On the evening of Saturday 4th of October Richard and AndyG, and also Graham and AndyC, braved the torrential rain to drive up to the club hut in the hope of getting better weather the next day, and being able to do a little climbing. Much to their surprise, given the appalling weather, there were already some members signed in for the weekend. After a short walk into Braithwaite they soon discovered newly-elected Chairman Trevor having a few pints with DaveL and Gareth in the Coledale Inn.
In the morning, after stopping in Keswick for breakfast, Richard, AndyG, Graham and AndyC set off on the short walk in to Black Crag. Unfortunately, two parties of climbers including some beginners were already starting on the only route that looked dry enough to be feasible. So it was eventually decided to walk back along the road and see what was dry enough at Shepherds Crag.
Shepherds Crag was busy and the popular routes around Little Chamonix and Kransic Crack were already busy but Richard and AndyG found Ardus(42m MVS 4a,4a,4b 2*) unoccupied. The first pitch was very testing for Richard due to running water on the sloping ledges, however things improved for AndyG once they were safely established in the corner. Richard also led the exciting final pitch which traverses out of the corner and across the slab to the crack which gives access to the top. They enjoyed spectacular views of the flooding around the head of Derwent Water.
Graham and AndyC returned from Brown Slabs, where they had been warming up on Brown Slabs Direct(38m V.Diff 2*) and then they climbed Ardus too.
Meanwhile Richard and AndyG were surprised to find Little Chamonix(70m V.Diff 2*) unoccupied. This is the classic of the crag and ever since Graham had told him, "You're not a proper climber until you've done Little Cham," Richard had been determined to have a go. AndyG ran the first two pitches together to the tree at the botom of the twin vee-corners. Then it was Richard's turn to negotiate the bum-slide off the block under the overhang. Ignoring the traditional saddle-belay, he pressed on up the headwall to the Belvedere.
By the time they had descended it was 4:30pm and it was decided to call it a day and start the drive home. A few classics were bagged and the weather turned out great, for once justifying their trust in metcheck.com.