Social distancing in a post-Industrial hole in the ground

We nipped into Harpur Hill for a bit of lockdown-loosened cragging and were amazed to find the place rammed – not with climbers (though we did bump into Chris and Jordan by coincidence, or at least got within a few metres of them!)

… It was absolutely swarming with locals who have adopted this post-apocalyptic hole in the ground as their own Costa del Buxton. There must have been 20 couples and family groups (mostly but not all adopting good SD practice) dotted around the Blue Lagoon and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Apparently the crag has subsequently been added to the “spots to avoid” guidance by the BMC due to the popularity causing concerns about access, more’s the pity.

Anyway, inevitably a few of the “beach-goers” had enjoyed a beer or two, and our climbing had caught their imaginations: “Go on mate!”, “How’d they get them ‘ooks in the rock?”, “Look, his missus is going up now”…

Unable to contain their curiosity, a group of lads ambled over for some banter:

– “Sorry to interrupt, but how’d you get them ooks in?”

– “The bolts are already in the rock and I clip in these dangly things, called quick draws, and clip the rope into them to keep me safe, then take them out again on the way down”

– “Awesome, I could never do that, me. Have you climbed Everest too?”

– “No, I never really fancied it.”

– “What about that other one; you know, the big one in Canada or wherever – that bloke climbed it with no ropes?”

– “El Capitan? It’s in California, and yes I’ve climbed that one – but with a rope!”

– “Amazing! Is that what you do then – travel round and climb at different places”

– “That’s pretty much it – though not for a while…”

Quite how they leapt from Harpur Hill to Yosemite and then rumbled our RockAroundTheWorld lifestyle so quickly is beyond me, but it did set me thinking… There’s probably not going to be a lot of “… Around The World” in the “Rocking” we’ll be doing in the next few months, and you’ll soon get bored of pictures of the same old crumbling quarries, so I’m going to take the lockdown opportunity to revisit some RockAroundTheWorld exploits from before I started this blog.

It’ll be a bit like Star Wars (you get to see the start about 5 years after the whole thing kicked off!) Watch out for part 1 of the “backtrack blog” RockAroundTheWorld – The Big Trip part 1: Around the Baltic in 80 Days

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