It's early now. Definitely. Too early, that's for sure. In a sleepy haze, I consider hitting 'off' on the alarm clock and grabbing some more zeds before a guilty trip to the cliff in the afternoon to touch rock. The sun has other ideas, and the climbing lobe in my confused and tired brain is in overdrive, motivating leaden limbs into lakes-ward motion, blocking out the reality of 2 hours sleep and concentrating on the important things: bacon sandwich, some rope and the mountains. I sit in the back for the drive, in a daze which starts with sun rise in Leeds and ends in mist fall in Langdale. The ground is wet, the crag is somewhere in the mist, and I am not impressed. Neither is Tom. Balls.
Pavey Ark under a thin veil of cloud.
My body is rebelling against me. I am trying to do all day climbing after all night raving and it is objecting in no uncertain terms. "Easy day today Tom". The sun starts to shine. We climb gradually away from the teams on Jack's Rake, and end up at the top with a picnic of cous cous and licorice.
Belay on Stoat's Crack in the sun
I'm not sure of quite how it happened, but one of us must have suggested going to Bowfell Buttress. It definitely happened. Perhaps I was still drunk.
Slip, slip sliding, down the scree slope, bundling down to the river, across, and then up, steaming up the grassy slope, neglected calfs burning, quads screaming in pain, dissolving in lactic acid. Ground is churned up, the direct route is quick, like, and we arrive a sweaty mess at the Buttress. Bowfell. My tiredness is no more, and other than the ache in my feet from a long night dancing, I feel - almost - human.
The climb wasn't much to write home about. Not much to write to a blog about either, so I won't bother. We did it though, and ended up on top, and subsequently back in the valley, two flogged bodies in tights and rucksacks.
It turns out you don't need to sleep to climb.