BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Friday, 30 March 2012


I went to Pantymywn after work on Tuesday night and was surprised to see the Under the Bridge wall in great condition. A couple of dry winters coupled with the cleaning efforts of Lee P, Jamie and John have sorted it out. Everyone must have looked at the bouldering potential of this wall but it's always been so greasy and moist it's never really taken off (barring Under the Bridge, Danny's excellent 7b+). Also the fence has been completely dismantled and there are now a couple of problems that were previously obscured by it. There is quite a bit to do on there with sit starts, link ups and not to mention some great up lines. Lee Proctor has done a new mini route called La Porte de l'Enfer. He did a right hand boulder problem to get to the first bolts but a more direct, quicker and easier start has since been found which shifts the grade from 7c to 7b+. I had a valiant flash attempt but Lee's sequence on the headwall was meant for 6ft 6 peeps and i didn't have the necessary beans to work out a different way. I sussed the moves and got it next go. It is a very fun little route with excellent moves throughout. I also did a potential new problem on the right hand side of the wall. It featured a crimpy start to a big move to a juggy horn. I latched jump after several goes and almost the obvious sit start from the left. The problem is about 7a and maybe a + or just hard for the grade from the sitter. If someone wants a potential 8a FA then the right to left traverse of the wall into Under the Bridge would be very spicey. It was packed round the corner at the main bouldering cave with Team Wrexham having it large. There has been a fire under the left hand side and Panty's down has got a bit harder. Also the block used for the sitters in the hole is wobbling a bit.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


The last few weeks my foot was forced off the pedal by work in London. Of course i could have gone to a wall down there but i didn't know the way and i didn't want to spend my days hard earned wages! Two weeks shouldn't actually have too much affect strength wise and indeed i was ok in the Cave first day back. I've got 3 problems in there i really want to do and Broken Trigger is first up i think. It's a bit shorter than The Wire and Pilgrim and a good first choice as i'm not very fit. I'd gotten to the move to the crimp on Trigger Cut from the start a few times but it felt like a tricky move on the link. A few people have done TC recently with Nodder's kneebar for this move. I thought i couldn't do it originally but it is actually bomber and a big help on the link (don't ask what grade TC is now!!). Just need a good day on it now! Pete R was trying Pilgrimage, it's an obvious project for him in there as he's done most things. He's got an alternative sequence for the classic undercut move (which seems to be redundant these days!) and just needs to build up fitness on it. We then headed round to Pill Box as Pete wanted to try Katzy's unrepeated 8b route Corinthian Groove. It was his 5th day on it, he tried it 4 times last autumn, he reckons it could be the hardest 8b on the lime. Well they normally don't take him that long. I did Foolish Ghoulish, the 7b that Corinthian finishes up and got royally pumped. It's going to be a long road to get some stam! The route is brilliant, one of the best of its grade i've done on the Orme. Pete had no joy on the 8b and that was that. The next day i headed into the pass with Mr P, Floppy Chris and Gav for something a bit different. It was really hot, crazily so for March. We warmed up on the Pac Man boulders and then headed into the woods to try this. It is indeed a very nice problem but it felt too hot for the slopes. Chris and Gav tried a project to the right:

Pete having a quick go on Clutch 7c+:

Friday, 9 March 2012

Routes Season!?

There has been some early season action going down on LPT. Spring is almost with us and luckily for us in Wales we don't need to wait til June for the crags to dry out. Most of them are good to go! Caff did Walking Mussel the other day, he'd had a look at it once or twice before but got it quicksharp on redpoint. I went down yesterday to join in the fun. My main goal for the year is to go up a sport grade. I did Melanchollie 8b back in 2004, then bouldered for a few years and struggled to do any more tricky routes. Essentially i had punched above my weight and took advantage of being a skinny strong fingered youth. My all round sport climbing has improved in recent years and after i did my 8b in Dyserth last year i realised that i needed to raise the bar this year. There aren't too many 8b+'s to choose from in North Wales. Wild Youth/Youthanasia and Walking Mussel down LPT. I still think the Brute is 8b+ even though i just wasn't fit enough during those 2 years. And that's about it really! Walking Mussel is the obvious candidate for me. It's on LPT so easy to get belayers, is a great route and more bouldery than fitness. The beasts say it's soft for the grade so thats a bonus too. I've had a quick look at it before and so knew what to expect. The start is a cool Font 7a+ through a bulge which is followed by massive jugs. Then it's easy up to the main crux in the middle. The crux is reaching into a high undercut off a bony pinch and then matching the undercut is also tricky. The route then finishes up the finger crack of Over The Moon (this will probably be the crux for me!). First go up i didn't make much impression on it. I wasn't expecting to have much joy on the bony pinch as i wasn't convinced about my current finger strength. I couldn't even begin to do the standard dropknee method for the crux. I came down and belayed Caff. Caff has chosen Liquid Ambar as his next Orme project and so was keen to open his account on it. He was looking good on it sorting out the beta for most of the tricky bits. Interestingly he found the bit after the crux quite hard as he couldn't use the footholds that us taller climbers use. I'm sure he'll figure out some Caff trickery for it. I'm interested to see his progress on the route. I still find it criminal how little attention it's got over the years. Caff said tongue in cheek that if it takes him 10 days or less he'll call it 8c and 8c+ if it takes longer. I had another blast at WM and it all came together this time. I shunned the drop knee and kept straight on with right on the right. I was tickling the undercut and the match wasn't too bad either. Game on, bonza! It should be fine once i unstrap Rik Waller from my back. It certainly seems very easy for 8b+ but i'm sure it'll be a bitch to put together. Tommy is working Pas de Deux (99% 8a+). Emma was trying Over The Moon direct and Calum was on Mussel Beach. Let the season commence!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Fluke Day

Today i had one of those surprising days that come around every once and a while in rock climbing. I'd been feeling shit since those days in the Peak. Heavy, tired and tweaky, like a big sack of battered spuds. After a few rest days i headed down Pigeons with Mr P, Jack the Ratt and Bob the Hitman i've got a 8 and a half incher Hickish. I wanted to do Fourteen Years Later but the tide was coming in so we messed about at the other end of the beach. After trying a project we got stuck into an excellent boulder developed by the scousers a few years ago. There is a really good 7a and 7a+ with really nice holds, well worth going down for. I'd strained my forearm pulling on in the Cave on a jug and was feeling pretty shoddy in general.

Jack on In the Mix 7a:

Today i ended up in the Cave on a social and thought i'd give the place a shot. I've been saving it for beastlier times but i was intrigued to play about on a few of my projects. I did some moves on Pilgrim and then pulled on a few moves into Lou Ferrino and got right through the hard moves on Broken Heart. Blimey that felt steady i thought i might go from the start! So i did and got to my highpoint from last September, slapping the finger jug after the undercut. Surprising mutant days like this have happened before and they are normally a one off but boy it felt good slapping through those roofs. Trigger Cut was easy first go and that was that. I might be shit next time, i might not but it gives me hope that i might get a tick in there this year. Pete nearly did Clyde with a typical heel hook manouvre that not many people could do. The Hick was trying Pilgrim, Sparky Left Wall High, Katzy was playing on Directors. Its mint in there at the moment, perfect temps and dry, go get it!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Cave Links

A couple of hard new links have been done in Parisellas. Dave 'king of kneebars' Noden has got to grips with the knees on Trigger Cut and armed with a Five Ten kneepad has been climbing into it from all over the place. Broken Heart into TC is a link that i put some time into. On one mutant go i got into the shothole but was powered out to the max. It's not a king line but the climbing is quality. Nodder reckoned soft 8a+ for him. Ben Bransby has climbed Bonnatrocity (Rockatrocity into Bonnie). Liam Desroy managed RA into Clyde a few years ago so this is another obvious stepping stone to cave completeness. The grade is 8b, nice one Ben.
I've just returned from a bit of a road trip to far flung corners on this fair isle (well not quite!). The Mule turned 30 so i went to his party in Sheffield. It was a good, someone got set on fire. Standard really. I went to check out Mick Adam's limestone venue Anston Stones near the M1. I went with Pascal and Neil J Inspector Mawson. The boys gave me the tour, i was impressed. Good limestone with some very nice looking problems. I did a 7b called Alpha and started trying Black Crow, a 7c+ that i had been immediately drawn too. I got it in two and started redpointing. I could of done it a couple of goes but wasn't clinical enough on the crux. I hate that, there's no reason in the world why you can't grab the hold apart from your own mental resilience. A fat Ondra would have crushed it no problem! One hold became too painful and that was that. I messed about on some other stuff and watched everyone lapping Dark Art (8a).
Dark Art 8a

Resonate 7c

Black Crow

The next day despite minimal sleep i headed to Stanage (shock horror!). I lived in Sheffield for 4 years but never really got to grips with the grit. The pebbles/ smear scene ain't my scene! The one thing i've always wanted to do though is Brad Pit. This is surely the most iconic boulder problem in the UK. When i started climbing i used to watch Hard Grit quite a bit and remember reading about it in OTE. When i lived in Sheff it was still a bit of a hallowed tick and consequently i didn't put any effort into it. However the aura has been broken slightly as it gets done all the time now and is regarded as 7c. No reason not to get involved then. I headed to Brass Monkeys first but felt a bit timid on my own so went to the Pit. It literally took me 20 minutes to get my heel on (note to self, felxibility is now awful). I did the first move a few times but my heel kept ripping. I need to try it with another shoe i think. Rich Sharpe and Micky P came to help me. I haven't really seen Micky since we were holed up in a Swiss chalet in 2008. It's been great hearing about him going from strength to strength and flying the flag abroad. I packed it in and set off home, i checked to see if anyone was trying Brass Monkeys and sure enough there were some hombres giving it a whirl. On previous attempts i could never hold the swing with the crimp but that damn useful thing the internet had revealed another method and it was fine like this, 7b+ max. After a rest i headed up to Newcastle to see family. I had a spare few hours and wanted to try The Yorkshireman so headed to Kyloe In. On picking up 2 strapped together pads i pulled something in my arm. Hmm not a good sign. Anyway it was the hottest day of the year and the wood has condensed. I went to Bowden climbed about a bit, got stuck into V Crimps but couldn't hold the cut loose from the start. Lovely day and great crag, take a guide next time. I popped into the Bowderstone on the way home but felt beat before i'd even pulled on. I did Slapstick and Picnic and messed about on some harder stuff and that was that. I'd love to come here when i'm going well some day.
I feel pretty beat up now mentally and physically, i'm going to take more rest. Bouldering season has been really fun and i've done some really nice problems. I have been getting a bit frustrated of late as its dawned on me that i can't hit top form at 12 stone. I know theres a beast in there, it's just he's concealed under 12 pounds of sweaty blubber. I need to stick to the plan though and save the weight loss for routes season. It'll all be worth it!