Monday, 6 January 2014

Living The Dream: A Whole Year Of The Moors

Sketching Out Early On
To many, the "climbing dream" is tramping around spain and france getting on thousands of sport routes. My dream on the other hand has always been to live in the Moors for an extended period.
Luke had a fairly unorthodox way of "showing us the ropes"
I started climbing when I was about 15, soloing with my mate Dave at local quarries. Luke Hunt (17 at the time) took me out a couple of times with ropes. This eventually lead to me and Dave buying our own rope and a couple of nuts; then trying "proper climbing".
Our first ropes nice and shinny and about
to be used on the North Crag of Castle Rock
Whilst 15 seems quite young now, it was only a couple of years before I was to leave the North York Moors for uni. Despite fast progress in our climbing (due to climbing most of the time we should have been studying), by the time we left we were nowhere near climbing at the level we needed to really get the most out of the Moors. This means that I've never actually been in the Moors for any length of time whilst having the ability to do the things I wanted. All the routes I've done over the past 4 1/2 years have been done in quick hits of a month or less.

Now this is all planned to change. I'm going to be living in the North York Moors again! Words cannot express how excited I am to be there: In the wind and rain on the bad days, out hanging from cruxes on the dry ones. Probably from the end of January until June - a good wodge of time.

It's going to be lonely: most of the Moors scene isn't there anymore. The bouldering contingent from Hull has started to focus on other places since the completion of the bouldering guide, Dave and Matt Ferrier are at Leeds and Sheffield Uni respectively, and Sam Marx seems to be in the gallivanting stage - putting climbing on the back-burner. But I have the rocks and I have myself. It's almost a form of meditation being on the Moors and being there by yourself can really help one focus.

So alone on the Moors? I want to bivy lots: spends days out, covering large distances, reccing crags and getting psyched. Dave has built some indoor climbing centre in a barn that may become the final missing piece required to bring the Moors into the modern age.

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