think I would be turning into a rather chubby and
lethargic old man.
map is now hanging strategically in a small room that
is often frequented by our visitors although (which
seems appropriate) the boys are more likely to be able
to peruse it rather longer than the girls!
where exactly is it? Where it should be. On the
5th December 2013
took me to task for my comments last week. I can
do no better than repeat what he subsequently wrote
last thing I want to do is fall out with you after almost
45 years of friendship and friendly banter but I must
take umbrage and exception to your last report which
contained gross inaccuracies and editorial licence.
reading glasses which I use for walking were not bought
for £3 on Kendal Market.
was Morecambe Market and they cost £3.50!
what can I do but apologse? You cheapskate!
5th December 2013
climbed in feet:
Pete, Roger B, Roger T, Stan,
routes are normally put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. For once, you can't download
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
- although it may not be that up to date - see: Which
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
Likewise written comment.
otherwise, please feel free to download the material
if you wish.
A reference back to this website
would be appreciated.
.If I have
failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright, then I apologise.
. Please let me
know and I will do my best to put things right.
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