Southern Sandstone

Present: Andy M (organiser), Zoe, Mike, Gaby, Si

Forecasts of bad weather were wildly exaggerated and the few who made it down to Harrisons Rocks were treated to typical summer weather. Saturday started with glorious sunshine…then by lunchtime, coinciding with Mike and Gaby’s arrival, it rained. However, in between the (very slight) showers plenty of climbing was done. Gaby perfected a new climbing move she’s been working on which she called the slug. A move which involved much wriggling to make (sometimes) upward progress on the holdless cracks and chimneys. Elegance may have been sacrificed in the name of progress, but she did make it to the top! Top marks to Si for getting up a route called Pelmet which gets an English tech grade of 5b and is quite frankly desperate if you’re short and probably a grade harder.

Si on the sandstone. (Andy)

Heavy rain late afternoon forced an early retreat to the pub, and despite several pints of good old Kentish Ale, the deluge and high winds kept waking us up throughout the night. However, Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny with not a cloud to be seen in a flawless blue sky. As there were only a few of us (where were the other climbers? Sandstone too hard for you?), we packed away the climbing gear and headed over to Bedgebury Pinetum. Andy, Mike and Si raced, jumped and crashed round the mountain bike course there and Zoe and Gaby went for a walk in search of the “Old Man of Kent” (no, not me!). Mike decided to demonstrate a jump, and did that perfectly, too – but had not taken the slippery clay into account for a somewhat less than perfect landing. But that’s what bike helmets were invented for. Tea and cake finished of the day nicely.

Andy Miles (with contributions from Gaby Broadfoot)

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