During summer this year I planned to spend a weekend with Lee Robinson, otherwise known as Beta guides. I've known Lee for as long as I've been climbing and his attitude to climbing made a big impression on me, as I'm sure it has on many others.
Lee is just about to finish his long term project of producing a bouldering guide to the North York Moors. I went to speak to Lee about the guide and also to get a taste of a normal weekend for him.
Day one - The weather was scheduled for rain and arriving to blue skies and a slight breeze we thought we'd lucked out. As we walked up towards a scattered collection of boulders on the hillside, the farmer appeared out of his house and beckoned us over. With a little explanation from us what started as his barbed questioning tu rned into a positive inquisition, he liked what we we're doing and let us know it wasn't the strangest activity that had happened on his land - a man from the 'city' once asked if he could stay up in the trees at the head of the valley for a week, he said he let the man stay and midway through the week had to warn some passing nuns what kind of scene they might chance upon if they continued up the valley path.
Unfortunately for us, this talk had used up all the dry part of the day and as we reached 'recovery arete' the rain started to fall and fall and fall. We spent the rest of the day pushing through head high bracken and falling down ravines, I couldn't stop laughing, it was insanity.
Day two - A much better day greeted us so we walked into the duck boulders and today we'd been joined by another prolific developer, Mike Adams. Mike has been coming to the Moors for a number of years, adding the area's hardest boulder problem amongst many others (vimeo.com/53810572). It was great to have such a group together and I was lucky enough to get two of Mike's first ascents on film.
The guide itself is a beautiful thing indeed, it is rich with history and there are wonderful pictures on every single page. You'd be happy to have this in your toilet library and it's the sort of thing you'd show your mum, I did anyway. It would be impossible for me to do a review, Lee is a friend and I love the moors. See what you think.
This video isn't meant to showcase the Moors bouldering, far from it, it is just a snippet into what Lee and others have been doing.
Thanks to Lee for the madness, Lisa for Bacon Sandwich and Mike for crushing (and the lift home!)
Also big thanks to The Shed in Beverley for letting us film in there, my old college pub kicked us out.