Out and about…

Barbed Wire, originally uploaded by Ben Grubb.

I haven’t posted anything for while, so I thought I’d share this. It was taken at Bowles Outdoor Centre in Eridge. We’ve spent a lot of time down there climbing recently. Since getting back from the States, climbing indoors hasn’t really “done it” for me. It’s been nice to be back at The Castle again, obviously, and it’s been good to see everyone again as well as getting on the new problems etc. But, the whole time, I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I want to get outside.

We went down to Bowles the first weekend we were home, as we still had the big from climbing all over the US. It was a nice, sunny Saturday, and far too hot to be cooped up inside. So, Snoo and I got the train down to Eridge, and we hit the rocks with Ben. And it was superb! We’d previously written the place off as being boring and full of “crappy Southern Sandstone”, but now it seems to have taken on a whole new life. We found that we could actually climb stuff there, instead of ineffectually slapping around and falling off the whole time. And not only that, the stuff we climb there (or at least attempt) are really nice routes. Crimpy, ground up, clean faces. Pocketed areté’s. Marginal, balancey slabs – It’s got the lot.

We’ve got a little tick list going now, and some long term projects. I have it in my head that I’d like to climb every route there. I’ve managed a few 5c’s, 6a’s and even a real test piece of a 6b so far, so I’m not all that close, but that’s the beauty of climbing outside. I could be working these routes for years, and that prospect really excites me!

I’ve been trying to get some nice shots while I’ve been there as well. It’s a beautiful place, with some fantastic views. The routes on the whole are very aesthetic as well, and I’ve been pushing myself to try and get some different shots, and be creative with angles and positions. Also, I’m trying to avoid the “butt shots” by getting up on top, and risking life and limb hanging over the edge! One does suffer ones art! Have a look at some of the best ones on Flickr