BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

I Hate Sharp Jugs

I fuckin hate sharp jugs, a jug never needs to be sharp. My fingers are in bits after the last few days climbing:

Spurred on by this news report i trekked back up to the George's crack hillside in Ogwen. We went up to Lily Savage area, i was keen to look upon it with fresh eyes. Just underneath LS is Paul O Grady, a stunning arete bizzarely overlooked by locals. It took Ben Farley and Mick Adams to do the Stand up and Sit Start a couple of years ago. It was really gusty and pretty cold. Mr P walked up but coulnd't take the pace and bailed straight away (i hear you feel the cold more in old age). I did the stand which is 6c+, it felt amazing, lovely holds and great body positions. I worked the sitter (7b) and eventually figured out a sequence and dispatched it. It's the best 7b i've done in Wales and has all the ingredients of a classic problem in my eyes. Gorgeous holds, great line and importantly there is nothing nasty about it. When i got home i thought about the best 7b's in Wales and came to the conclusion that it is a fairly weak grade for top draw quality. I would certainly rank Paul O Grady at the top. I then started working Lily Savage. This is regarded as a classic 7b of Wales and certainly has the line and moves to justify it. Unfortunately the first slopey ledge has a razor sharp edge which took chunks off my hands slapping for it and later cut my leg heel hooking on it. This puts a dampner on it for me, i fell off the end and didn't have time for another go.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Orme Bouldering Bits

Pete Robins has done a couple of new problems on the top of the Orme recently. First up was a coolF8a traverse on the lower grade sunny walls over on West Shore side above the road. Pete also ticked off an old project on a little area that Mr P and friends had visited a few years ago. The Bottom Billion climbs out from a break through a small roof and up to another break via some sharp crimps. I went and did it yesterday and it is cool if a little sharp on soft skin. Anything with a edge that you have to bone is going through my tip at the moment. To the left is a equually good problem if not a little nicer. This was put up by Jon Ratcliffe back in the day with Mr P. It uses a nice sidepull pinch and some rough crozzly slopes and felt about 6c+ to me. All in all some nice new additions! Can't wait for the guide. The committee has been overseesing the graded lists for each area and there is indeed a lot of stuff these days. And lots and lots of hard problems. It should be colossal!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Ruthin Escarpment

Last winter when we were developing Dyserth etc..Clwyd guru and tallest man in North Wales Lee Proctor was giving Ruthin escarpment a makeover. He sent me some pics of a new buttress where he'd done some short routes and which he reckoned might have some bouldering potential. I popped up in early summer with Spidey and we did some of the routes. We did a immaculate little 7a up there and i failed on the 7b (punt). I was keen for the bouldering but wasn't in bouldering mode so i decided to save it for winter. Owen Mcshane and friends beat me to it and did some cool stuff. I finally made it up recently and it turned out to be really good. I went back the next day with a possee and soon the place was nicely developed. Even local Danny C came out and bagged the problem of the crag which took a stand up line with a highball top out (Another Million). I was keen for the big traverse and managed to bag the first section to an obvious jug. This was dead cool and i called it One in a Million and graded it 7b (turns out my illness had cocked up my gradeometer and 7a+ was right for it). The other week Jamie Skates bagged the last bolted line on the crag (Sting Like a Bee 7c). Lee has also rebolted the two main routes section of the crag and there is a new buttress beyond Butterfly Butress with some 6's. You can find the routes on the UKC database. Topo
Lee on his own problem/route Fritillary Flake Fb6a+, F6c:

Gav on what was to become Another Million 7b:

Mr P on what was to become One in a Million 7a+:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mint Mountains

After the ysgo i had to go to Sheff for 5 days to take care of some business. I don't really like the standard climbing wall scene. I only want to go inside to increase my basic strength and most walls are more interested in fun climbing and proper training facilities are often a bit shite despite the massive space at their disposal. This is fine but i'm not bothered about training my technique on plastic. I thought the best bet was the Foundry, last time i had tried to climb on the Works Beastmaker board. This has very nice handholds but i didn't like the foothold situation i.e they were too small and not enough of them. Mawson told me that they'd stuck some more on so i thought i'd give it another go. A few people have told me they find it hard to train properly at the Works because they generally know so many people in there and so end up making small talk and trying not to be rude. I know what they mean now! It was good chatting to folk i hadn't seen for ages but it is quite time consuming. Anyway the footholds made all the difference to the board and although the range of stuff you can do on there is still a bit limited it is a good board and undoubtedly awesome for finger strength and body tension.
Back in Wales we have finally had some proper winter bouldering weather. Driving down to Nant Gwynant i was feeling pretty inspired. Beautifully lit valleys, frost on the ground, no wind,lots of sun and just about t shirt temps. Wish it was like this more often! I took Gorgy down to Craig y Lyn. He had a do on Voie Normale and i finished off Abnormale 7b+. Last time thin skin had stopped me and this time it was fine after a few goes figuring out the technique for the jump. One helluva move! We then went to the Bustach via some shit parking beta from me. Muddy fields, wading through freezing river and stuck car once again. I wanted to try Sick Happy sds but it was wet so just did the 7a stand again (great problem!). The sitter seems very butch, i'm not sure its my bag really. Back in Gorgy's garage tonight. Last time i was there i said 'i think i'm coming down with something'. Two weeks of hell ensued. The priority now is finger strength, this is massively important for hard sport climbing in Britain so i need to get cracking. Would love to get close to my old crimping abilities when i was a youth. Wood and deadhangs barring any global disasters.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Here we go again!

And it was going so well! I was really getting into the training groove until the sickness came. 3 weeks later and i'm still not back on it. I've been getting out a bit with the old conflict still ever present. I know i need to get indoors campussing, deadhanging and doing steep bouldering but i just love climbing outside so much i struggle with discipline. It's a simple choice, meander along at the same level on the routes again this year or put some hard work in now and hopefully climb a bit harder come summer. Ramon says to get really strong you need to climb indoors. I'm inclined to agree with him. I know plenty of people who climb amazingly without training but are they really fulfilling their potential? They're happy so it doesn't matter but you need to train to get the best out of yourself in any sport. Imagine if Neil Dyer went over to Spain and spent a winter with the beast coaches over there. It's a scary thought. His training for next year consists of 'not actually going climbing ever'. But you know he'll be awesome again next year! Well i know i need to get to work. I went to Porth Ysgo yesterday with Mr P, baby Dave and big Tim. I forget what an amazing place it is as i tend to go once every few years. It is the best bouldering crag in Wales without doubt and such a pretty place to boot. It is a sign of a good crag when the warm ups are just as good as the harder problems. Dave bagged a few FAs, the crag that keeps on giving. One of my objectives for the day was Truth, a cool little 7b arete that i'd never done:

I got to within millimetres of the ledge quite quickly and then proceeded to go backwards on it to the point of surrender. I let the holds cool down and had one more go and did it much to my relief. We then played around on Anaconda which is a stellar 7c:

Mr P on the slightly flawed Higginson Scar RH 7a:

I had a quick look at Dolly Rocker which is a very cool little arete which goes at 8a or thereabouts. One to go back for if i'm ever going well.
Some development has been going on at a limestone crag x. It's a good addition and i'm quite inspired by a big traverse. Quite miss sideways shuffling it's been a while. 10 out of my 12 hardest problems are shuffles, will be good to get involved again.