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Monday, 28 November 2011

Ty Newydd

Perhaps the best new crag in my dad's guide is Ty Newydd in Dyserth. It is one of those crags that makes you doubt yourself on the approach as you can't imagine that a cliff is about to appear. It is situated in a wooded valley in some fields and from spring onwards the air is pungent with the smell of wild garlic. The main section of crag is deceiving. It consists of sections of steep wall and slabbier sections. The holds are often hidden and sloping making onsighting reasonably tricky and the rock is a flinty type of limestone. The crag is on a farmer's private land and thus far he has been very accomodating with regard to access. However this will not be the case if people ignore the strict access arrangements. The most important of these is that there is no access to the crag from 1st October to 31 January on Friday and Saturdays. It is very important that this is adhered to.
There are some great longer routes like Chilly Tea 6c and Ivan the Responsible 6b+. Black Wednesday is a great 7a+ and Three Degrees of Levitation is a cool 7c. Dreambadger 7c+ is a super steep boulder problem on a rope. Wouldn't mind a grade opinion on this. And finally Pete Robins First Round, First Second provides some real beef at 8a+. All info in the guide!

Chill Tea:

Mule on Black Wednesday:

Friday, 25 November 2011

A55 Second Edition on way!

Since the A55 sport climbs book was released in 2010 my old king has continued to chronicle the developments in the area. In 18 months there have been 117 new routes, new sectors and even new crags. Three crags have been developed in Dyserth, Llanddulas has 3 new sectors, Penmaenhead has a new sector and Craig y Gigfran above Penmaenmawr was developed. Pesda Press are publishing the 2nd edition and it should be on the shelves a few weeks into December. The guide looks great, the new crags have really fleshed it out and the action shots are much better. There's even some hard routes now. Pesda have stuck a couple of quid onto the price as it's a bigger guide but it's great value at £13.99. I will give a run down on the new crags on this here blog.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Back to The Chase

Well i started training again and so far so good. My elbow still feels ok and i was pleasantly surprised not to be completely terrible. It must be because i was quite strong when i stopped so i didn't sink to the usual levels of crapness that i would have done normally. I was also pleased to be feeling motivated on the board. I half expected it to feel like a slog but i've really enjoyed it so far. You soon remember why you like doing it and why the sedate life will never be enough. I even missed brushing holds! Climbing has simplified from those last few months of summer where i wanted to climb FA's, existing routes, get ticks, go bouldering. Now i see a winter of training ahead of me (if my body can withstand it). I always had it in mind to focus on raising my game over this winter and the plan hasn't changed. I want to redpoint harder stuff than i've done which means doing it in North Wales which means power, power and more power. I know i need to be consistently stronger to have a chance on some of the hardies round here. During my usual elevated 3 weeks a year i'm capable of hard climbing but to actually do something i need to feel like that for months at a time. I couldn't believe how doable Liquid Ambar felt when i got on it that day but if it's gonna take 40/50 days then 2 weeks of beastliness won't cut it. I need to raise my game through months of hard training and actually raise my base level rather than relying on weight loss and the stars coming into alignment. So lots of board sessions and lots of bouldering. I'm still keen for all those problems i listed a few months ago and will start heading out when i hit den 7b again, hopefully shouldn't be long. I put on half on stone during my lay off so i'm not expecting too many fireworks for a while as i'm sure as hell not dieting again til next year. I'm keen to get on the campus board in the Mill at some point as this has always been a major weakness of mine. I remember when i was going pretty well in the School but couldn't do 147 when everyone else could cream it. I'm not sure exactly how much of a difference it will make to me but it's worth a shot. There is a great wooden symmetry board in the mill with great holds made by Nodder and i know this is great tool for getting those fingers strong. The crux of Liquid Ambar involves being strong and powerful on two slopey crap holds so this will be ideal for this. Might as well aim high and hopefully bag a few tricky 8's on the way back down to earth...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

End of Season

I've only climbed on average once a week for the last 5/6 weeks. It's the best time of year for a break and i needed to rest my elbow anyway. It's slowly improving but i've not thought too much about climbing in the last month. Considering how obsessed i am about climbing for the majority of the year it does surprise me how well i handle not climbing. I am pleased and relieved my life doesn't implode when i don't go. Of course i miss the buzz and excitement but a sedate life has plenty going for it too. I didn't climb for 2 weeks until yesterday. Me and Tommy went for a probable last blast down LPT. Tommy hommed around on 8a and i finished off Rompsville which i had tried briefly earlier in the year. I must say i was surprised with how good it is. I had always imagined it to be gnarly and sharp and nasty. It starts up Statement and then breaks right through 6c+/7a ground up to a decent rest. The crux is the slabby headwall which is very sequency and involves some cool sidepull holds and small feet. It's an excellent sequence and deserves more attention really. It did get upgraded to 7c from 7b+ but i'm inclined to keep these old skool slabby testpieces as their original grades. Routes like Cafe Libre, The Acid test and Rompsville do feel hard for the grade because most people these days are more adept at steep climbing and i thinks slabs traditionally feel stiff for the grade anyway. It's still warm enough to do routes round here but the feeling that the season is coming to an end is prevalent. It's not bad though when you can do routes for the majority of the year. After we went up to Pill Box where there was a healthy scene. The bangor boys were bouldering and doing routes and Pete Robins was checking out Carinthian Groove 8b, the hardest route on the upper drive. I put my boots on to try a few hard moves, i was dreading it as i haven't tried any hard moves for 5 weeks and i've put on half a stone. I needn't of worried as my old friend the Pill Box sorted me out and i managed Pill Bow Original, Mr Whippy, Chocolate Wall and Last Rites 7b+. I was quite surprised as i got spanked there in summer that day with Nodder when i had been climbing a lot. Don't write yourself off before you pull on! Time to start climbing again perhaps