The UWE climbing society held its first trip of the academic year from the 15-17th of November in North Wales.
Laden with sleeping bags, roll mats, harnesses, helmets, and equipped with more snacks than your average supermarket, the members piled into three minibuses and an equipment van and set out on our four-hour journey.
When we arrived, we found that the outdoor climbing would, unfortunately, be at a minimum due to the unexpectedly rainy weather. However, lots of scrambling replaced Saturday afternoon’s activities and members were met with beautiful views of the Welsh countryside and mountains. This activity instead gave the group plenty of time to get to know each other and forge new friendships, something that is integral to UWE climbing society as a community. The club successfully brings together like-minded people – the kind of people that will happily wake up at half-past six in the morning, put on at least three layers of clothing to brace for the harsh elements that are involved in outdoor climbing.
Thankfully, on Saturday evening, the rain stopped long enough for the rock to dry out, allowing the group to go night climbing and abseiling. This experience was loved by all those involved, as many people had not done this type of climbing before. When I looked around that evening, the vibe was amazing. There were lots of happy smiling faces, good music playing and lots of dancing and laughing. Everyone who finished routes felt very accomplished due to the cold weather that makes outdoor climbing a lot more complicated.
After heading back to base, a scout hut in Rhos-on-Sea, to warm up, the group began the night-time activities, either relaxing after a busy day or choosing to have some drinks and play some games. On the trip, the club was very inclusive of people’s preferences. There would always be options, whether that would be choosing to relax, to party at night, or even in terms of the different minibuses they put on for the alternative activities during the day.
Alternative activities occurred on Sunday, the third day of the trip. With more rain leaving the option of outdoor climbing unavailable, the group were able to choose whether they wanted to first go straight to The Boardroom, a climbing centre in Chester, or walk to Aber Falls, a nearby waterfall. The majority chose the former option after a tiring Saturday. Those who went on the waterfall walk were stunned by its beauty and soaked by the spray whipped up by the wind.
The club then had a long session at the climbing centre that was enjoyed by everyone, with climbs suitable for all abilities. At around 5 pm, the club regrouped and headed back to Bristol. The members were exhausted after a weekend filled with outdoor fun, socialising, and a lot of laughs. A good time was had by all, with some members already excited for the next trip that should occur around February time.
If you would like to get involved with the club or find out more, please visit: https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/sport/climbing/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/uweclimbingclub/.