This year has seen the climbing scene within UBES undergo something of resurgence in both strength and depth.
The year started with intro to climbing which saw a large number of UBES freshers make the journey down to the Avon Gorge and those with more experience to nearby Goblin Combe; see old blog post, These were quickly followed by gear nights at Dicks Climbing with record turn outs!……This is where the outdoor scene took something of a hiatus as poor weather severely affected the ability of individuals to gain experience climbing outdoors. Whilst the rock was wet, all of the new UBESters were busy pulling on plastic indoors at Redpoint. This early dedication has undoubtedly aided the rapid progression of individuals in the Spring term.
In November last year we had a one day trip to the Peak District after the conditions in Snowdonia had led to a cancelled weekend. This weekend seemed to provide the opportunity for many new and old UBESters to experience their first lead whilst acting as a springboard for some serious climbing psych!
Since November lots of climbing has been done and in various forms, with a new winter route (Aquilo, II/III, St. Sunday Crag), ice climbing in Rjukan, sport climbing in some long lost Somerset quarries along with multiple trad outings.
In March we ran a trad climbing trip the Cornwall coastline where we visited Sennen and Bosigran. Despite initially damp conditions that made for some rather intimidating climbing the weekend saw a number of classic climbs ticked.
This year has undoubtedly seen it’s fair share of leader falls that range from slipping in the wet, sliding down slabs through to lobs onto No.1 nuts. A special mention must go to Laura Shaw for contributing more than most to these incidents.
Falls aside, this year has also seen witness to a large number of individuals climbing HS and above, with five people who have lead VS and three who have managed to break into the HVS range! The older members within the society have also managed to find time to escape work and regain their climbing prowess, whilst getting ‘classic rock’ ticks at the same time. I am sad to say that on a personal level I am still trying to achieve this.
So where does this leave us? Well, there is no doubt in my mind that UBES climbing is in a strong position and I am glad to say that this looks set to continue into at least the next few years. It is without doubt that the strength and depth of those who currently enjoy climbing within UBES combined with their continual psych that put climbing in such a healthy place within the society.
So what’s next? Well as the sun begins to warm the limestone of the gorge, I am sure that the climbing scene will only grow in strength before academic year is finished. Alongside this there are number of experienced and new members heading to the Swiss and French Alps in the hope of gaining experience and reaching a number of 4000m peaks at the same time.