North Wales Weekend Trip
by Lewis Fisher
As if the drive up wasn’t long enough normally, my car had to search high and low for a bag of penne in what seemed like a post-apocalyptic Tesco’s. Despite the madness we made it to Dolawen, claiming beds and cooking as quick as we could. We slowly welcomed the other cars to North Wales’ best bunkhouse and the night soon descended into madness. A multipurpose slackline was set up which acted as a swing, chair, skipping rope, and carpet burn deliverer, after Mike threw me off it whilst I was trying to relax. That night Max gave birth to his greatest creation, Maxi Patties, who featured pop-eye forearms whose size was only rivaled by his glorious nipples. After we stood in awe at this masterpiece, we switched our attention to the SUMC International Sock Wrestling Championships. There were many match ups, some more biased than others (like anyone who went against Mike ‘the wall’ Palfrey), but the reigning champ has to be Marta, who took out her competition with a fierce knee to the eye.
Bored by the amount of people harnessed to the roof, Max’s eyes turned to the cupboard of cake that was left for us by the owner. His conquest for this evening was the Victoria Sponge, of which he devoured 80% in one mouthful with the help of James and his overly aggressive feeding methods. The fate of the other three cakes will soon be revealed, they were not left don’t you worry.
Special shoutouts to the sweetest freshers in the world, who arranged a secret awards ceremony for the committee, appreciating the work we do for the club (of which there is plenty of). Midnight also brought Abby’s 19th birthday! After the bunkhouse was filled with happy birthday songs and cheers, she baked her traditional birthday brownies, which were devoured straight from the baking tin in around 30 seconds, and were delicious.
We must say the early morning wake up and efficiency was impressive on Saturday morning, with everyone ready to leave by 9AM, the glorious weather must have peaked their interests. We headed down to Little Tryfan, unphased by the slight drizzle and set up at the base of the impressive (and wet) slab. I gave a lesson on how to lead a multipitch, running through sling anchors, pitch belaying, and gear placement, and then the kids were let loose on the range of VDiffs (still wet). A traffic jam on a belay ledge gave a group of us the perfect selfie opportunity, before climbing the last pitch together (still pretty wet). Halfway through the day a large portion of the group returned to the cars, defeated by the rain, and turned to the only sensible solution, an EDM car rave lead by the bass line junkie himself, Max. The troopers that stayed tackled some more trad in the rain (very, very wet), with myself and Robinson crushing a two pitch in the typical Welsh weather.
The wet forced the group back to the bunkhouse, where a combination of beer and tiredness lead to an overly intense game of trivial pursuit, followed by an even more intense game of articulate. After sweeping the articulate board and claiming the trophy the next game was Zoinkers, which will be remembered for sparking Max’s most annoying catchphrase ‘ZOINKS’! Some how an innocent game of zoinkies erupted into Sam being stoned with Jenga bricks, cards, and connect 4 counters, but in this madness the club found their new mascot, the gub (if you know, then toad rider you know). The rest of the night seems like a fever dream, the committee took a timely retreat to the presidential suite, taking with them the red velvet cake from the cupboard, and destroying it (almost entirely Max) despite nearly being rumbled by Rachel and her keen eye for us trying to hide the goods. This evolved into the Cult of the Cake, with a group of us sitting in awe as Max pulled out his ultimate power to inhale the majority of TWO swiss rolls, we all aspire to that level of appetite. Whilst Max was battling off the impending sickness and eventual sugar coma, my double bed soon became host to a mass club pile on, crushing ribs and forcing bonding across the entire club.
Sunday was one of the best days of climbing I’ve seen on a club trip, despite the clouds and odd spell of hail. We explored Bus Stop Quarry (Australia), an old slate mine outside of Llanberis, and the views were insane. Jack Sewell attempts to cull parts of the club on Snakes and Ladders path were futile, whilst the rest of us set our focus on some slate sport climbs. We set up base next to a great slab, and after a quick class on how to strip a route (special thanks to Joe and his amazing acting as anchor rings) the gang jumped on the slate, quickly finding out that all their smearing skills were redundant. A big round of applause to our treasurer (Max) for climbing his FIRST sport lead, Thomas the Tank (4+), you absolute beast. This was followed up by huge amounts of grooving from everyone at the crag thanks to Maria’s sick beats. The girls really showed us how it was done on this crag, with Abby, Marta, Sara, Maria, Rachel, Viv, and Zoe, all climbing some great routes, not letting slate getting the better of them! James Ondra also earned a huge congrats, leading Goose Creature, a very bold E3 on the lower tier (what a legend).
With everyone winding down, the trip was coming to end, but somewhere off in the distance there was a wild Jack Williams, letting out his mating call, a worried shriek, while flipping off a 22 metre cliff jump into a pool below, surviving through the skin of his wetsuit! With one last catch up in Pete’s eats, and a spontaneous social in Aberystwyth McDonald’s, another club trip came to an end.
(With all the uncertainty of travel and university life in the midst of Covid-19, it was great to have a weekend with all of us together, you guys are the best, and this club is in great hands with you all sticking around)
Lots of love, Lewis and Max xoxo