Pembroke and more.

17th Sep 2010

I’m starting to feel a bit more like a climber now. We are two weeks into ‘Climbing Great Buildings’ being shown on the TV and I’ve managed a trip to Pembroke- hooray!

I have actually been able to watch the shows, which I am quite surprised about. I thought I would be cringing my way through but was pleasantly surprised at how nice the shows are looking. It’s been really interesting to see how they’ve been edited and which bits have been used and not used. I am getting lots of nice feedback from various quarters, so a big thank you to everyone who has been emailing in- it’s much appreciated. Apparently, we have 1.1 million viewers per show, which is amazing! It’s a bit of a shame though that the pope’s visit has postponed the two shows for this Thursday and Friday but hey, I suppose he is quite important to a proportion of our community. And at the end of the day, it’s only a TV show!

I really wanted to see the Clifton Suspension Bridge one before I went to Italy (on Sunday). But now it will be shown on Monday, so I’ll miss it’s first airing- I think it will quite a good one.

Anyway, I’ll have to catch up on all the ones I miss on the iplayer when I get back.

My trip to Pembroke with Alex was very good for the soul. Even though we had two very wet days, we still had three lovely days climbing and it really was sunbathing weather.

We were a good partnership, as I was just happy to climb anything. I had no agenda apart from climbing on rock and trying to get a tan. Whereas Alex has the whole of Pembroke to tick. She was intent on mainly 3star E3’s and you can’t get a much better place than Pembs for that! So I pointed her at the classics and she had a ball climbing them, finding some easy and some not so easy!

I just enjoyed moving on rock, I have to admit it felt very strange at first and my body was a bit confused at being asked to climb on steep trad routes again after a break (also my feet were killing me! They aren’t used to be squeezed into small boots!!). But it was lovely being down there and soaking up the sun. I even led a couple of routes that I hadn’t done before- ‘Coriolis Affair’ E2 5c 2*, down at Trevallen being a highlight.

Alex went swimming in the sea a couple of times in the rain and even I ventured in on our last day, it was fantastic. We went down to the lovely Broadhaven beach, the rain was gently falling and the wind was gently blowing and the sea was calm with lovely little waves coming in. I had no intention of going in, as I was shivering with cold up in the car park with all my clothes on (I’m such a wimp). But the beach seemed so idyllic and the sea just called me in. I found a cave to shelter in and keep my clothes dry (I was going to skinny dip but I could see some people heading down to the beach), so I splashed into the sea in my undies and t-shirt- it was bloomin’ cold. But once I got used to it, as always, I warmed up and had a swim about. It was a lovely thing to do on our last day especially because we’d been robbed of any climbing. The other bonus was the people I had seen coming down to the beach, were actually rescuing a baby seal. It had been stranded there by the high tides and winds and needed help. They reckoned it was only about 3 days old and it was just as cute as you’d imagine a baby seal to be. Pure white, with big black eyes and the size of a slightly smaller Kodo. It was a lovely thing to happen on a dismal day and it’s chances looked good. The rescuers were sure it would feed up fine and they’d release it once it was ready.

Back in Sheffield, I’ve had a session at the Foundry, which was entertaining for everyone except me! My arms don’t feel like mine at the moment, they feel like they are made from jelly rather than muscle. Oh well, I’ll get it back at some point. Alex and I had a funny day yesterday out in the Peak. We actually visited three different crags (Kodo was pleased, lots of walking) but only managed to rack up three routes between us, what a pair! Our psyche for the grit wasn’t high!! We did get a bit pumped though, which is always helpful.

I am now getting excited about the International Meet I’m going on to Italy. Tom Randall and myself are heading to Valle dell Orco in Northern Italy, it looks like a fantastic granite area of big routes and cracks. It might be time for me to tape up. After a little bit of jamming yesterday, my hands are feeling a bit pink, they’ve gone a bit soft over the summer.

Anyway, I’ll be away for a week and hopefully will meet lots of interesting people from around the world. A report will follow on my return.

Enjoy the rest of ‘Climbing Great Buildings’, if you manage to catch them.

Cheerio for now.