Guy and Simon battle the elements
In what turned out to be a ‘David and Goliath’ affair The Buffalo Boys went North
to Stanage for a weekend that was intended to kick-start their outside year on
real rock after a winter of inaction and plastic.
However what was billed as a pre-season friendly became a slightly stiffer test
as the home team brought out their big hitter – The Wind.
Saturday dawned hopeful and with a pre-prepared slimmed down ‘Stanage rack’ and
single rope we set out with lighter packs than usual.
“Be bold, start cold” the maxim goes, and it was yes to both as I left North Lees
in a t-shirt then as we hit the path atop Stanage the wind really showed its
At the Left-Hand End we dropped down and opened up the ‘definitive’ – what a
fantastic book. If you haven’t got it, put it on your birthday list – and sorted
out a route.
You can call me “Rusty Cobweb” I thought as I struggled seconding a route I
should have found a lot easier, but joining Simon at the top I was just bloomin’
happy be on real rock again.
The conditions precluded extremity and as we meandered back toward North Lees we
looked for jolly entertainment: we found routes that we’d not done before and
came across a whole area that was new to us both.
High points grade-wise, if you’re looking for such, were Simon’s flashing of a
cracking 5c problem that I could only just start (thus showing the benefits of
bouldering – hey ho, perhaps I will have to give it a go sometime), and his
on-sight of a tricky HVS despite an attack of cramp at the crux.
At close to six, with the sun going and the cloud coming, the whistle blew for
half time with The Wind slightly ahead on points.
Sunday; and the second half saw ‘Howling’, The Wind’s bigger and meaner brother,
brought off the sub’s bench.
Things get skewed in such conditions however I think, on the day, we gave a fine
account of ourselves and the smile that came onto my face atop Christmas Crack
stayed with me all the way home on the team bus; a pint of coffee and a
slab of flapjack at Outside having set us up for the journey.
The Wind may have got the better of us in some ways but it was a Pyrrhic victory:
it will always be remembered as bitter and cold whilst the weekend had fun and
warmth writ large on it.