The recent surge in psyche has continued unabated and has coincided nicely with a “family” trip to the Peak District with my girlfriend and her eight-year-old daughter. After checking the UKBouldering forum, and trawling the guidebooks, i came to the obvious conclusion: it had to be Burbage South.

For those with no knowledge of the grit, Burbage South is the first port of call (except possibly Stanage, which is often everyone’s first port of call…) for the budding beginner boulderer. The blocs are not high, are swimming with low-grade problems, and are there in abundance. For those climbing in the mid- to high-sixes, you can easily spend a day ticking one problem after another, and Boulder Britain even has more really-low-grade problems than the Peak Guidebook proper. So off we went, Ffion keen after her success on the RAC a few weeks back and me ready to kick back and support the youngster for a change.

It didn’t last; i really hadn’t anticipated how much she would struggle with the subtleties of the gritstone. Holds are hard to find by much older climbers, let alone someone with so little experience of rock climbing! So off she went to play on the smaller rocks, jumping, mantling and scrambling around while i found myself distracted by Crash ‘n’ Gurn, one of the only 7s at the venue.

The problem was, my recent success kind of went to my head, and depsite feeling a tweak in a finger, i continued by swapping digits and not calming down to an easier problem. Granted, i got the tick but at a cost: the fingers on my right hand are now very saw two days afterwards, the hope of subsequent ascents for the rest of the day now gone. Couple that with the relentless and gale-force wind that gave us quite vicious wind-burn and the rest of the day rapidy became a climbing write off.

But what it did allow was a recce, as i have a few possible grit trips on the way, and after failing to find an existing one online, am beginning a Grit 7+8 Tick List for myself. There is a North Wales one already out there, from a friend of a friend, and a grit one would give me some focus. Suggestions welcome!


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