27 June 2016

Climbing

Over the Rivelin Dam wall and across the A57 Manchester road. Then along a winding path that led beneath birch trees. It was fringed with new bracken, burgeoning green. After ten minutes, Rivelin Rocks began to appear through the trees. As luck would have it, my chosen track took me straight to a millstone pinnacle called The Rivelin Needle. Here you can see it towering above the trees. 
Two young men had just finished climbing it. One of them was Swedish. They had several ropes, clips and steel carabinas. I talked with them for a little while and then headed further along the rocks where I encountered two young climbers from Barnsley tackling a route called Auto da Fe. Apparently there are 242 defined climbing routes at Rivelin Rocks.
It was a challenging climb. The young man on the bottom end of the rope was struggling to find hand and footholds he could have faith in. I sensed his uncertainty though his friend at the top had already mastered this particular rock face.
It takes a particular kind of person to fall in love with rock climbing. It never appealed to me but I can appreciate why others might enjoy it. Patience and daring. Muscle and mind. Becoming one with the rock. Even so it is an inherently dangerous activity.

I carried on to a place where I could scramble up to the open fields above Rivelin Rocks. Then I walked along to Ronksley Lane, noticing a brown hare sitting still in one of those summery meadows. It raised its ears like radar receivers and then darted off. After all, not only do we human beings seek danger, we also reek of it.

21 comments:

  1. Nice comparison of two parts of danger.

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    1. I'm glad you spotted that Red.

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  2. That is a lovely place that I had to read about. Does the owner of the land require that you have a permit in order to climb? I have no idea why anyone finds pleasure in climbing a rock or Mt. Everest even. I just don't get it. Each to his own, I guess.

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    1. There have been ownership issues with Rivelin Rocks but you don't need a permit. Several unofficial paths weave their way to the rocks through the undergrowth. Thanks for calling by Mama Bear. I hope you are well.

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  3. I don't understand those who find pleasure from climbing rocks; similar applies to those who gain pleasure in climbing Everest and the like. (I've just read what Peach Thyme wrote above...we think alike).

    I gain pleasure climbing into my bed. :)

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    1. Don't fall from the bed Mistress Lee! Statistics prove that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else.

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  4. Around the time I took up running (spring/summer 2009), quite a few people who know me quite well said that they saw rock climbing as a suitable sport for me. Much as I was willing to try, I never did - not having a car being the main reason. Most of the climbing areas around here are out of reach with public transport, and although we did try to arrange me getting a lift from someone who could have even lent me their equipment for a trial (before I'd go and buy all the expensive stuff myself, without knowing whether it really was "the" sport for me), we never could find a date that suited us both. Well, I've given up on the idea years ago, and am happy just walking/hiking in such places, like you do. This one looks great, too; I hope to visit Brimham Rocks again this year, showing it to my sister who has not been there yet.

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    1. Yes. Let's just look at the rocks. When Shirley worked in Accident and Emergency they regularly dealt with fallen climbers from The Peak District - broken bones and in some cases severed spines meaning future lives in wheelchairs. I went to Brimham Rocks once - it's nice round there.

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  5. I did a little rock climbing as a young man. It wasn't my favourite sport and I soon gave it up. What I did discover was that I absolutely loved abseiling. Like you, though, most of my countryside exploration was done with two feet one in front of the other along the ground on the hills of the English Lake District.

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    1. I have never climbed a proper rock face or abseiled either. I think I should get myself a T-shirt with a single word on the back - "CHICKEN".

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  6. No, don't think it's ever been a sport that has appealed. I just enjoy walking the dogs these days.In the past I belonged to a walking group and took one dog with me. Great fun and excellent exercise, and we'd sometimes walk for five hours or more. Now time has caught up with me, and I prefer a gentler stroll with our canine companions.

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    1. Your devilish sense of humour made me imagine you were a feisty young lass in hot pants... now I'm thinking walking stick and beige cardigan...

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    2. Ah, those were the days YP...Not quite walking stick and no beige cardigan. Stripey blues, whites, greens and pinks, if that will do as a substitute? I must confess to being well past the "first flush of youth"...and second flush too if I'm perfectly honest !

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    3. There's more flushing as one grows older CG!

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  7. I have never done this .
    http://shilpachandrasekheran.blogspot.ae/?m=1

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    1. I think you have to be a particular kind of person to enjoy rock climbing.

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  8. I've never really understood rock climbing either. I'm content to look at them from below. This looks like a scenic spot!

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    1. Scenic but hard to access and shrouded in greenery.

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  9. Man actively goes out to seek danger. Rabbits have no choice, they live with danger constantly. Exquisite photos, you're pretty handy with a camera methinks.

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    1. Another difference between we humans and rabbits is that the female of our species do not have about 1000 babies in a normal lifespan.
      Thanks for your nice compliment Sue.

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  10. Every summer we used to have several buxom young men and women admitted with spinal injuries after rock falls outside sheffield
    Bittersweet memories for me YP

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