Even Hardcore Climbers Hate Cold Hands

Last November, I went with Mad Jim to Magic Wood, in South-East Switzerland and we found, to the surprise of no-one back home, that it was a bit cold. Now, it’s February and i’m in the South-West of England and there is a reminiscent feel to things.

At the end of my last post, I was watching the rugby (England won, beating the French, always worth mentioning) and what followed was a brilliant evening with my new paddling friends. Two from the night before became 12 and four pints and a plate of ribs and chicken later, I was surprisingly refreshed with the joys of life. It was a really fun night, although I was a bit gutted I didn’t get up in time to say goodbye before their departure back to London but considering the low temperatures outside, I was tempted to get back into bed and wait for them to come back some time in the afternoon.

No! I thought, this is a climbing trip so I should get out and get climbing. After all, it’s still dry and at least the friction would be good. That, and i’m supposed to be a hardcore mountain man, I should be able to cope with a bit of cold. So with Tess secured in her perch on the back seat, I headed out to Bonehill.

This was the crag that got me back down here, after calling in on the way back from James’ wedding last November. It’s the one that I was most keen to get back to, especially as i’d had some recommendations. So, we headed over, and as I got out of the car, it struck me that it was definitely colder than yesterday. Another couple of climbers turned up and we wandered up the hill for all of about two minutes before getting to the rock.

Alas, it was not to be: I finally got on a couple of nice easy slab problems, only to get snowed on in a passing blizzard. The stupidity of things came all too quickly after last year’s shenanigans, and the rockboots quickly went back in my bag for the day. I did mill around with the other lads for a few hours, watching one get Rippled Wall V4 but there was no way I was willing to get on rock at 0C again.

But today is looking a bit warmer and as much as the Red Bull Cliff Diving is interesting, I better head out. Today is gonna be Hound Tor, to see if I can finally get a decent amount of ticks for a change.


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