Our first objective was Stacks Bluff, which involves quite a big climb (over 700 ms straight up over huge rocks). About half way through the steepest and trickiest section I offered them a break, but all agreed they wanted to get this steep part finished. I admired them. On we continued until we popped out onto the plateau at the top, the base from which the rest of Stacks would then rise. Although we had to climb to its summit, we had done the hard work by this stage. Up here, coats, gloves and beanies were needed, and off we set again, rising far more gently now, until the summit was reached. The wind was biting, but the summit has what I call a sheep pen on it: a place where you can climb inside and have shelter. We all got in and sat in a holy huddle to enjoy eating our own food and the shared food from others’ gardens that was offered around.
There is no path to Wilmot, which makes it a bit more fun, and I enjoyed finding our own way through the rocky challenges, first off Stacks to the saddle below, and then following shelves of rock up to the top of Wilmot. We climbed it very quickly indeed, but still used being at the summit to celebrate in the normal way – by eating a bit more. Sweet stuff this time.
People were now very relaxed, the hard work of the day was done, and we had ample time to get back to the car. I killed some of that time by offering a third mountain, and all but one opted to do it with me. This one was the highlight for me – partly because I hadn’t climbed it before, but also because I could tell from afar that its cliffs would offer very dramatic views, and I was right.
We rounded the day off beautifully by driving to Zeps for coffee and cakes before splitting into north and southbound cars to return home. Again, food sharing was the order of the day, which I totally approved of, as I got to taste not only my own yummy raspberry tart, but a cake called “Ivory” which came straight out of heaven.