General Climbing Article
by Greg May
Well it was that time of the year again and the club were off to the Wicklow hills for a bit of climbing and allot of drinking. The die-hards met up in the bar at four and by six the gang was all here and we were on our way to the hut. The rush for the beds was made the second we got off the bus, with those less accustomed to the hut, without an understanding the idea of communal sleeping, failing to get the best spots i.e the ones with actual room to breath.
So the cooking began and the consummation of the free beer was not long to follow. After a few drinks we retired to the local to taste the local brew, one of the finest pints of Guinness I have ever had the honor to find, until we decided it was time to return to the hut for the free drink and the shaving of heads. Ruth started the proceedings and Enda got an excellent haircut. Unfortunately some were to come off worse than others in the next few days, namely Michael. So the razor was passed on and many people woke up the next day to wonder where there hair had gone. The drinking continued late into the night and tounges began to flow, sometimes even into other peoples mouths. This night was a good one with three members of the committee scoring and some serious moves made by Rob "the foreign lover" O'Neal. So the night continued until the early hours when we decided to fall unconscious into our beds.
The next day was a glorious day and as we awoke, some later than others, we were granted excellent conditions for climbing. After a hasty breakfast, and makings of packed lunchšs galore, we left After forcing the newbees who hadnšt brought and boots to cross the river we made a fairly leisurely walk to thecrag. The day started off in the furthest crag in the valley, acorn buttress. The ropes were set up and harnesses were donned. The freshers were sent up the delights of the body-jamming crack of acorn crack and the painful finger jamming of provo. The highlight for the day was Dave Aytons lead of Slipstream clocking in at HVS 5b. Rob, Pierce, and a few others mean while spent he day on expectancy getting a few routes in there. We climbed until it came close to dark and the clouds were coming in around us and we decided to move for home and dinner. After a long walk back through the dark, with only one head torch between 10 people at a time, we got back to the hut for our first real night on the town. Once again the beers, Scutch gold and Grumpy jack, were cracked out over dinner and the music began. Once again the hair cutting began with Michael. Who, under the "tender" ministrations of Pierce, ended with one of the worst hairjobs ever. After another night on the town we arrived back at to find some new members to our posy. Yes the people who have sadly left DCU with some degrees had decided to join us for an evening or two. The evening continued late into the night and the morning promised a few sore heads with one than more person taking part in a head banging session in the kitchen.
The next day saw some even better climbing and some better weather. After a walk in to clear the head of many a climber we ascended the valley side to hobnail buttress. Larger than acorn, but with less climbs, it has the advantage of one of the best single pitch climbs in the area. Pyramid route. The day started with Dave "leading", if you call one piece of gear leading, the pyramid. Myself and rob spent the day on top of another climb belaying while screaming for people to bring us our sandwiches. On the other hand Enda took it upon himself to get some real climbing in and with pierce and Karen in tow went to lead the multi-pitch pine tree cracks one of the classics in the area. Some of the group, who weren't up for climbing today, decided to go for a hike and left the main group on the crag. Eventually darkness closed in and the group were lead off the hills while we dismantled the ropes and walked off in the darkness. Once again back to the hut for some glorious food and some not so glorious beer. Once again a few tounges got loose and there were stories to be told the next day and sober expressions on many the club member, some for the first time in the weekend.
The next day was a wash out and only two of our club-feeling brave enough to head out into the hills. So the day was spent tidying the house and removing the stains that we had left from the head shaving and the beer spilling. All the food that was left over was sent to be eaten by those whose stomachs could handle it. After every one had packed their bags and the place was cleaned the bus finally arrived, to some peoplešs happines and others annoyance. The bags were loaded and we ran through the river that was flowing down the middle of the road to get to the bus. The trip home was fairly quiet as we watched the floods down the middle of o Connell St. over all it was a good trip and hopefully every one enjoyed it. All in all a brilliant weekend.
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