An exciting and fun day out at the Yat with daughter Charlotte 12, mother Jo and grandfather Peter. An adventurous route to the crag down slippery slopes, through tunnels and caves, at the same time taking in the beauty of The Forest Of Dean with magnificent Oak, Beech, Yew and Pine. Everyone was excited, it was a beautiful warm summers day. Charlotte and Jo were the climbing team and Peter the official photographer.
Ali set up the first route and Charlotte was the first to climb – she had climbed indoors previously, had already learnt how to belay and was physically very fit so it seemed inevitable that she would love it. Unfortunately she didn’t; being used to screw on holds indoors she found the natural rock difficult to hold onto and hurt her hands and the footholds weren’t obvious. Everyone gave her lots of encouragement and praise – she had the physical ability but she didn’t like the outdoor experience. She didn’t give up though, Charlotte is a determined young lady and even completed a second climb, fighting through her tears and fears.
Jo on the other hand, who was nervous to start and didn’t think she’d do very well, was amazing. She absolutely loved the climbing experience, took in everything and rose to the challenge. As a runner she thought her upper body wouldn’t be strong enough – fortunately climbing is all about footwork. Jo was reluctant to leave the crag at the end of the day and wanted to return as soon as possible.
It just goes to show that everyone is different and you should never assume anything. What Charlotte did discover was that she really enjoyed the scrambling approach and was fearless sliding down slopes and scrambling along rocks. Taking the long way out she was able to indulge in more scrambling and decided she would like to do a lot more. Jo was happy with her own discoveries and that at least they could enjoy walking and scrambling together in the future.
Big thanks to Peter, who at 76 took everything in his stride and took some amazing photos.