It’s the 1st of June 2013. The sun is shining like a joyous beacon in the crystal clear sky. After two months of what can only be described as ‘academic bullshit stress hell,’ the exams have finally ended, and the stoats have emerged from their dark revision holes in preparation for the club’s summer trip to Cornwall. Clad mainly in filthy UBMC beaters, everyone is gathering outside the Munrow at 9.00 AM, where naturally, an excellent amount of faff is occurring.
The reason for this faff? Jonny Cheetham, one half of the gear sec duo, has not turned up to help sort out the gear for one of the biggest trips of the year and no one seems to know where he is. Around this faff, Brian is attempting to strap a bouldering mat to the roof of his car using only quickdraws. To the amazement of everyone, he is successful in this endeavour.
Sometime later and still down a gear sec – who seems to have disappeared off of the face of the planet – we are finally leaving the Munrow via Mason Halls to find our missing committee member. With some educated guesswork, one inaccurate door knock and some general confusion we eventually find the flat of one Jonny Cheetham, who, it transpires, is a complete hungover mess and is not even out of bed yet. He stumbles into the corridor of his flat in a dressing gown apologising profusely – I have included this particularly brilliant picture due to the hilarious nature of the situation.
And so the most epic trip of the year gets underway! Six hours later and with many numb bums from hours spent in the car, UBMC descends upon a sleepy Cornish campsite, the owners of which have very wisely given us an entire field to ourselves, very far away from all the other campers. The cider is cracked open, the climbing lists are written and everyone goes to bed looking forward to a day of climbing in the glorious sunshine, which actually means everyone looks forwards to going for one climb at Sennen and then bailing onto the beach right next to the crag at around midday.
It is then time for the first day of climbing! Abseils are rigged and the stoats are underway, until about 2 PM when I remember that there is supposed to be a barbecue tonight and that I have bought absolutely none of the stuff necessary to feed anyone. It also happens to be a Sunday and the horrifying realisation that the shops will close in two hours time hits rather hard. Thankfully Mauricio saves the day and goes to the Supermarket to purchase everything necessary for a barbecue, doing a better job at selecting food than I could have ever hoped to.
On the way home from the crag, and after a remarkable amount of actual climbing, Dan and myself stop off in the lovely coastal town of Penzance with only one goal: to find a nightclub for later in the week that is even scattier and even more hilarious than the infamously brilliant Paddles of Pembroke 2012. This proves itself to be no small task but after much research, we hear rumours of a Wetherspoon’s round the corner from a small and particularly scatty nightclub. We return to the campsite confident that we have found not only a place for newer club members to complete their three pint/wine challenges, but also a suitably shit venue for a UBMC night out.
The next few days pass in a blaze of beautiful sunshine. Much ‘climbing’ is undertaken (read: much going to the beach is undertaken), some of the more experienced club members take on their first leads, nobody has to be rescued off of Commando Ridge, ice cream abounds and the pub down the road from the campsite has come to expect us at around 9 PM every evening. Everybody is in high spirits and having a generally excellent time. Many beach games are developed, including shoulder wrestling in the sea in which UBMC members sit upon one another’s shoulders and then attempt to wrestle each other into the ocean. Despite his bravado and specially developed ‘pincer scare tactic,’ Dan is hilariously shit at this game and is repeatedly knocked into the sea.
And then Wednesday, the day we have decided UBMC will drunkenly descend on Penzance, finally arrives. After a lovely morning climbing and an even better afternoon on the beach, a good portion of UBMC – all clad in their fantastic, lime green summer trip tee shirts - crowd into a Wetherspoon’s beer garden so that the new committee members and newer club members can undertake their three pint/wine challenges. It is here that the night begins to roll quickly downhill and into the realms of utter madness. As everyone cheers on the UBMC members downing their drinks, a self confessed party animal barman inevitably comes to tell us that we are disturbing not only the other patrons of the bar, but the whole town generally (“Look, I’m the biggest party animal of them all...”). I could write about what happened during the three pint challenges, but the memories of the evening become remarkably hazy for all involved at precisely this point, and have been pieced together using photographic evidence and half remembered eye witness accounts.
What we do know, is that it was not a dignified affair. Post Wetherspoon’s, a riotous UBMC finds itself en route to a terrible Nightclub called ‘Up’. Up is so shocked by the fact that they suddenly have more than three patrons in the club that they give everyone in UBMC a free jaegerbomb. And so the chaos begins! Emma Hanlon made friends with a group of local young men, while in the toilets, a door is broken to down to reveal Sam Hockley with his head resting on the toilet bowl, clearly regretting both life and the three pint challenge from earlier. Ross Cooper is doing his best to pull a local Cornish lady while Lizzie Berg drifts into a completely different world and sits staring at walls for quite some time. There are several domestics and at least two people cry. As the night progresses, more and more people who undertook the three pint challenge seem to drift off. They are all later found sat outside the nightclub, where a hilarious yet hideous trail of vomit seems to be snaking slowly down the hill on which Up is located. It is, in short, a disgrace. Although we then head back to the campsite it doesn’t end there, thanks to the infamous exploits of one Emma Hanlon.
A little worse for wear, Emma attempts to shower with all of her clothes on a half past three in the morning. When informed that this might not be for the best, she decides to remove all of her clothes, and thus the term ‘doing an Emma’ is born, to refer to one who is so drunk, they get completely naked. The following morning, halfway across a field, Mauricio finds her bra and is forced to ask himself the same question as everyone who decided that Up was a good idea – what on earth happened last night?
Thursday sees a drop in climbing productivity as a good portion of people are feeling far too tender to do anything other than wallow in McDonalds and then have a really nice group nap in the sun. The brave among us, and the people who were wise enough to give Up a miss, spend their days productively at Sennen, Bosigran and Land’s End.
The final few days of the trip end much like how they began – lots of climbing, lots of beach going and lots of fun in the wonderful sunshine. Waterproofs stay buried at the bottom of everyone’s bags as the weather is unfailingly glorious all week long, and everyone returns home on Saturday safe in the knowledge that it has been not only a great week celebrating the end of exams in Cornwall, but a great year in UBMC overall. Bring on the next one!
By Heather Mungin.