This year may not have been the summer of love, but the festival spirit was strong at Widdopstock. A bouldering event, pub quiz, band and most importantly a crag clean-up.
Widdopstock took place on September 13th
and was the brain child of organiser Matt Triolett, who thought Widdop was looking a little care worn in places. The plan was simple: combine climbing the old ‘Top Circuit’ of boulder problems to clean away the dirt with a clean-up of the rubbish littering the crag.
The weather tried to conspire against Matt, with the preceding four weeks being appalling, right up to torrential rain the night before when final preparations were to take place. Saturday started cloudy, but the Gods looked down kindly on Widdopstock and as the afternoon arrived, the sky cleared, and those who had stuck to their promises were rewarded with a great afternoon of fun and bouldering.
The circuit had been thought out, then cleaned and top ropes had been placed on some of the old, and dirty highball problems. There were twenty odd climbers and Matt rushing round to see the various groups knew where they were going.
A strong team from North Wales turned up (it must have been strong because it contained George Smith!), and there were a great number of all the local suspects from years of East Lancs bouldering (Yorkshire have for years tried to claim Widdop).
Several bin bags of rubbish were collected, (the down side of Widdop being such a beauty spot) including a whole barby with sauce bottles and, unfortunately, empty beer bottles!
Once fingertips were split, all adjourned to the Sportsman Inn. A draw was made for all the climbers who had attended the clean-up, and everyone left with a prize, all provided by Fell and Mountain, Accrington, from chalk balls to ropes, rucsacs and slacklines. The pub quiz was prepared by an injured Mick Johnston. Pie and peas follwed and finally the band.
Widdopstock was a great festival befitting one of our best bouldering crags, leaving a whole set of newly cleaned classic problems, of all grades, across the skyline of Widdop (nearly always midge free).
Thanks to Matt for organising the day and to all who attended both for the climbing and the evening festivities, and to Fell and Mountain for the goodies!
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