It's going to be hard to log what is one of the best trips I've ever been on but here goes.
In a week of the best camp cooking ever, crazy shakespeare quotes and some of the best weather the UK could throw at us - Andreea, Flo, Kieran and myself got to grips with some of the best rock on the planet, gods very own Gritstone.
The 4 day forecast was perfect and the reality didn't dissapoint. After a welcome stop over at Kierans place and with stomachs full of bacon sandwiches and copious amounts of tea we headed north to the North Lees camp ground near stanage.
Once pitched we headed to Bamford Edge and found we had the entire crag to ourselves in glorious sunshine.
The Ambers 2011 Trad trip had begun - Eastern Grit.
Taking the first afternoon nice and easy, Flo, Kieran and myself slowly settled back into the world of Trad - Andreea dropped in at the deep end - soon picked up the ropes and looked like she'd been playing with friends/nuts her entire life ;-)
The following 2 days saw all of us at Bamford reveling in the idyllic weather and the great rock.
Each evening head chef Andreea rustled up food the likes of which I never thought possible whilst camping... though her secret ingredient (the wild little blue berries found growing all around) were not totally appreciated.
On day 3 Kieran insisted on popping his Stanage cherry so (joined by Guido & Dave of our sister site YorkClimbers.com) we picked off some quality routes on one of the best crags in the area.
By now we were so accostomed to the glorious weather that as we drove west to the Roaches we were a little shocked by a couple of rain spots.
Western Grit - The Roaches.
The Roaches is an amazing series of cliffs, Guido had arranged for us to stay in the CC Hut.
We arrived expecting a glorified shed and found ourselves staying in a mini castle - the Don Whillans memorial hut.
For those who are unaware of this formidable character read this. The castle is amazing, the kitchen is built into a cave and Andreea definitely made the most of the luxury - knocking up banquette after banquette.
From the Hut it's literally 20m to the crag - climbing doesn't get much better.
The Roaches is much more imposing than the Eatern grit edges we'd been to and we were soon found testing our mental fortitude.
The following few days saw us all going for broke, Flo ticking off his first E1 - way to go Flo!
The weather continued to be a concern with occasional showers which saw us ducking for cover or climbing in the rain.
The daily schedule ran along these lines...
Kieran ducked off early with a burning desire to hear all about some Take That concert ;-)
As with all good things after 3 nights we could no longer stay in the hut so after bidding a fond farewell to Guido we migrated the 1/2 mile down the road to a campsite and were joined by the aptly named Craig.
For the last 2 days with unsettled weather we still managed to get quite a few ticks.
Bundled into the car we headed south for an over night in London (thanks CJ) and after a pit stop in Portsmouth (to meet Alan) we were chunnelling bound for France and NL.
What a great week - some amazing experiences and some fantastic photo's :-)
Roll on next years Trad trip.
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