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B.R.M.C. and Worcester club link-up

Posted on April 9, 2015

On Tuesday evening I decided that it would be a good idea to take advantage of the clement weather and go climbing at Symonds Yat.  Shunting (using a ‘shunt’ to self-belay up a rope) is not as entertaining as lead climbing, so I made known my need for a partner on the UK climbing forum.  A chap called Allan got in touch and we arranged to meet at the Yat the following lunchtime (Wednesday).

We duly met up and he turned out to be a member of the Worcester club and had even used our hut on occasion.  I was able to let him know about all the imminent improvements to said abode, and after a short conflab regarding grades we made our way down to the base of the crag.

‘A right carry on’ was our starter route, a Hard Severe arête next to ‘Snoozin’ suzie’.  The sun was just peeping around the arête so that as I made my way up I regretted taking off my cap before I started the route.  ‘A right unproblematic but entertaining time’ would be my choice of name for the route.

We moved on to something which appeared unproblematic but turned out to contain a number of challenging problems – ‘Offspring’, a Very Severe 4c.  Polish of the slipperiest kind was encountered at a crux step up to escape the initial hand crack, then some thrutching in a bottle-shaped chimney and on to ‘easier ground’.


Offspring VS 4c © Pete Neale, Apr 2009

Staying with the adjectival grade but moving down to 4b, our next conquest was ‘Peacock’.  While gearing up we were exposed to our most dangerous incident of the afternoon.  About 30 seconds after I had confided in Allan that ‘we’ll be fine as long as no one throws anything off the top of the crag’ a beer bottle fell at my feet with a ‘plonk!’ We had a good rant at the culprits, and it’s worth remembering that we don’t just wear helmets to protect from rock fall.

Anyway, ‘Peacock’ was successfully conquered, after an unnerving traverse half way up, and we finished the day with ‘Green Grow the Grollies Oh!’, which was great until the last 4 metres, a very exposed and filthy traverse through the grollies with sketchy holds for both hands and feet.

I do hear people moan about Symonds Yat as a climbing venue, but with the right conditions and careful route choice I think it’s a very scenic and interesting place.  Put your helmet on as soon as you arrive and you’ll have a good time.

Phil Layton.