It’s the Bank Holiday in Britain this weekend and every man and his dog would be on the road travelling to all of the popular camping spots in the Peak District and up into the Lakes District as well. It had been a tough week this week as a few issues arose that needed very serious attention. Addressing these things was a little stressful and with the weather not being to kind all week, we all needed to stretch out and get back to nature.
With a small window of opportunity available to us, we jumped at the chance to hop in the car after breakfast and head north. We were heading towards the North York Moors National Park to a little place called Stainsdale. We were going bouldering at Bridestones. This is a very special place as it sits at the top of the a ridge line that is scattered with the most amazing sandstone outcrops. It is truly beautiful and at this time of year a genuine delight.
It was game day for Rosie as she is an avid supporter of her team and the trip was full of football (soccer) related conversations about what might be and how they were the best team in the competition. I smiled and laughed a lot as I once was that enthusiastic about the game and at times did and said very similar things.
We parked and loaded up the pads on our backs and grabbed our packs and began the ten minute walk in up the hill to the broad ridge. As we got closer to our destination the landscape turned into a field of beauty. Ferns and heather covered the ground and the colours were truly stunning. The old cobbled sandstone path showed the way. When I looked up ahead I immediately saw why this place was special.
The pinnacles as they are referred to, rose out of the earth all long the path for about a kilometre in total. Varying in shape and size like a child had randomly thrown lumps of clay at the ground. I couldn’t wait to just touch these formations, let alone try some of the problems. As we got nearer I stopped rather rapidly and paid my respects to a little adder that welcomed me to the crag. Beautiful and venomous (not deadly) I stood my ground and simply admired its beauty.
We spent the next few hours trying a range of problems across a range of grades and getting our confidence and courage up. The Pepperpot Boulder was our chosen place of pain and we certainly had fun trying to hurt ourselves a little. This awkward looking pillar of rock was outrageous to climb on and the routes were truly inspiring and well weathered.
Problems like The Descent, Chilli Pepper, Central Groove and Master Pepperpot presented varied excitement and unique opportunity to test ourselves. Rosie and I spent some time working through the moves on a hard start that we finally sorted out and I continued up the obvious line and linked this problem to another one to top out.
I had done a first ascent apparently by linking “Professor Pepperpot” (F6c) and “Central Groove” (F6a). I decided to name it “Central Pepperpot” (F6b). I was excited that I apparently had a first ascent in the UK. Yet to be confirmed, so my excitement is minimal, but still there.
It’s very exciting to know that how we experience allows us all to be explorers and adventurers.