BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Times are hard here in Penrhyn Bay. Projecting a route at your limit on the Diamond is proving to be extremely stressful! I'm happy with my efforts and progress on the route what i'm not happy with is the external factors that are beyond my control! Having to contend with the tides is one thing but conditions are so fickle at the bloody place its becoming infuriating. Yesterday i was feeling good but was just greasing off. Any kind of dampness in the air and your buggered! And now it gets dark at five so you get even less time down there! Ahhh!! Deep breaths, must stay positive. I think i'm just gonna train even harder and get the best shape i can then when the good day comes along i'll crush it. I know i can do it.
Tomorrow People:

Nodder making a speedy getaway:

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hysteria Re-equipped

Was at a loose end yesterday morning so went down the Diamond on my tod to glue Hysteria 7b, Pete Harrison drilled it and left a rope in situ making it easy for me. Looks like a fun route, very steep! The weather isn't good for the Diamond right now, hot an damp, yesterday was gopping! Then i jumped ship to the Great Orme to meet Tony S, made a redpoint ascent of Fawcetts testpiece Needle in The Groove 7b+, very nice if shortlived route on mayfair wall. May the lord of the ormes bless us with some good conditions please!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

NO Overnight Sensation! (Doth Nemesis Slain)

Most climbers have a nemesis, a particular climb that they just can't crack no matter what. Mine has always been Overnight Sensation 8a+ at Malham Cove. I don't recall when i first tried this route but it was a while ago thats for sure. Having dropped the last move half a dozen times i'd begun to lose hope. The start is a fingery long and hard font 7b sequence but then you have to finish up a French 7c headwall. There were times where i was strong enough to piss the start but lacked the fitness to finish it and vice versa. A bit of luck and i probably would have done it years ago. The problem with it was that efforts were never continous because i've always lived a few hours from Malham. I'd do well on a particular day but wouldn't go back for weeks, this kind of disjointed effort was not the way to get stuff done. With the tides being in this week i quite fancied climbing a bit more on rock and Malham seemed a good choice so i teamed up with Ted and we headed north. Even if it was just for training purposes it would be worth it but in the back of my mind i hoped i would be in good enough shape to crush something. Afetr warming up i got on Overnight, i was still familiar with it and i got through the start by the skin of my teeth first redpoint. It had taken to much out of me though. On my last go i found myself at the big long move at the end and for the first time in the history of my Malham career i latched the move. I was however knacked and couldn't close it up. Joy and despair in equal measure. I was however confident for the next day. After a few duff redpoints i got the big last move again but this time i closed it out and boy did it feel good. I was very pleased, not just because i'd ticked my nemesis but also because i knew my power endurance had improved. Ted ticked Vogue 7c+ and some other 7c on the left and we left happy chappies!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Back to the Training Board

Another tidal window passes and as the weather and the nights draw in, the opportunities for outside rock climbing in Britain will become more limited. Me and Tommy had a last minute dash to the Diamond yesterday. I got to the high redpoint crux again but was stronger this time, like i said, a matter of time. With work prospects looking ever gloomy looks like the next week will be spent in the Mill cranking up the power endurance! I wouldn't mind a Yorkshire hit too (Malham) if anyones keen? Would be nice to keep the rock training going too and see where i'm at on other stuff.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Onwards and Upwards!

I'm not gonna keep boring you all with detailed blow by blow accounts of the Diamond. But today i got 6 moves from the finishing jug. Was fucked but it felt good getting so high, only a bit more fitness stopping me now. My life has revolved around this crag and this project for a while now, i'm getting poorer and poorer as i haven't been working but it will be worth it. Soon i'll be a tramp living in a cardboard box at Craig-y-don but at least i'll be a happy tramp. A couple more days left this tide, then training and maybe an excursion to a big white crag far far away.

Jon r doing a spot of bolting:

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Diamond time is upon us again. Went down earlyish with Dave Redpath yesterday but was pleasantly surprised to find it dry. First go fell off crux, ended up meddling with it some more and finally i think i know how to do the crux. Next go got through the crux but was powered out again, couldn't even clip - lob! I was starting to get disillusioned. Had got here maybe 4 times now and every time i hadn't been able to move. Maybe i had bitten off more than i could chew. Next go once i got the flatty i dropped my feet down a bit lower and i could hang on with a straight arm, instantly it felt better. I clipped fine and then made the next move out left, i fell off going for the half decent shakeout. Progress and finally i started to believe i could get high on this route. We didn't get long as the sea raced in.
Today was shit, there didn't appear to be much difference in the conditions but the route was basically to greasy to climb on. Very frustrating. Spent most of the day just watching the boys on Never get Out of the Boat and had a quick go of Tommy's proj, super bouldery! Hope for better nick next time.
Jim on the newly bolted Rub a Dub Dub 7a:

Saturday, 10 October 2009


6719 views in 9 days. Thats more than my youtube stuff thats been up for over a year. The feedback on the whole has been pretty positive too.
Anyway i'm not a filmmaker i'm a rock climber and a vey excited one at that. This week i hope the get higher on the Diamond, the forecast is looking good too!

One more training session today, i'm really keeping my fingers crossed that this fitness training has been worthwhile and i'll be able to tell the difference. But if not i'll keep going until i've been chucked out my house for not paying the rent and living in a carboard box under Craig-y-Don. By the way if anyones looking to move to Penrhyn Bay i have a spare room and a big tele.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Training Patxi Style!

Well not quite, i've had a rest day already! Those of you who have seen Progression will know about Patxi's now legendary training regime. 3 months on, 2500 move circuit every day etc... Well most of us would break if we did this but we could undoubtedly do more. I rested yesterday so am training Patxi style until sunday, then rest then hopefully Diamond. Need to up the ante on the circuits front, i've been bouldering a lot too at the mill so i either need to tone this down or have longer sessions. My endurance training takes 3 forms. First i do a hard problem up the board (one that i can usually do when feeling good), then i do a tricky but not desperate downclimb and then try and bust out a 7a. I'll probably have a few burns on this then try my drop off circuits, five problems which get easier, dropping off quickly between goes. Then i get on the 30 board and try and stay on as long as i can with a pretty bad shakeout between circuits, i'm usually goosed at this point! Combine this with some deadhanging and running and you should be getting in decent shape. I've chilled a bit on the eating front because i'm only a bit heavier than i was in the summer, to get as light as i was wouldn't do too much and getting even lighter would be too hard. And besides the main thing i need to work on is fitness.
Obsession has had 2926 views on Vimeo in 7 days. This pleases me, i did show it at Kendal a few years ago but the punts and old duffers didn't really get it. At least now those who can appreciate such things can see it.
Busy time at the Diamond:

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ding Dong Crushes 8c

The Hulk in Rodellar, nice one pal! Seems everyone is crushing 8cs these days! No more diamond until the next tidal window. Yesterday i went down with Heason and Tommy. Ben had a dog up my route, he did the crux moves similar to Pete but managed it without the gnarly matches. It was time to investigate further, the way i was doing the crux was too draining and i knew it, stupid, really stupid! Those guys weren't cutting loose all over the place and although they were doing a few more moves their sequence was much more 'on'. Anyway i worked it out and its defo the way forward, idiot! I got through the new crux sequence but powered out on the horrible flatty again, need to extend that stupid clip! So all good really, still learning a lot and improving on the route. lets see what next week brings....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Old Pics

Here are some old pics from Miles Perkins of me, him and ding dong re-equipping the Brute project on the Diamond. Can't remember what year this was. We did the big abseil and jug, a hard day!

Had a good session yesterday, i managed to get through the crux for the first time, i did a few more moves to the good flat hold but had nothing left, i couldn't move. A bit worrying and perhaps the first true indicator of the difficulty of this line.

Friday, 2 October 2009


Big Ups latest film trailer. The kings of filming and video production. Keen to see this one:

Onnnnn Redpoint!

Good scene down the old Diamond yesterday, several psyched locals turned up to give Boat People a pounding. It was minty mint, i could tell straight away. I put my clips in and did my warm up routine, then had a bash. Almost held the crux hold, rest and then another bash, got even closer, this time though after i fell i pulled on just after the crux cut loose and went to the top. The all important link was in the bag, i could now start to believe in myself on this route a bit more. Next go i was even closer to getting through the hard bit. Once this happens i could be in (i could also spend weeks falling off the top though so we'll see!). Anyway i don't have months and months so its redpoint time. I feel good on this route, it doesn't stress me (yet) and the climbing flows for me.
Tommy worked the middle moves on his project then set his sights on the nails looking start, he got a sequence and did one of the very hard moves which was cool. The lads were throwing themselves at Boat People. They weren't bothering with the top wall electing to do the 7c version. Jim got it and Jonny R and Choo got close. Pics and vid of the day:

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Neil James Inspector Awesome Mawson ticks Cry Freedom!

Yes news just in, also on the 8b+ grapevine Ted did Mecca recently. Jimmy big guns tells me that on his recent trip to Spain with Mcclure, Steve managed to onsight an 8c, bout time! Good work all round!


Back in 2002 when i lived in Sheffield, i met a young lad called Rich Simpson. He was up from Birmingham for the weekend with his climbing buddy Rob Mirfin. Rich was 19 and already getting pretty obsessed about rock climbing. I remember going to Stanage and Rich trying a wet Shine On on top rope, he was so psyched. I failed to predict that this guy would go on to become the second best sport climber in British history with three 9a ascents (this has only been bettered by Steve Mcclure). He was also pretty nifty at bouldering doing the odd Font 8b. Rich did 23 routes 8c and above and in that list was many an old skool classic, Action Directe, Liquid Ambar, Wallstreet, Agincourt etc... For me though it was his dedication and motivation that set him apart. In a quiet suburb of Redditch south of Birmingham he spent hours and hours on a small board in his garage. He had the genetics and the abiltiy to climb hard things but this was matched by a single mindedness that i have never seen the like of. He would unleash himself on his roadtrips and would come back with fairly dismaying ticklists! I climbed with him more and more over the years and the increase in his power levels was scary. He made 1-5-9 look so easy and could knock out about 18 one armers when fresh. To this day in terms of raw power he's probably the strongest i've seen. These days Rich has other things that he likes to do with his life (he still aims to climb one 8c every year though) and i don't blame him. After years in that garage i don't think i could face that regime anymore either. I was in the Frankenjura when Rich did Action and i made a film about it. Its an ok effort i think, it could of been a lot better. I actually missed the ascent of Action because it was about 7 in the morning and i was asleep but Rich kindly did it in sections so i could finish my film. I think it makes for interesting viewing though, i especially like the moves from above sequence. Anyway for those who haven't seen it, enjoy:

Obsession from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.