2007 was a great year for the AMC with many climbs climbed, walks walked, boulders bouldered, Munros bagged and mountains conquered. Here, in no particular order, are my highlights of 2007:
AMC member quarantines island! – After blowing the whistle on the dreaded Lundy Lurgy AMC Member Richard Fox was contacted by the BBC and shortly after the story made the national news (well the BBC website at least), resulting in Lundy Island being closed for two weeks in an attempt to eradicate the virus.
Pushing the limits – It has been my pleasure to see several AMC members push the grades this year, though from the look on one member’s face as he lay-backed his way to glory on a VS at Stanage, pleasure might not be the best adjective to use. Also featuring is the route Sifta’s Quid at the Roaches which was entertaining in a deviant speleological kind of way…
The finest day spent not succeeding on much at all – In early spring a trip was made to Ladram Bay, near Exeter, with the plan of bagging some of the sea stacks that litter the bay in a very much Bay of the Apostles’ kind of way. What follows was a delightfully fruitless day spent canoeing around the bay, dithering at the bottom of the stacks, poking around rock pools and generally not climbing very much at all. Turns out that what might be VD in the guidebook is now a lot harder when the effects of erosion, seaweed, dampness and loose rock are taken into account. Still it was nice day for that sort of thing.
Keeping the faith – When its been raining all week and the forecast is for more to come it takes a lot of faith to get in a car and drive for several hours in the hope that at least some dry rock can be found somewhere in the country. But sometimes it all pays off and a lovely bank holiday weekend was spent in the Lake District in May last year, while Bristol suffered endless deluges and flooding.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Some people get lucky and do it first go, but AMC member David ‘Rain Magnet’ Linnett had been to Skye to do the Cuillin Ridge many times before, only to be rained off on each occasion. 2007 turned out to be a lucky year and the Ridge was finally climbed, the Classic Rock Tick finally ticked, and a victory pint finally drunk in the Sligachan Inn.
Baguettes and Boulders – Bouldering in Fontainebleau is great. There are thousands of boulder problems to climb, of all grades and styles. Add in some friends, a slack-line, a couple of bouldering mats and some cheap French wine and you have the makings of an excellent trip.
Pigging Out – After a hard day in the hills there’s nothing like slap up feed at the local pub, and best of all those pesky calories don’t count because of all the exercise.
And when it does rain you can still climb classics like Great Gully, Craig Yr Isfa, which is one of the finest gully climbs in North Wales. Says it all really…