Andrew Munro, Max Hewkin-Smith and Billy Taylor and I drove to Thorpe Farm in Hathersage on the morning of 21st of March. Secured in the boot were plenty vittles and drinks for the week, along with all of the necessary hardware and ropes that make a climbing trip. The roof was loaded with bouldering mats and Max and Andy had to be shoehorned into the back seat of my Corsa, but all was good, Dr Jones was blasting out of the tape deck, the sun was shining, aviators were sported and HGVs were pacing us on all sides.
The remaining five that made up the rest of the group (Chris Logan, Sian Hughes, Jacob Roelofs, Chris the Ward and Tom Wright) took the equally gruelling 3 hour train journey from Cambridge. On arrival at Hathersage they were greeted with a 10 minute unloading of the car and a solid afternoon’s climbing at Stanage Edge. This trip was to be the first taste of both gritstone and trad climbing for many members of the trip, while udging up climbs with little or no technique was pretty painful, and desperately trying to find a placement for our hand-me-down hexes was pretty sketchy, it certainly trumped Cambridge life.
The group took the 45 minute walk into Stanage every morning for the rest of the week, climbing routes of a variety of grades both on top rope, and on lead, everyone had the chance to trad a few routes for the first time. On the Thursday a group of 6 selected to take the 2 hour 10km hike to Horseshoe Quarry, a popular limestone sport climbing area. This provided another opportunity for the group to test out another style of climbing, and the 20m+ pitches definitely put some perspective on the glorified bouldering we’d been doing at Stanage.
After a fantastic last day, with pretty much everyone leading a top 50 route, the group headed back to Cambridge on the 25th. A brief, and pretty much uncontested race to the bar ensued, everyone began trading tales of battle, the ales were poured, and the Chinese takeaways were ordered up from Dojo’s, a good trip indeed.
- James Taylor
The cost of the trip was £70, and included decent bunkhouse accommodation, top grub, a training session at the Castle Climbing Centre in London and use of the college equipment. The leaders were:
James Taylor - Captain - 4th Year Engineering
Andrew Munro - President - 3rd Year Medicine
Chris Logan - Climbing Officer - 2nd Year Medicine
Sian Hughes - Voice of Experience - 4th Year Engineering