25-01-2016 – Mountaineering Again

Top o’ the mornin’ to ye…

Right, that’s enough of that. Now, pay attention at the back there, for this debriefing of our last expedition, in which we attempted to summit the tricky South West Face of the Rum Bar in Chepstow.

Ben and I arrived first, and made base camp with the van at the car park nestled in the foothills of the venue. Since our Sherpas had failed to arrive, it was left to the two of us to empty the van, sort the equipment into the two categories “We absolutely can’t do without that”, and “I’m not carrying that bloody thing up those stairs if I don’t have to”.

Then, we started the laborious process of manhandling it up to Camp One at the foot of the stairs, and began to haul the heavier equipment up to Camp Two at the top. Soon, the rest of the party arrived, just as Ben was about to collapse due to the combination of his asthma with the lack of oxygen at the rarefied altitudes of Camp Two. To save him further distress, we tasked him with transferring the kit from Camp Two across to the summit, while the rest of us dragged the drum kit up.

We managed to get set up and sound check quickly, and went to grab some drinks from the bar. What time do they want us to start?

Oh. Right now. Okay, then…

The place was pretty busy, and the locals seemed to be quite up for it (obviously they are acclimatised to these high altitude conditions), so all in all we had a jolly fine evening. Pleasant surprise to see some old pals turn up unexpectedly as well, and by the end of the night, since we were getting quite a lot of encouragement, we even decided to bust the curfew by a couple of songs; if only because I was curious to see if we could still remember “Whole Lotta Rosie” having not played it for a couple of months.*

Afterwards, we sat down and tried not to think about having to pack the kit up and haul it all the way back down the stairs again; but eventually there was nothing for it but to bite the bullet and get Rosa to ask the staff very nicely if they’d like to help us.

They didn’t.

Still, we made it back down without any of the party suffering serious injury, so we should be good for next week’s little trip to nice, flat, non-stair-equipped Kingswood…

Saturday 30th – The Jolly Cobbler, Kingswood
It’s an early start, this one, 8:30 sharp we’ll be making a racket, because by 10:30 blunt we have to stop; otherwise the neighbours get out their little noise-meters from the council and start whingeing. And since we rather like Mike the landlord, we don’t want him to lose his licence. So we’re (apparently) not allowed to go and set fire to the neighbour’s houses. Bah….

Right, that’s your lot for this week, we’ll have some interesting news coming up fairly soon, but I’m not going to tell you what it is, because I can’t really remember. But I’m sure it was something interesting…

Square on


*Answer: Yes, some of us can…

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