Apart from a few little climbs on our local crags at Symonds Yat we had never really done any climbing outdoors. Tony and I wanted to learn to lead climb so we enlisted the help of our climbing friend Chris and headed off to the Lake District. Little did we know what was in store.....
"What sort of thing do you want to do?" asked Chris. "Well" we said, "we are newbies and quite nervous about climbing big stuff still so something nice and easy please Chris"...................... So, when we arrived at the base of the Bowderstone Pinnacle in the Borrowdale Valley we both looked at each other with just a wee bit of trepidation. But, Chris is one of those typical, laid back South Africans and just smiled his smile and continued to get everything prepared for our first ever multi-pitch climb.
Yes mutli pitch. We were thinking we would go and play on Brown Slabs, gradually building up to the steeper more exposed stuff. But no, we couldn't get a parking space so Chris just shrugged, smiled and here we were.
Bowderstone Pinnacle is only classified as a Diff. Which isn't exactly that challenging, I mean Tony and I quite happily climb well above that level on the climbing wall and I have even done an the odd E1 climb at Symonds Yat so why were we no shaky?
All I can think is that it was the feeling of exposure. We were really high up and climbing up an arete. We weren't actually that far up in terms of distance from the starting point but it felt like we were really, really, really, really high!
Chris was totally laid back, he shot up leading with no trouble at all, for him this was literally a walk in the park, he was brought up climbing the big stuff and Yosemite has been his playground. So, we were determined to do it and boy oh boy, the thrill and exhileration when I topped out was something I had never felt before. I was LOVING it!
However, Tony had to do the second pitch as the rain came in, so a slight overhang and a chimney was made all the more difficult my slippery rock. But, he had his male pride to keep him going.
It was a great climb, I loved and hated every minute of it! Roll on the next time.....
Bowderstone Pinnacle for more information follow this link HERE.