Peaks trip report

by Abby Decker

A few left Swansea early on the Friday and managed to get an afternoon of bouldering in. Meanwhile, Lewis was loading up the minibus for a long drive up North. Eventually, everyone arrived safely in the scout hut. Culley and Josh are seen struggling to set up their portaledge on the ground. We wish them the best of luck when they are a few hundred meters in the air, dangling in their harnesses in Yosemite. In another corner, Ben and Jack were attempting to set up their hammocks. There was a great team effort to get the dinner out asap, thanks to Matt, Jay, Isla, Curtis, and Abby.

The next day, the BUCS team headed off to the Climbing Works at some ungodly hour. By the time they left, everyone else had woken up as well. We chilled in the bunkhouse for a while as we waited for Outside to open. After ogling some very nice, albeit expensive gear, we headed to Stanage for the day. The weather was remarkably good, despite a few hail showers (better than rain!) and we managed to climb through it. Reuben, while sensually leading a route, managed to cover his entire front in bird crap. Despite being unable to climb, Ben skillfully scrambled around to ensure the anchors were secure. The BUCS team joined us later in the afternoon. At some point, we called it a day, and went in search of a pub. Luckily, there was one within walking distance of the accommodation.

Josh (Men’s Captain and Trad Officer)
“I am really proud of all our BUCS competitors this year as the time and training put into it was incredible! It was really clear to me that the team chosen cared about doing well and getting stronger for the competition which showed in training. The team did exceptionally well, even with the challenges faced. We only had 2 mins to warm up after getting there, but despite this everyone absolutely smashed it. (Did have to queue for about ten minutes to get on a route by the end though). Given the varying styles of routes everyone gave 100% to all of them, even if we did end up with quite a few injuries and a double dislocated shoulder by the end… Seems like maybe crack climbing technique could be a good training session to have next time. By the end of it everyone was absolutely knackered and ready for a good 12 hour nap… but instead we went climbing outside. Really looking forward to seeing how amazing we do next year with everyone being even stronger!”

On Sunday, we were off to the Roaches, where the weather surprisingly cooperated, perhaps even a club best for Peaks? It was sunny, warm-ish, and stayed dry the entire day. Sam and Cat lead a great route up a chimney. Josh leading, with Curtis as his trusty second, made their way up Valkyrie though rumor has it they soiled themselves in the process. Many bouldered that afternoon, with Matt topping a magnificent 6c problem.

The drive home was a long one. Rhys’ car wanted to spice up the journey and braved going to a Maccies in Stoke-on-Trent, luckily making it back to Swansea unharmed. Lewis showed us true perseverance, driving the minibus after his shoulder injury.

“In the 3 years going to Peaks for BUCS we finally managed to get 2 full days of climbing outside. Stanage on Saturday was a little snowy but dry. I somehow found myself climbing a lovely off-width crack which destroyed my knees and ankles. It was worth it though.

The bunkhouse was utter chaos, with two hammocks a porter ledge and at least 20 people on the floor there were people everywhere. The chaos was not only in the sleeping arrangement but what the alcohol brought out in some of us. Would say that singing sweet caroline in the tiny kitchen all cramped up on the floor and cheering Ben to drink milk straight from the carton was a sight to see.

The Roaches came with good weather. A rare thing for an SUMC trip in the Peaks. Most of was made of the sunshine. Got as many people leading as possible, there were a few first leads as well!! Had some scary moments that day, had to bail out of a route. The confidence was knocked out of me. With the support of my friends I still went back and led a couple routes after. All for fun. It was an experience having lost all self-trust. We made it to the top though and found the flow of things again.
This was such a fun trip and can’t wait for North Wales now.” 

Anonymous #1
“Mid boulder a beautiful stack of pockets appeared for Reuben, he was told to ‘give it the love gun’ safe to say he immediately proceeded to laugh himself off the boulder.”

Anonymous #2
“Somewhere in the peak district, Mark is worried he’s going to grate his foreskin off on a particularly rough boulder”

Curtis (Media Officer) pictures:

Emma pictures: