One of the things I like about bouldering is that it’s great when all you want to do is pootle. That’s all I wanted to do last weekend at The Roaches. I had a creeping cold that was developing a cough. The gritstone was green, wet and strong, blustery winds made sitting belaying at the top of a crag look a bit unappealing. So I spent my time wandering around the boulders, doing low-grade routes that looked interesting and weren’t so slimy and wet that my feet would skate off them. Moving at a gentle pace and just focusing on how to move on the rock really cleared my head and relaxed me.
To make the weekend even better, I got to see the inside of the Don Whillans Memorial Hut. I’ve been past that iconic oddity tucked into the rocks at the bottom of The Roaches so many times and wondered what it looks like inside. With some friends staying there, I got to see and it is an amazing building (particularly the kitchen).
In the end, the tiredness caused by my cold and the limited number of boulders sheltered enough that the crash pads wouldn’t blow away brought an end to my climbing on Sunday. I didn’t mind. I finished my lovely pootle by ambling off to the nearby tearooms.
Me climbing Left Arete on The Rippler boulder.
Boulders on the Upper Tier of The Roaches.
Me climbing Nose Arete on The Nose boulder.
Climbing The Bishop’s Move problem on Joe’s Boulder.
Climbers on the Upper Tier at The Roaches.
Me climbing the boulder problem Goat’s Gruff on the base of The Roaches’ Upper Tier.
Me climbing Pine Arete on Pine Tree Slab.
The Don Whillans Memorial Hut.
The memorial plaque in the Don Whillans Memorial Hut.
The view from the Don Whillans Memorial Hut.
The kitchen of the Don Whillans’ Memorial Hut, built among the rocks.
Me making the first few moves on the Slab 2 problem on Blister Slab.
Me climbing Classic Arete on The Big Block.
Climbing Classic Arete on The Big Block.
Me climbing the tricky start of the Sail Slab (actually, it’s only the start that is remotely tricky).