Southern Sandstone

Present: Andy (organiser), Rhoda, Julie, Young Ed, Mike, Gaby, Graham, Young Michael

As the destination was so close, everybody decided to spend Friday night in comfy beds and drive down the M25 on Saturday morning. We all arrived in good time, pitched our tents and put rubber to the rocks by lunchtime (some people decided to sit in the dappled shade and have lunch first although somebody forgot to pack the cutlery!!). Harrison Rocks is an exceedingly nice setting, the sandstone cliffs are shaded by open deciduous forest teeming with wildlife – woodpeckers, little doormice eager to catch a crumb of biscuit, numerous bunnies… plenty to watch whilst having lunch.

Missing Cutlery 1

Missing Cutlery 2

Mike & Gaby

While some of us relaxed, Mike and Andy set up the top ropes and got ready for some trial climbs up featureless slabs to show us how it’s done. For those not in the mood for slabs, there were plenty of cracks and chimneys demanding a variety of different body parts to be jammed – ankle and bottom being favourites; however, Ed managed a spectacular head jam while negotiating a cave behind a boulder. Luckily he was wearing a helmet! He certainly wasn’t put off by the experience as he repeated it 3 more times, the last time in order to free the snagged rope…

Both Ed and Michael were throroughly filthy and happy after exploring a number of caves, nooks and crannies, and by 7 in the evening, we were all righteously exhausted – far too tired to cook, really, so off we went to the pub for a massive plate of food and some nice Sussex ale. The night was cool and clear, and Mike spotted a number of shooting stars, as Earth was entering the Perseid meteor shower.


Rhoda at Bowles Rocks

The next morning, we upped sticks and went to Bowles Rocks. Here, the ledges were even more rounded, the slabs even steeper and the chimneys contained a good number of brambles, trees and bushes to make life interesting. Having tired ourselves out the previous day, we gave in to aching muscles at 3 in the afternoon, had a lovely picnic on the lawn and headed home

Gaby Broadfoot, photos by Andy Miles

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