Well it was an Alpine start in the Dam... 6am departure from Amsterdam which I grant is not a REAL alpine start, but this is not the REAL Alps, is it :-)
Picked up Lin and Kieran on route...
I was 280km to Durnal, we got a full tank of gas, half a thermos of tea, it was dark and we're wearing beanies...
The drive down, spirits were high and a variety of tunes fuelled by large amounts of antici..pation everyone eager to get there as soon as.
With just a topo and no clear directions Lin insisted we asked directions much to the anger of the boys in the car as it was totally unnecessary :-P
Thanks to her rather impressive French we were soon parked up, packs on backs and heading to the old quarry that is Durnal.
With the entire crag to ourselves we had the choice of routes. Starting off with a nice little 4a we warmed up both physically and psychologically.
The quarry has only recently been made into a climbing location so there was a large amount of 'rubble' at the base warning us that our helmets, whilst looking rather odd, were here very important.
The routes are not very long, 20 to 30 meters and are well bolted, but the rock itself is often loose and many of the holds require cleaning to make them usable, but the sun poked it's head out from time to time and with some care the routes fell one by one.
We all took turn on the lead, pulling the rope through each time and managed to 'send' half a dozen routes, 4c, 5a and 5b.
Around lunch time some locals turned up (including our very own Patrick, thanks to whome we had a topo) though it was never 'busy'.
By 3.30 I forced the gang to pack up and dragged them kicking and screaming "just one more route" back to the car for the trip home.
The car back was full of stories of clipping bolts and making future plans to return with that fantastic feeling of having a day out at the crag... Lin promptly fell asleep though Kieran was a little too scared of my driving to relax that much :-)
Finally back... everyone dropped off... I enjoyed a bottle of wine and an early night.
There are some pics on the site.
Looking forward to the next time.