14 May 2016

Treasure trove

I'm hooked on climbing now. I want to not just be able to sport climb, but also to lead trad climbs. That requires kit! And there is club kit, of course, but it can be nice to just have some stuff oneself. I thought I'd have a look on eBay if someone might be flogging some second hand stuff. I know there are risks involved in trusting your life to kit of which you don't know the history, but I don't want to spend a fortune on new kit. My next job may be in Vanuatu and then what use is trad climbing kit?

To my happy surprise, someone was selling of a whole lot of loot with a starting price of £100. It contained two backpacks, a rope, two harnesses, two pairs of climbing shoes (not my size), two pairs of crampons, an ice axe, a whole lot of nuts, hexes, a few cams, quite some quickdraws, five (!) belaying devices, some karabiners, two chalk balls and a chalk bag. A bit more than I bargained for, but one can always sell unwanted items on. I wasn't counting too much on getting this; I was the first bidder, but well, most things that look like a bargain a few days before the auction ends stop being bargains a few minutes before the end. But to my surprise, nobody else bid on this lot. Maybe all local climbers already have everything!

The man selling this stuff lived in Penmaenmawr, a stone's throw from the A55. We would pass this on the way to our next outdoor climb. Fortunately, it was convenient for the chap to have me pick all up along the way. The stuff looked good! And the chap was nice.

When we got to the cliff we'd be climbing the others heard of my treasure. It looked like I could flog all I had no use for off to them of mate's rates! I mentioned among the lot was an ice axe, and I already have an ice axe; one of the ladies didn't and offered me £10 for it. Deal! So the kit mountain was getting smaller and my bank account bigger; this is going well!

Getting home I tried on the smaller harness; it fit better than my own. That's 8 years old and has been in use as a climbing, glacier-hiking, and caving harness. Maybe time to retire it! I should go through the rest and see what I want to get rid of, what is of use to my climbing/caving friends, and what can go straight back to eBay. And who knows, maybe climb a trad route with my own gear soon!

The whole stash (except the ice axe)

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