After last year’s exceptional trip to the Southern Highlands, the weather this year, returned to typical Scottish winter conditions. What snow there was, was at high level, soft and slushy. Having said that, the accommodation at Ardmair, is some of the best that we have used, (warm, dry, with panoramic views across the bay to the mountains beyond).
The inaugural gathering of this year’s HRFC ladies and their weekend away happened close to home this year, the popular coastal town of Folkestone and it’s sadly redundant harbour. The author had ordered fine and sunny weather and was gladly obliged to witness that this was indeed delivered for at least 60% of the time.
After a gap of four years it was decided to organise another trip to the far west of England. We would use the same campsite as on previous occasions at Tower Park in the village of St Buryan, being well placed for most of the climbing and walking areas on the Penwith peninsula.
Following many years of using North Lees Campsite as a base for this expedition, the increasing prevalence of midges in their millions has driven us to look for alternatives. We decided, after some research, to try Hardhurst Farm, on the road to Hope, an appropriate turn of phrase perhaps. I think that the experiment proved to be a success. There was one minor downside which I will come to in a moment. Firstly there were no midges, a major plus. Secondly, the site is flat, unlike most of North Lees and the facilities are on a much more lavish scale. There is also a pub within a five minute walk serving good food. A small cafe on site provides a cooked breakfast. Prices are reasonable and the site did not seem to mind when you paid. What more could you want? Possibly earplugs. We did not realise when we pitched…
During the preceding week, it looked like the day was in jeopardy with 50mph winds predicted by some weather reports! However by the evening before we were due to go the smart phone apps and the shipping forecast were in perfect alignment and it was settled, the second Swanage trip of the year was on! The last trip was Subliminal Wall, this time Guillemot Ledge the chosen destination, a more serious location consisting of mostly multi-pitch routes of HS and above with plenty of classics for some of us new to leading in this area.