Summer in February!?

By Beth Monks>

Blue skies and sunshine; it seemed too perfect. The first time out for ages and we were off to Beeston. Upon late arrival we quickly mounted the cool rock and belayed from the ledge. Feeling the unfamiliar feeling of heat on my back, I took off my jumper and began to climb my first route: Deaf Dove E2 5c. A great route with some great rock. Nice and pockety…very French! The nice warming feeling got stronger when descending and by the time I was ready to belay Scott I was down to a strap top! In February!

After a bit of lazying about in the sun we trekked through the thorns to the other side and got on another route: Majolica E3 5c. After pulling on a couple of small finger pockets and reaching what my dad describes as ‘the biggest jug in the world’ (incidentally he says this about any big hold on any climb) the route was halfway through. Moving leftwards on awkward footholds and a few more pulls on some nice crimps I was once again descending.

The day was perfect and I almost forgot I was in ‘wet and rainy’ England and at that moment I was in France, basking in the sun and climbing on limestone. February, and too hot for grit!

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