I know this is a bit overdue but here it is anyway.... the view from my side :)
Picking Neal up from Manchester airport on Friday night was surreal - hadn't seen ot climbed with the fella in a year and a half and then he comes strolling along through the arrivals gate with the air of someone whos been through a couple of dozen airport terminals too many in his time - as he says "dont talk to me about my Carbon footprint!"
Saterday morning after a chilled breckfast and a few climbing clips on the box we hit the road to Malham in fairly poor conditions. Having been there only once before during the summer it was a stark contrast to be driving through the yourshire countryside in these bleak conditions.
Once at the crag we gear up and jump on a dryish looking 7a - at first the style of climbing takes a bit of getting used to but before long we're all playing on a nice 7b and then finish up by checking out the crags mega-classic "Raindogs" 8a. From the ground it looks fairly blank but once on it the moves suck you in - They're still in my head 2 weeks later!
Funniest moments of the day? Me comming off the 7b just below the chain and eventually being caught by Caroline around the first bolt! A VERY dynamic Belay! and also the Butt Trumpet inncodent after the sandwiches on the 7b at the end of the day - my 1st lead fall where i was actually laughing from the moment i left contact with the rock!
Back to Flintshire for the night and some kip before repeating the journey north again the following morning. Sunday turned out to be much nicer and as a result much more busy at the crag. We decided to start up on the middle tier and enjoyed some faceclimbing on a zero star 7b before a manakin was thrown from the top of the crag and landed a couple of meteres to our right as i was belaying Neal. It fooled us all! we thought someone had fallen! After the initial rush to check out the scene the anger set in at someones stupidity at pulling a stunt like that without notifing people - we were just seconds away form having the mountain rescue being sent out! All the while some plonker was filming the show from below... Jeeze!
Anyway - back to Raindogs - or not. Someone literally had a rope on it the whole day! seems to be the accepted ethic at the crag. we were the only wierdos actually leading routes onsight! we occupied ourselves with some more 7a's and a nails 7b before packing up with tired arms (mostly form saterdays exploits) and headed back to the airport with Neal
Great weekend - first of many Malham weekends i would think!