MOB trip to Gower, South Wales

One of the great things about being a member of a climbing club is the trips that are readily organised by enthusiastic members.

Our trip for the Jubilee weekend was to the Gower Peninsula and it was a real treat. Apparently, I have been to the Gower once before when I was a toddler but I can’t remember it for love nor money.

We drove down on the Friday in high spirits. We got to the camp site at around 11:30pm and were greeted by a rather ‘hard looking’ local. Without a ‘slip’ we were not getting, the camp site was full and run on a first come, first serve basis. Fortunately Ian and Lou had paid for our pitches and after a quick call they toddled over with our slip so we could get in.

Hillend campsite

The campsite was massive and well organised. The facilities were fairly impressive with plenty of showers, toilets, a licensed cafe and a shop.  We meandered our way through cars and tents till we found our groups patch, and promptly set up camp. Fortunately this was made easier as Scott had put up a 2 man tent already to appease the militant staff of the camp site. Jordan T and Mark Russell quickly claimed this tent and Will put one up for us whilst I milled about looking busy!

After setting up camp we headed down to the beach to explore and have a drink! There we found the sound of waves crashing along the shore which set a fine soundtrack for the weekend!

The first day of climbing was had at Kings Wall and we climbed the lower and upper tiers. I absolutely relished the opportunity to climb directly off the beach. The climbing on the lower tier was completely different to the upper tier. The lower tier, more affected by the powerful crashing waves was typified by small, sharp holds and sketchy gear. The upper tier was more solid and the gear easier to find and less suspect!

Highlights of the day  

  • Jordan’s attempt at Seth, E1 5c, which included some very impressive falls.
  • An ascent of Osiris, VS 4c by Will and me.
  • A swim in the bitterly cold sea by some of the hardier or more stupid members. Basically Dave the legend ran in and we all followed as we didn’t want to be left out! It was so cold that there was a definite chance of genitalia inverting!

The second day was largely taken up by drinking, walking in the rain, more drinking and a pitiful attempt at making a fire with sodden wood. (You can read a little more about our optimistic attempts at fire building here)

Second day of climbing 

After a washout on the Sunday we were fired up for a good days climbing. The camp rose early for breakfast and after some discussion about crag choice the club split off in two directions. Mark Russell and Jordan T went back to Kings Wall as they wanted climb Osiris, VS 4c which they did in style. The rest of us went down to ‘Great Tor’ and ‘Three Cliffs Bay.’

An excellent day was had by all. Will and I led the East Ridge Variation at HS 4b whilst Ian and Lou led the East Ridge on Great Tor.

Will and Lou jubilant at the top of East Ridge, Great Tor

Will and I then headed down to ‘Three cliffs bay.’ We milled around on a few nice routes, I forget the names though. Our main goal was to get on Scavenger which is the classic VS on the crag. Unfortunately there was a guide on it who seemed to be taking every man and his dog up the route. I tried to guilt trip him into relinquishing his ‘death grip’ on the route by telling him it was our last day, and it looked really good and I would love to climb it. Annoyingly my pleas washed right over him as he nodded and agreed how good it was! Oh well it’s always good to have a route to come back for!

Jordan G had an altogether more successful day, climbing an E1 5c! He’s climbing strong at the moment, so well have to see what other routes he pulls out of the bag this summer!

Jordan’s E1 5c

All in all, the Gower trip was a great success and many thanks go to Mark Rothwell for organising the trip, you’re a leg end!

For todays discussion I would love to hear about your favourite coastal routes. At the moment the number one on my list is ‘A dream of white horses, HVS 4c.’ What other ‘must do’ routes should I add to the list?

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