Climbing has been a bit of a washout this season. Two months of unsettled and unsettling weather has meant that climbing is generally restricted to a strategic stab between showers, somewhere that you can get to, and from, easily. No long weekends camping high to make the most of inaccessible Lakeland gems, no languid days on hot rock with dips into plunge pools afterwards. Just damage-limitation climbing, at best.
Last weekend, planting ourselves optimistically in a place where climbing was in theory possible (weather permitting), the rain clouds once again put pay to our plans. Instead, a walk along some limestone edges. Inadvertently, this took us to some incredible little vegetable worlds. These micro-climate havens were smushed into tiny spaces between grikes (or are they clints?), where a little pocket of soil and moisture allows ferns to bask in the windless, damp conditions. There was a striking, minimalist beauty to these worlds, pretty much invisible unless you are standing above them.
In some ways, they are reminiscent of the ancient Japanese art of Suiseki, stones which, though only inches high, have the appearance of mountains, lakes, and other large landscape features. Microcosmic worlds intended to bring the spiritual uplift of mountain scenery into one’s every day world.
Anyway, I digress. A lovely way to spend a day, in a Suiseki sort of way. And climbing? The rain has got to stop sometime…
Around Knock Murton - 23 April
1 day ago