BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Sunday, 29 April 2012


I've just got in from the Cave. It was freezing, wet and windy like a true winter day and i couldn't get going at all. Caff was keen to hit LPT this morning and said he'd be in the Cave at 8.30 but when the forecast is that bad i struggle to be as optimistic as Caff. With talk of misplaced jet streams and cold predictions for May it doesn't feel like sport season despite everyone's efforts to get out there. I've had a couple more sessions on Walking Mussel but the temps really aren't helping with it being a bouldery route. For me it's imperative to have warm fingers on the crux pinch but obviously when you're climbing with someone else and they need a decent go on their route it's very easy to cool down. I need to go at least every 20 minutes so i either need to employ my own personal belayer or climb with someone else who is also redpointing. When it hits 10 degrees i usually abandon sport climbing for the year but because it's April i'm trying to get on with it. The first session was quite good and i really should have done the crux on the last go. Last Friday i went to Malham with Pete and Owen. They were keen for Obsession and i thought i'd try and tick it too but i felt awful warming up. I sketched up Rose Coronary, a very shortlived 7a and then we headed up to the upper tier. There was a bit of a queue for Obsession so i got on Toadall Recall, a route i had tried a few times over the years. It's better to fail on a 8a than a 7b+ i figured! Despite it being soft 8a i'd always struggled so i was surprised to fall just after the crux first redpoint. I knew i only had one more go. I find those routes so hard on the skin, they don't cut they bruise and it's soon too painful. Anyway i got through all the hard climbing next go but completely powered out and had to hang there and hope i'd get something back. I did and clawed my way to the top, a real fight but nice to get something done. Pete ticked Obsession which was his objective and another 7b+ for his pyramid. The tides are good but i'm working so won't be able to get down, balls!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Louis Hamer

The Hamer bros were back on the Orme on Friday after a couple of year absence. The boy's used to be regulars as Sam was at Bangor uni. Ed did most things up to Font 8a+ on the Orme and Sam did lots of the routes including the tough 8b Melanchollie. Anyway Ed busted out Louis Armstrong, the 'short' 8b of Parisellas. This is obviously impressive but the time he did it in is the big news. This has been managed in a couple of days before by world class monsters Ty Landman, Micky Page and Nacho Sanchez (can't remember how long it took Malc, think slightly longer). I know Ty got in in 2 when he was beasting everything. I think it might have been 3 days for Micky?? Anyway bearing in mind that Ed had only been on it for 20 minutes 2 years ago this could be the quickest ascent and shows he can mingle with the top dogs. Consolodation seems to be Ed's approach to progression. He's been knocking on 8a+ boulder problems and 8b+ routes for years but if you've witnessed his beastliness you will know that this is only the begining. Sam ticked off the classic Masterclass 8a. Caff did Masterplan last week utilising a very very dirty hold to overcome the reachy crux. He got it 2nd RP. I've had 2 more days on Walking Mussel,on Tuesday i finally got my head round the crack. It's actually ok when you figure out the feet and after cursing it on the previous session i now think it's a pretty cool finish to the route. The key for me was to stand on a smear instead of the obvious jug. I almost linked from the crux to the lower off but i made a mistake after the hard bit on the crack. I wasn't too pumped and it gave me the confidence to start redpoints. On Saturday the crack was wet but i had two goes from the ground anyway. The 2nd go i tickled the undercut, hopefully i'll get the hold soon and then who knows how high i'll get. I'm struggling with having decent rests between goes becuase its still pretty cold and my fingers just cool down. This is bad news, i shouldn't be pulling on the crux pinch with cold fingers, it's dangerous. Hopefully it'll warm up soon. My form feels a bit confusing at the moment. I'm climbing pretty well in the Cave and on WM but i wouldn't say i feel anything special. I haven't had that light springy feeling for ages, i guess it suggest's theres more to come. Not a bad place to be i'd say. Pete checking out The Big Crunch:

Monday, 16 April 2012

Walking Muss, Day 4

Yesterday conditions were prime downstairs. The crag was packed with sport chuffers, it felt like the first proper weekend of the season. Fatty bum bum, man of the moment Alex Barrows had come over to try Walking Mussel and was on it again as we got down there. It was good to try it with someone else but it got quite tiresome having to constantly remind him that he was in Wales not Spain every time he complained about the moves being hard. It was worth him coming though as he told me to put 4 fingers on the crux hold instead of 3. The rock was so mint, i felt the best yet on the moves despite a poor warm up in the Cave. Second go up i just climbed from the floor and got to my crux which felt good. It was crunch time, however if i wanted to do this route i couldn't hide anymore, i had to try THE CRACK!!! So i pulled up the clipstick and tape and got involved. I had a vague sequence from last year but it felt too hard, eventually i worked out you have to stand on the smears instead of the jug and it started to come together. I very much doubt any of the previous ascentionists (Moon, Carson, Robins, Caff, Bransby, Dyer) fell off the crack but for me it is pretty much guaranteed. I'm going to need a fair few beans left to top out and it's only April and i've only done 7 routes! Serious stamina training needed! On the positive side the crack will only get easier the more you do it and at least it's the kind of thing you can fight on. Boy will i be fighting.
W Muss:

Keith topping out on Battle of the Parasites 7c+:

I was in Vegas today so i popped up to Waterfall for a look. I spent so many days there last year it was nice to be back. I wish someone would go and try the hard one! I want an opinion. Part of the cracked break on Meatsville Arizona has parted company with the crag but i think think it makes much difference

Friday, 13 April 2012

Back to the Dull

I've got 2 new routes lined up for this year. I bolted both of them last year but didn't get chance to put much effort into them. One of them is a link up in the Main Cave at Llanddulas. I love going up to Dulas, there are no tidal or access considerations, it's a nice spot and it feels like a second home away from the Orme. I've seiged a new route in the main cave for the past two years and both routes were really fulfilling. The climbing is really funky and 3D, there's not much like it in North Wales. Last year i was up there with Ben Heason and he spotted the potential for linking up the two roof routes via an unclimbed horizontal section which looked like it might just have enough holds. One of the last things i did on a rope was to stick four bolts in the new section. I had a quick play with Pete R one day and was keen to return with fresh endeavour come the new year. I've been doing quite a bit in Parisellas recently and as i was feeling quite good in there i thought it was a good time to get back on the Dulas proj and try and work out the new section. I went up with Mules yesterday and clipsticked straight up to the start of the new climbing. I'd already done the first hard move last year but this time it felt pretty tough. I just about managed it and let Mule have a go, he thought it was pretty hard too. A bit disgruntled that the move didn't feel easier i pushed on hoping to crack the next moves. In the middle of the roof is a lovely slopey pod, getting it was the move that i'd struggled on but moving off it felt equally tricky, and then so did the next section. I had to remind myself that the first sessions on Temple and the Last Crusade were equally fruitless but then i just don't think there is as much potential for easier beta on this section of the roof. It's not just that the middle section is so tricky. You have to do 9 steep moves on the Last Crusade to get into it and when you reach Temple you have the redpoint crux of that to contend with. It's a meaty, inspiring piece of climbing. My best case scenario was that it would weigh in at soft 8b+ and i could complete it in time for the guide. After trying it again it feels significantly more meaty than any 8b+ i've been on. I tried Darwin Dixit in Margalef a few years ago, this is 8b+ (used to be 8c) and is also a roof. On this route every hold is a jug, they're just spaced apart. I think the Dulas thing might be 8c, i'm definitely not giving it away though, it's pretty inspiring and i live for inspiration.
Me and Mule finished off with some mileage. We're both so unfit, oh to be a stam jock. Mule was going to go up Tony Stud but noticed that someone has nicked the hanger off the one expansion bolt on the route. It really does make me despair how rock climbers would steal shitty little bits of metal off a rock climb. It's also been happening in Dyserth and Penmaenhead. If i ever see someone nicking insitu protection i'm going to steal there address from their wallet, go to their house and drive a iron stake up their wifes arse. Cunts!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Orme Love

It was 22 degrees a week or two ago, today it was 4 degrees. What a topsy turvy country we live in! I've been spending a lot of time down the Orme (mainly in the Cave) and it's been great. Obviously i quite like the Orme so going there a lot is no hardship. I've had 2 more sessions on Walking Mussel. I've been up it about 6 times now and i'm dead chuffed with my progress. I find the two crux moves ok, going into the undercut and matching it but i've yet to do them from the awkward moves below. I think those two moves really fit me and i've got perfect feet positions sorted. I went down with Adam Jeeworth today, it was too cold really. Jee had a good onsight burn of Over The Moon Direct but was thwrawted by cold fingers. He found it too cold to redpoint it too but he's keen for a return when he gets back from his big holiday to Europe. Walking Mussel revolves around a crimpy pinch. There is a lot of stress on my index finger and today it felt pretty threatening. I wasn't sure how i was going to find the first bulge but it was fine, about font 7a/+. The climbing is easy up to the middle bulge so i could get to the crux move from the ground now. I just need a few percent more on the pinch. Some 3 finger deadhanging needed methinks! I've been loving the Cave this last few weeks too. I've been trying Nodder's new link Broken Trigger and have got to the shothole twice only to power out. The only thing stopping me from getting there most goes is the 2nd kneebar to get the undercut. Most goes i don't place it right and can't do the move so it's quite frustrating! I'm off to Sheff now to catch up with my old mucker Irish Si and do some climbing. I'm pretty to keen to do a bit more grit after watching Life on Hold, a great new bouldering film with some impressive ascents and insight into the new wave of highballing thats been going on in recent times. Good work chaps!