Last climbing trip before Corona

Date: Saturday, 14th to Sunday 15th March  2020
Destination: Blacknor North and Central, Portland
Type of Rock: Limestone, mostly solid, all routes bolted
Travel Time from London: 3-4 hours by car
Weather: 10°C, cloudy, rainy
People on Board:  Alex M, Alex S, Alex Z, Dan, Matt, Mona, Nino, Simon

Throwback to mid March, where it was still only about elbow bumps and nobody really got yet, how the world would look like two weeks later.

It was those times when it still seemed okay to travel with a group of eight from London to Portland, only a few days later things changed entirely. In hindsight we know always more and  we can just hope that we didn’t bring Covid-19 to Portland or passed it on between each other.

We arrived at noon and headed to Blacknor North. The access and for those with the wrong shoe work definitely the most dangerous part of the day.

Climbs we liked:

  • Sling Shot (5a) – its in Rock Fax’s Top 50 and deservedly so
  • Crocadilia (6a) - with a tricky part half way up on the slabs
  • Cake Walk (6a) – challenging in a nice way and with lots of resting points on the way
  • Apfelstrudel (6a) – Looks harde than it is, Mats favourite of the day

It was damn cold and when it started to rain, we headed “home” to Portesham Dairy Farm Campsite, 30 minutes away, which had to be mentioned here because they had the most beautiful bathrooms one can find on a campsite.

On Sunday it rained so we went back to London and spend the remaining afternoon on the walls of White Spider. It turned out to be the last day the walls were open.

What we will remember from this trip:

  • Nino! He had never climbed outdoors or on ropes, nor did he know any of us, but he just threw himself into this adventure and had
  • A for Black Lizard trip unusual imbalance of gender. Why is that? We’d really like to kow, so dear reader, please do let us know your view on this!
  • Poor Simon did his shoulder in, at his very first climb, poor sod! Sooo annoying….
  • We also went to a pub and hopefully we didn't leave any London Corona Virus there, do we feel guilty? Yes Would we go back in better times? Yes most definitely!
  • Matt, another new face on this trip, and an awesome climber – hope to see more of you in better times!

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