Helen and I have been organising the Rucksack Club’s annual pilgrimage to Gogarth for over 20 years (a terrifying thought in itself!) After the “virtual” zoom version in 2020, and the reduced capacity affair last year, the Gogarth Meet was back to it’s full octane, face-to-face fun this June! No more “you’re on mute”; no wait-lists and waivers; just a huge bunch of Rucksackers and friends assembled at the best crag in the world topped off with a gigantic beach BBQ.
We had a bit of catching up to do so it was great to see around 75 Rucksackers and friends plus Pinnacle Club members on the beach! This was something of a triumph for blind optimism in the face of a somewhat dodgy forecast, but we were rewarded with wall-to-wall sunshine throughout Saturday and into the evening. Very blustery conditions made for a moderation of aspirations, but despite this people were able to enjoy wind-swept world-class climbing, not to mention choppy paddling, blowy pedalling and breezy sandcastle-building.
Over on Castell Helen, the day started with a bit of a log-jam as some helpful Rucksackers rescued a young climber who had found a first taste of seacliff climbing to be a bit too atmospheric.
Probably not a bad thing as it allowed a rather sploshy sea a bit more time to head out!
Lighthouse Arete, North West Passage and Blanco saw a lot of traffic
There were plenty of other teams exploring on Holyhead Mountain, The Range and braving Main Cliff, with ascents of Devotee…
… and Emulator…
Plus The Strand and Resolution Direct (good effort Jack!) and even a quest on the crags around Porth Dafarch
New this year, and sure to be a fixture going forwards, Helen led a Beach Yoga session to loosen tired limbs after a hard day out.
All of the above, of course, was merely the prelude to work up an appetite (and thirst!) ahead of the beach BBQ. The wind remained unabated so it was a question of keeping a firm grip on your burger, and trying to keep the grit out of your sausage SAND-wich, but Rucksackers are used to more adversity than that.
A huge thank you to our team of expert burger-flippers: Mike, Gareth and young Master Chef Marcus
After a toast to “Absent Friends”…
… the bonfire was lit…
… and a few brave souls even ventured in for a late dip.
It would be nice to report that Sunday was equally productive, but the weather had other ideas. It wasn’t a complete washout as Ros and Rachel both managed a swim and a couple of teams got some bolts clipped on the way home. In any event, you can’t have everything and it’ll still be there next year!
Talking of which – get the dates in your diary now: 10th and 11th June (we’ll try to organise two days of sunshine for 2023). Thanks again for coming along – Hopefully catch up with you all before then. Cheers, Dom and Helen