Pembroke Weekend Trip

by Jack Smith and Edward James

Good morning Vietnam. With the wakeup call in place we started the day strong with limited faff, as today was a day of traditional climbing. Managing to leave the bunkhouse before 9 we headed to our destination, St David’s Head West with Stuart, Tom c. Henry and their corresponding fresher made their approach to a well-hidden South Buttres. While the rest of us made our way to Craig Coetan, with the normal pile up on the abseil rope climbing got on its way. Under the eagerness to climb, pictures of the guide books were few and lacking. Not to wait around Dan began to lead a route that didn’t look too hard. By the time he got to the first pitch placing no gear we had learnt that the second pitch is a HS. Dan then conceded that I should go ahead since he hadn’t done a S up to that point. With the climb completed we had a quick lunch and continued climbing. With notable climbs coming from Henry and Jack Smith leading Act of God VS with Sam and Min respectively.
With people leaving early due to the cold we waited for a few to finish climbing. Walking back just as it was getting dark. We made our way back to the smell of food. Which was delicious.
Arriving back at the bunkhouse after a wonderfully windy day of climbing, Abbey, Emma, Mike and Sewell found themselves in the kitchen cooking curry for us all to feast upon. Whilst dinner was in progress, many people cracked open a well deserved cold one to stave off the hunger! Upon the oh so familiar sound of Abbey shouting ‘food’s ready’ a stampede of hungry climbers descended upon the serving window, not before the boys scurried out of the kitchen with a plate of curry in hand! The food went down a treat, (credit to the kitchen staff you guys did good!) so well in fact that Dan was scraping the remains from the pot. After dinner some freshers were probably lumped with doing the washing up, aided by the industrial dishwasher! (Just wait till the next weekend trip – I can assure you there isn’t one of these!)

After dinner the drinking ensued along with slacklining, various card games and general antics. Stuart’s defrosted apple was squeezed and then later mutilated and sampled by myself, Henry and Cosford – much to the disgust of the surrounding freshers. This part of the night became a little blurry, aided by the surprisingly tasteful combination of beer and vodka. After a round or two or three of ‘Knact’ with Brodie, Ella, James, Dan and Min, myself and Goodfellow found ourselves falling victim to a rather something claim which involved spirits and a tin of beans. (For those of you who didn’t witness this, I’m sure you can see where this is going…) Whilst I was merrily sipping away at a bastardised bloody mary, Goodfellow immediately regretted the decision to use rum instead of vodka. With many disapproving looks I saw my drink off, the other glass ‘o beans found its way to Henry, who saw it off with zero faff.

Cosford, purple lipped and keen for sock wrestling, dragged half of the party to the conference room. Having to sober up a little, to prevent a rather beany sock wrestle, I retreated to my hammock, after which I ventured into a quiet and sock wrestle-less room! Dragging four mattresses from the nearest bedroom, we had our arena! Myself and Cosford gave a demonstration, albeit a very poor one as Cosford got cramp (there’s always an excuse) and I lifted the sock from his foot with ease. With Henry taking the roll of referee, and me being some weird combination of the announcer and card girl, the ground rules were established and pairs were thrust into the arena, some more willing than others!

As new members, Will, Sam, Alex, Dennis, Cameron and Jack were pitted against each other in a series of fights. All fighting valiantly, they were given the power to challenge any person in the room. Alex obviously doesn’t value his life and for some unholy reason decided to challenge Phillipe. Who, earlier this evening had managed to dethrone Mike, the undisputed winner of the Llanberis Sock Wrestling Tournament! As expected, Phillipe made light work of Alex, who surprisingly finished the duel rather unscathed. Min and Abbey had an entertaining bout, were Min’s strong feet were the deciding factor, allowing her to emerge victorious. Dan, with a record of 0-6, entered his fight Vs Hamish looking for his first sock wrestling victory. Unfortunately, this wasn’t meant to be, as Hamish became the first person in SUMC history to win a sock wrestle whilst stoned! The old favourites of ex vs current committee positions were next on the cards, where we saw Abbey Vs Goodfellow and Calum Vs Ed. Next, last years’ presidential candidates battled it out for a chance to usurp Ed as president. Mike gathered momentum as he beat Sewell, but Ed surprisingly managed to stand his ground and hold on to his presidency, after which he descended deeper into his bottle of vodka! Cosford and Goodfellow decided to mix things up by fighting blindfolded and after a rather clumsy, yet highly entertaining affair, Cosford found himself with both a sock in hand and on foot. As sock wrestling drew to a close, the mattresses were replaced by a single table and table bouldering began. This spurred the lifeless Hugo back into action as he promptly jumped onto the table and bouldered it with ease.
The freshers brimming with enthusiasm attempted it, with many succeeding. Whilst many attempted the table, Edward, having defended his presidency and conquered the table, continued the descent into his bottle of Vodka. Descending faster than a fresher letting go of an ab rope or a climber being belayed by Cosford, Abbey, Gemma and Emma tried to act as a prusik, but their attempt was in vein, as Henry and Phillippe continued to ply Ed with drinks. Even once we’d gotten the stumbling, mumbling and bumbling Ed to bed, all it took was Henry to pop his head into the room and at the promise of another drink, Ed was back on his feet and we all slept in peace.
Ed: That doesn’t seem too bad. I may be missing my memory from that night, but you seem to be missing half of the stories from the night.
The second morning was not as strong, waking up in a different bed with little to no recollection of the night before. Feeling rough / drunk I managed to stomach some food, then managed some food that was once in my stomach. Slowly packed, then made it to my car where we started to head off to the Saddle Head. With the sun on the crag and the sea being alone on the horizon we began a great day climbing.  Notable climbs being Jack Sewell going up an E1 5b Breaking Wind while the rest enjoyed easier climbs. With the sunset declaring the end of climbing we headed back, knowing the trip had been a success.
If you think otherwise, fight me.