I climbed around the rain this weekend. Rain often either forces me to not go climbing at all, or forces me to finish climbing before I’m ready. This weekend looked like it was going to go that way again when it started raining after I had only done two problems at Stanage Far Right. It was particularly annoying as rain (and snow) had stopped me climbing in North Yorkshire a couple of months ago, and for some time I’d been wanting to go back to Stanage Far Right to see if I could finish the green circuit.
The far right hand end of Stanage is a brilliant place for easier bouldering. The problems are varied, interesting and (usually) above good landings. The views are brilliant. It’s also only a ten minute walk from the car parking (which is a definite plus when there’s a chance you might get rained off). Despite this, it’s always been very quiet when I’ve been. Last weekend I only met three other boulderers the whole time I was there. The advantages of it being so overlooked are that the rock isn’t polished, and there’s no waiting to climb like there can be elsewhere at Stanage.
I was certainly the only boulderer there on Saturday morning huddling under an overhang (that was not as overhanging as I wanted in heavy rain and gusty winds). As I pulled on my waterproofs, I optimistically thought I could wait it out as rain hadn’t been forecast. But the rain kept coming, and I decided going gear shopping was a better use of my time. I felt slightly disappointed as I trudged back to the car.
That afternoon the clouds broke up and sun started coming through. I headed back up to Stanage Far Right, and had a probably the most productive afternoon I have ever had climbing in the Peak. I did lots of problems, pushed my grade a bit and had fun. I was surprised and pleased it had worked out.
Unfortunately, Sunday’s forecast was for showers increasing in frequency and intensity throughout the morning. Not great, but I took a chance that the rain might stay off long enough for me to get a few problems done at Curbar Edge. The Little Quarry area there has an even shorter walk in than Stanage Far Right, and so is perfect for chancing a climb on a showery day. I had also been wanting to climb a problem there called Fishy for a while, so I was really pleased that I managed to climb it just before a heavy shower hit.
I made a quick getaway, and ate lunch in my car while I worked out what to do next. It stopped raining shortly after lunch, and I began to wonder if I could sneak in a little bit more climbing. The rain radar on the Met Office’s weather app showed I had about an hour to two hours before the rain came back, so I rushed down to Curbar Fields. I got one more problem done before it really started raining and I stopped climbing for the weekend. I left feeling happy that I’d managed to fit in so much.