Whilst Hyll Drem is synonymous with wet days and laps of the Girdle, you (or I for that matter) forget that it has some stellar routes that are worth a visit when the conditions aren’t sub-optimal. Choosing a venue for a day like today, blue skies and sunshine if in the right place, and frost still on the ground as we drove back if the shade remained is a bit of an art.
However, if you then put into the equation four climbers with different agendas, then you can spend half the day arguing the toss and get little actual climbing done. Not that we were arguing but before we left we had to watch Ollie on Mr Fantastic (waddage!) and Katz of Elementary Wall. Not to mention some other Facebook actions.
Like Newton who came up with the inverse square law of gravitational forces, I to have done some research crunched some number s and above all created a mathematical rule of thumb. Its call the Reeves’ Square Law of Pontification. You take a meeting time and place for climbers, say ten o’clock at Dave’s, then to get the time you actually leave Dave’s you do the following.
Time for Pontification = N2+∑EFV+CN
Where N is equal to the number of climbers and E, F, V represent the grade of the last route climbed by each of the climbers present in either E grade, F Grade or V grade, and C refers to number of coffees to the power of N.
Simples, so it took us an age to leave the house, and Dave had tagged me for climbing, whilst we had set the big guns up together. Ollie despite climbing V Hard, wanted an ‘easy day seconding’, So we teamed him up with Caff, and tried not to laugh too loudly when Caff declared he was getting on Raging Bull, a tricky E5 6c.
Basically it is an upside down coffin, with less pegs than the guidebook suggests, and various big names have seen epics on the route.
Dave and I went for Hardd, E2 neither of us had climbed, and what’s more it was *** and in Hard Rock (Well we think it is, can’t be bothered to Google the list). Dave did pitch one the main event, and did well. I seconded and just looked at the awesome swing potential as I stripped the gear before the crux. Thankfully my feet stayed on.
I then lead the last 4c pitch, and I swear given a 4c grade I was thinking of a nice VS pitch. Whilst it was never desperate, if a VS leader got on it they’d be pumped before they left the belay. It goes through some truly outrageous terrain, on good holds, but generally you feet are below you. I got back and looked in the old guide and they gave it 4b. I mean what were they thinking?!
All the while whilst this was happening Caff was engaged in more the sort of behavior you’d expect from those crazy wide boys Randall and Whittaker. At one point there was almost a defeat as the words Samurai Groove came up the cliff, but after some climbing up and down Caff put his foot to the floor, and I am gutted I missed the action, but cutting loose onto an armbar, and other wild moves.
As Caff and Ollie returned to the bags, I had to say well done to the youth. To which Caff said thanks, to which I replied, “Not you, you getting up there was a sure bet I was talking about Ollie!”
Good times in the sun.