Peaks Weekend Trip

by Stuart McDowell and Tom Cosford

Saturday - 17th February
After a long drive up to Sheffield the night before the BUCS Bouldering team were up and ready for breakfast! Perhaps not fully awake to compete but very keen for the breakfast put on to fuel them for the competition ahead. With pockets filled with cereal packets, sandwiches and probably hands full of bacon and hash browns (Jack Williams), the team ventured over to The Climbing Works to have a play on the Bouldering problems.
Warming up was a difficulty for everyone competing in the packed centre, with fingers like icicles and competitors wrapped up as if to brave the Poles. A new format was put in place for BUCS this year, with options for easier routes being offered to alleviate queues, some alternatives being significantly harder/ easier than their counterpart. An awe-struck whisper went round at the appearance of Sheffield Hallam strong man Jim Pope (Who’d just won BIFF a couple of weeks before) who was competing in the same bloc as Swansea, taking the qualifying routes in his stride, something that Jack (Smith) found out was pretty hard to replicate. Although results weren’t the highlight of the event, everyone seemed to enjoy the competition. (Highest scorers; Bethan McCarroll (107), Abbey Tildesley & Emma Broad (81), Edward James (169), Mike Palfrey (144), Jack Sewell (140))
After some confusion of crag location the decision was made to head on over to the less crowded Burbage North, with hordes of students converging on Stanage as predicted, joined by the Swansea non-competitors who had jumped onto a train to Hathersage from the Chinley Scout hut. With the sun out the dampness from the morning quickly drying out and SUMC were able to have a good play all over the length of Burbage North. Brodie Scott had a fun time with a VS crack followed by a fair attempt on a HVS just to the left which had caught El Presidenté Ed off guard previously. Jack Sewell had a bash at HVS 5b ‘Ash trees forever’ and ‘Evening Wall’ E1 5b, while Henry James and Jack Williams crawled their way over the crag soloing and making their own routes. With the sun starting to go down SUMC made their way to the chilly Scout hut for the night to sling up hammocks and devour a very tasty thai curry.
Sunday – 18th February
After a good night’s rest on Saturday, we awoke to some questionable conditions on Sunday morning. However, determined to get the most out of the weekend we had a quick tidy up and a sort out of cars before heading off to the Roaches. When we got there the lower tier looked rather green, so we moved quickly up to the upper tier where conditions were much more favourable. With everyone split into their climbing pairs, the day was in full swing. Calum went for a nice easy VS 4a called Central Route, however as he got higher and higher, he realised that it was not a route with much gear. Abbey is now level with Bertrand for bailing of a VDiff, which Mike very kindly finished to collect all her gear, and Stuart climbed what he later described as the worst climb he’s ever done. Not much was seen of the freshers who found their own spot and climbed to their hearts contempt and were very happy with the day’s events. Dennis took Lauren and Beth up some easier climbs. We were all finished at about 3pm at which point Abbey and Emma’s extensive research had concluded that the Ye Olde Rock Inn was the place to go to relax before heading home.