Queen's birthday, a time to celebrate our continued governance by her royal highness. We all thought it would be quite fitting to head to the castle to celebrate her June birthday.
Castle Hill I mean,
Winter had arrived and as per usual an early June southerly starting blowing into Christchurch early on Saturday afternoon. We had arranged accomadation in Castle Hill village courtesy of the St Andrew's College Outdoor Instructors Staff House. Kim, Lindsay & Lucien headed out into the hills early in the day to ride the Craigieburn mountain bike track, while Megan and I waited in Christchurch for the day. (Watching/playing netball).
At 5pm I had arranged to pick up my nice new 'Wear on Earth' down jacket from Blair Jacobs, I am now the only stylish person in the known world to be rocking a 'Wasabi Green' two layer gore tex down jacket. Let it be known that I stand out in a crowd!
After parting with cash in exchange for warmth, Megan & I headed out to the village. Upon arrival we had a huge feed of Nachos courtesy of Lucien & his assistants. Dinner was washed down with various wines & some very amusing games of girls vs guys pictionary.
So sunday morning, the rain had stopped, the sun had risen and we eventually made it to Spittle Hill. With two castle hill newbies (Lucien & Kim), there was a quick introduction to smearing & slopers. Lindsay was quick into action working the V4 Torpedo in the first 30minutes, before finally sticking the top hold.
Megan once again returned to the self-titled 'Megan's Problem' which she managed after a couple of attempts this time around. 'Megan's Problem' soon became 'Kim's Nightmare' as she tried at least 20 times to tame the beast within....
Lucien & I soon discovered an interesting problem adjacent to 'Megan's Problem'
- A combination of tiny feet with one solid arete and a miniscule crimper - then throw high to a solid sloper, hope you feet don't pop and yell/grunt.
After an hour or so I finally stuck the top hold & felt satisfied having solved an interesting problem.
The rest of the afternoon passed & the sun faded beyond the hills, temperatures rapidly dropped and we all retreated back to the village, happy with the thought of a warm fire & some dinner.
Monday morning saw the first solid frost that I've seen all year, a hearty bowl of not quite original porridge & a couple of coffees saw us packed and heading back to the hill.
Our mission at the start of the day was to find a boulder and not leave until we had climbed to the top using 5 different routes. After about 4 successful missions on various boulders it was lunchtime, right beside the 'Lung Dyno' Lindsay & I both had played around on this before we were both keen to see if we could actually top out...
While Lucien, Lindsay & I played around with the grunty throw & hold on to nothing problem the girls headed off to find some nice technical slab climbs.
The Queen's party started to die down so we all slowly made our way back to Christchurch, a great weekend & definetely an escape we shall have to do again soon. (Considering Castle Hill is only an hour away).