I don’t know where to start this blog. I don’t know wether to start with the good bits, or the bad bits. I don’t know wether to start with the lessons learned or why I had to learn them. To be honest, I’m too tired to be articulate, so I’ll go Julie Andrews style, and start at the very beginning.
It was a trip that came about, partly because I wanted it to, and partly because my friends weren’t having it any other way. I eventually managed to coax them into getting organised and to my utter disbelief we succeeded in coordinating ourselves. We made it to Kilnsey.
Now here my story kind of wanders away from everyone else’s. While they were busy sending hard routes (the only kind found in this part of the world) it soon became clear that I’m special. God or fate or just plain luck decided that I was not going to climb. Maybe I’m over exaggerating. I don’t know. A small shoulder injury will get better, right? It’s short term; I’ve got the rest of my life to climb. However; when you take your friends climbing; give them beds for 5 days and belay non stop; it feels unfair that I had to give up half way up my warm up. I couldn’t even pull my self up on the rope. I sent my boots back home. No more climbing.
As desperate as this situation felt it wasn’t actually the end of the world. An hour or two of moping around was enough to pull me back to my senses. I began to realize that, with climbing out the window, I was just on holiday with a bunch of friends! Not really a bad position. I was not; not I a million years let this opportunity go. I could bribe them: ‘fine, I won’t give you a belay’. I could pull the ‘injured’ excuse out every time hard work was mentioned. And I could take on my mother’s role of, well, mother. Never before have I had so much power over my friends. And they didn’t ever realize it!
This trip taught me a lesson. I don’t know about everyone else, but in my book, a bunch of good people having a good time with good food, is much, much higher up on the list of importance than sending good routes. I was knitting a gnome, they were sending routes. We all had an unforgettably good time.
Words and text Naomi Tilley