Climbing a volcano for Concern in Uganda won’t actually involve rock-climbing, although there may be some scrambling (climbing without ropes), but I reckon all exercise counts when you’re training for a big challenge like this – so I grabbed at the chance to celebrate the PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny this year – by going climbing the next day in a local quarry – with my old buddies from the WetN’Wild adventure club.
Ballykeefe quarry blew me away, it’s a natural amphi-theatre and they have cleverly adapted the place to hold open-air concerts, with seating and a covered stage area, which has a beautiful and sympathetic design that adds rather detracts from the views – and also provided a welcome shelter for us climbers and our gear.
Amazingly – with the sort of year I’ve been climbing through – there was no rain. The day dawned bright and sunny, and as the quarry is south-facing we enjoyed a micro-climate, with our voices challenged by the noise of bees buzzing – as we sizzled in the sun, wishing we’d brought sun-block and repeatedly declaring our good fortune. I saw my first butterfly of the summer – on this gorgeous October day – and several more before the day climaxed in a sunset born of molten gold. We climbed for six full hours – a whole day hanging of a sunny slab… I haven’t described the climbing – the pictures do that so much better…… 🙂