Mike Reynolds, Paul Hyland, Nick Owens, Becky Crosby, Patrick Heston, Dave Woodhouse, Mick Collins, Steph Palmer, Joel Harman, Amy Crosby, Tanny Ahmed, Jenni Lees, Dave Tucker, Lol Baines.
In the early morning when we left Stafford it was a still sunny day with 10°C indicated on the dashboard and all the way to Leek it looked fantastic. Then as we got first glimpse of the Roaches the darker skies could be seen and the wind began to raise its head. By the time we got to Windgather it was blowing hard.
As the others arrived we decided to brave the elements. Wrapped up in 4-5 layers and hats on we recce’d the crag. We split up into groups of two’s and three’s and started to gear up. Most opting for routes in the Diff to Vdiff range.
There were many first’s; Tanny, Jenni, Lol and big Dave all had their first experience of climbing on rock and Joel had his first lead climb.
Patrick and Steph ticked off some impressive routes before lunch but both failed on the big one, Leg Up an awkward HVS 5a, the trick is, which leg goes up first? I’m sure they’ll be a re-match some time!
Big Dave had a struggle with the chimney at the top of Wall Climb and a good old belly flop and roll finally got it sorted.
Tanny got her foot stuck on Chockstone Chimney for what seemed an age for Mike who was belaying in the high wind chilled top out position.
Becky achieved her goal in on-sighting The Medicine graded at HS 4a** which she had been wanting to do for a while but conditions weren’t right.
One unfortunate slip by Lol prevented her carrying on and she had to retire. Get well soon.
By 4pm we all were either getting cold and /or tired so we adjourned to the Swan for refreshments. A thoroughly good day was had by all. Pics can be found here: