April 17th 2017
Today I climbed through woodland up the side of a cliff. We went for a walk along Dorset’s jurassic coast to Old Harry Rocks. It’s quite a climb from sea level to the viewing point at the top of the rocks.
Halfway up we discovered this little secret pathway that led through the forest of bushes, so me and Sean decided to go on a little bit of an adventure and have an explore.
Through the bushes we found a series of ropes that were attached to the trees in the woodland, so – naturally – we followed the ropes to the bottom. Holding onto the ropes made de-scaling the cliff-face slightly easier, but there were water springs all over the hill that made it slippy under foot.
We kept going through the woodland – undoing all the gradual climbing we’d done on our way to the top of Old Harry – and arrived at the beach.
If you expand that last photo and look closely at the very lowest point of the top of the hill, you can just about see Alice and her family waving to us from the top. Here… look….
To get back up the hill to meet them, we decided to go an alternative route. We were feeling adventurous, and the ropes made the climb too easy. We went in another direction up the hill and it started pretty well. The floor underfoot was completely sodden because of all of the spring water, so we were basically playing woodland version of ‘the-floor-is-lava’ and had to jump from tree trunk to tree trunk, and avoid the floor completely, apart from the weird twig things that look like giant spider’s legs.
I absolutely loved climbing that hill, through that forest. It was like being a kid again, climbing trees and messing around in the dirt.
Eventually, we had to turn back from our alternative route because we’d got about as high as we could. We managed to climb one of the primary water springs without falling, but when we got to the top the thorns and vines were too thick to pass, so we had to go back on ourselves and start from the bottom again. On the way back down the spring, we both fell flat on our arses.
My legs and my arms are absolutely covered in cuts, bruises and dirt, but I’m not bothered by that at all. Climbing through the woodland was so, so fun. I love that kinda shit. Exploring, adventuring, climbing trees, fucking about in a forest. It’s so simple, so primal, and I love it.
We eventually got back to the top of the hill by following the rope-lined path – nowhere near as fun, but far more practical. By that point, Alice’s family had left us and we still had to walk another two miles uphill to get to Old Harry. We met them about halfway there and decided that seeing Harry from a distance was good enough.
Until tomorrow, my trainers are trashed too.