Another successful Stanage Freshers Trip!!!
A fun-filled weekend of climbing, drinking and sock-wrestling, Stanage is always a classic trip and a great introduction to the club, with a chance to meet both old and new members and touch some rocks while you’re at it!
The trip began successfully on the Friday evening with everyone making it to Stanage (eventually). We even managed to contact the elusive Douglas Yellow and he made it onto the trip with only 30 minutes warning, having not seen his name on the trip list.
Some silly fresher left a sleeping bag on the floor at North Gate and some silly social secs managed to make the 1.5hr journey into a 5hr ordeal (apologies to their passenger and to the rest of the club who had to wait up!). Lessons were learnt… Such as never letting Freya drive on a club trip. The sleepy stoats - some of whom had managed to drink a lot of alcohol whilst waiting for their social secs to arrive - then went to bed, dreaming sweet climbing-related dreams.
We rose early on the Saturday morning and had an amazing first day of climbing. The sun was shining, the stoats were smiling, and Stanage was looking as beautiful as ever! With the help of the ever-amazing old gits (we love you all!), we managed to fill up a lot of the Stanage Popular crag and have 15 groups climbing in the sun. One very keen stoat *cough* Tom Moses *cough* dragged his group up 14 climbs - surely a club record?!
After a day of climbing the stoats were eager to get back and load up on Ming (tastier than it sounds we promise). However, to everyone's dismay, the Ming took two and a half hours to cook! During this process, one stressed social sec was running around the kitchen trying to coordinate the cooking. Where was the other social sec you ask? She had been sent to the shops to buy ingredients but ended up heading out on a road trip to Sheffield with some hitchhiking uni students - don't ask! Many frustrated, hangry freshers later and the Ming was finally ready. And boy was it loved, even the vegan alternative was enjoyed (maybe just because of the collective hunger).
While everyone ate their fill, the new and old social secs were hidden away concocting the MEANIE!!! The food was swiftly cleared away as meanie rituals began. After the unfortunate youngest fresher was dunked, the drinking commenced. Perhaps the social secs were too good at picking the secret ingredient as the meanie went down a treat - leading to many drunken stoats. As the meanie came out, so did the slings and harnesses, ready for some sock wrestling! Despite the mad flailing of limbs, no blood was spilt this year, however one gear sec managed to get a black eye during the battle of the gear secs. After this, everyone was rushed out of the hut to watch Ed put on a fire dancing show which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
After even more sock wrestling, the harnesses were put aside for the annual tradition of commander says, run by old gits. We continued the new tradition of table climbing and many stoats got incredibly bruised as they clung to the table, hanging with all their strength. Then there was a quick round of the cardboard game to finish off the night's activities. The night ended interestingly for some of the stoats, and there will definitely be some new topics for ‘commander says’ next year…
On Sunday the hungover stoats woke up to absolute chaos. Pans were knocked together to get everyone out of bed and a huge cleaning operation began. There was an unhealthy amount of cleaning to be done but everyone pulled together to leave the hut in a fit state. We left slightly later than planned and with slightly fewer climbers and group leaders than previously anticipated. The group list went out the window and there was a frantic scramble to sort out who was climbing where for the day.
We left the hut so late that Stanage Popular car park had filled up with climbers hoping to enjoy the amazing weather. The stoats moved towards Stanage Plantation and split into groups to either boulder, lead, or set up top ropes for people to drag themselves up. Sunday turned out to be a good day of climbing and the stoats left the crag feeling accomplished.
The trip ended in Derby McDonalds which was just what the stoats needed after this successful (if slightly chaotic) trip. What a lovely start to the year!