Headlining Cheddar Gorge's activities to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee was a commemorative ascent of Sceptre, the first route climbed on the gorge’s showpiece crag, High Rock.
Sceptre was first climbed by legendary West Country climber the late Hugh Banner, accompanied by Peter Hill on 2 June 1953, the day of the Queen's Coronation. With Cheddar Gorge & Caves' support during what is otherwise a closed period for climbing on the south side, climbers Martin Crocker and Nicky Dennis made an ascent of Sceptre adorned in Union Jack flags. Their progress was followed by numerous visitors on a busy day for Cheddar Gorge.
Martin said: “As well as showcasing Cheddar Gorge, it was a good opportunity to remember Hugh Banner, one of the pioneers of West Country climbing who inspired all who followed. The first ascent of of Sceptre on Coronation Day coincided with the arrival in Britain of news of the first ascent of Everest - unfairly overshadowing the former in my view!”
His climbing partner Nicky is a rock-climbing instructor with Cheddar Gorge & Caves, and this was her longest climb yet - made all the more challenging when dressed in a Union Jack.
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Cheddar Gorge & Caves