The weather wasn't in our favour. Just as I left the house I said I hoped the weather would hold it changed from sunshine to rain. By the time we got to Dalkey things had improved but we did get another brief shower and things were generally overcast so things finished up earlier than they could have done enough if the brilliant sunshine of the morning had only lasted into the evening but we still did pretty well. The long days make it a great time of year for climbing if you can get adequate weather otherwise.
As we were gathering we passed John Mehegan who headed much more quickly to the quarry to climb with friends. Jenny, Rachel, Lena, Hamish, and Brian still wearing a sharp suit (and a pink striped tie) formed a separate group. Soon as he finished off work Luke was hot on our heels, and arrived not too long after us.
Although there was talk of climbing Thrust, a route on the upper cliffs, we ended up at Paradise Lost or "base camp" as Brian called it as so many climbing days begin there. Rachel started to lead Levitation, and Brian joked he would race her. Despite Rachel taking an early lead Brian was soon speeding the adjacent route Mahjongg.
Waiting around Alan (me) did some basic climbing and traversing not much more than a metre from the ground, but it felt good to be out there and getting some climbing done again. I probably should have lead Paradise Lost but I was disinterested in leading it again, still convinced it would be much more enjoyable to solo the route with no rope at all and without the hassle and weight of a rack of gear. Alternatively I might have had time to climbing Levitation before Luke arrived had I been a bit more enthusiastic.
Luke soloed Paradise Lost as a quick warm up, then lead a climb nearby to the left called Fragile. Fragile is so close to Paradise Lost it was at times hard to know if we were really climbing a different. Alan seconded Fragile, making a conspicuous effort to keep left, deliberately avoiding the easy line in an attempt to make it a little more challenging but for the most part it was really wasn't difficult.
After a pondering our options and asking for suggestions Luke decided to tackle E-route. The clouds had dissipated enough let through a little sunshine and light the upper half of the route. As Alan began the climb a gentle drip drip of rain began. This brief shower was more than a little off putting, but Alan was able to get started thanks to suggestions from Philip and Dennis and the rest of the climb was good fun from there.
Enthusiasm and energy varied and it would have been so much better to go out earlier on my day off but it was a good evenings climbing and I'm glad I made the effort to get out there and just do it.