The Roaches
18-19 October 2003

This Y.A.C. meet was mostly memorable for me for two reasons, both of
which relate to what a superb venue & hut this is in relation to the spectating aspect of rock climbing.

After myself and Jack had spent the friday warming up as it were, most
people met in the local pub friday eve and contemplated a good weekend for climbing, which turned out to be spoiled only by gale force sub-zero winds on the top belays. The lonesome bundle of non-climbers arranged to go walking and look for some decent hills the following day whilst waiting for the mountain bike maestro himself to appear on saturday evening to organise some more demanding cycling frolics, after first orchestrating the obligatory pre-cycle piss-up.

Most people paired off climbing on Saturday, except Graeme, who wandered, nomad-like around the place, picking off the odd beta-unflashed top rope ascent and generally festering at the foot of climbs seeking spectator amusement. It wasn`t long in coming. First came my 'guess how many grades Rich thinks he can jump this meet'
ascent of Elegy, a reasonably grandiose run out of thin slab friction; testing fare, which to everybody watching's amusement and intrigue, very nearly ended quite catastrophically. Much shaking of body parts, flapping and general confidence plummeting was on obvious display. Many pints and alcofrolics followed (although it doesn't take a dodgy ascent completion for that to metamorphosise within me)!

Next on the spectator connouiseurs' agenda was Simon & Carmen's ascent of
the Valkyrie. Everyone was present to witness this spectacle (well, those who were staying the evening anyway!), which began at about oooh, dusk, and continued into the early twilight hours, involving much cursing and general screams of anxious waffling in the dark (none of which could be heard by either climber) all of which providing absolute class spectator value, also proving to be the only possible deterrent for people to not be in the pub yet. I think only Annie's concern about this situation was genuine and her impressions of Simon shouting from the belay are legendary. For most of us more familiar with their climbing antics however, it was simply a logical climax to their benighting achievements.

Much liquid refreshment was consumed into the early hours.

Sunday seemed to bring calmer activity on the climbing front. Dave E managed to secure the award for 'Longest & most complex journey completed, in order to [not] climb a route' which involved a 3-5 train change followed by buses etc, to chuck himself gallently up the start of Crack & Corner (a particularly interesting example of severe climbing). The mountain bikers headed off in cars and apparently drove down one of the steepest hills in the peak in order to start the ride by cycling back up it?? Stay off the booze guys!!

All in all this is an excellent meet venue as the Roaches offers excellent climbing at a distance that really does warrant an overnight stay and the hut itself is practically etched into the rock. Its a meet which I most definitely was looking forward to, will look forward to again and obviously would recommend to any climbing members. Or bring your bikes if yer have to!