The first challenge was the roped clamber, which is not high enough to qualify as a climb but which is awkward enough to cause consternation. For this reason I put out a walking rope to provide support and security.
Here you can see Andy and Lyn peering down anxiously as Barbara prepares to make a meal of the clamber, while I lean over to give her some advice. Note the popularity of wet weather apparel!
This was not the most graceful of rock-climbing manoeuvres! As soon as Barbara was within grabbing range, she was collectively manhandled to the top of the clamber accompanied by much laughter and rain.
Ahead lay the “birthing canal”, which was so named some years ago because it involves a narrow squeeze which MUST be negotiated head-first. At the far end of the canal is an enormous chockstone, which demands that the “birther” must twist to face upward and then turn ninety degrees in order to emerge (you really have to do it in order to understand!). On this particular day the birthing canal had filled-up with cold rainwater to a depth of 10 cm. Below you can see Andy attempting rebirth-therapy.
Finally we emerged at the top of the Wolfberg Crack, triumphant and gleeful, but wet.
Perhaps it was the moment of glory that influenced our judgement, but in spite of the deteriorating weather we optimistically decided to continue to the Wolfberg Arch – a dramatic 5-storey-high sandstone arch situated on the plateau. By now visibility had deteriorated even further, but would get even worse.
Eventually the arch was visible and in the cold and wet it was a matter of “we’ve seen it, lets go home”
Most of the party were drenched through in spite of wet weather gear. Everyone was cold in varying degrees, and we still had about two and a half hours of sometimes challenging walking before we could reach the vehicle.
Eventually we made it back to our accommodation and a welcome bottle of local wine and farm food.