BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Waterfall Action

Pete Robins made the 3rd ascent of The Hole Truth (8b) at Dyserth Waterfall yesterday. He went to finish it the other day but the crag was dripping. He discovered some feet first beta on the finishing moves on the lip. He's only got 3 8bs to do in this part of North Wales. The Brute on the Diamond and two of Caff's routes on slate (i think). There's 3 8bs at Dinbren he needs to do to be a true completist however. Rob Mirfin's 2 8b's could do with a repeat. They're definitely nails. Pete also linked Meatsville Arizona into Madness Reigns at 8a/+ (Meaty Madness?). He got a kneebar in the base of the groove and then slapped across the lip into Madness. When i first did Meatsville i attempted to glue the big cracked break to preserve the jugs. In hindsight i should have pulled it all off as it was fairly unstable. Well the break is gone now and the original Meatsville is hard 7c+ now. Apparently it's more obvious to climb it on the left now at its original grade, 7c. It sounds like it could do with one bolt being placed. Pete Harrsion glued a loose block on Strawberries Man- a few people had mentioned this to me. He ticked the route as did Ducko (for his first 7c). Bonza!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Bumpy boys hit Dulas

Just when you thought the conditions couldn't get any worse they did! As well as the rain and the seepage it's now disgustingly humid. You're not supposed to be able to see your breath when it's not cold- quite possibly the worst conditions for climbing. Last weekend the beasts descended on Llanddulas to try Temple of Gloom. I really do cherish my routes, they're like babies to me so it's amazing to watch strong climbers trying them. Temple has had no less than 6 8c climbers on it this year! Mawson and Pasquill turned up on the Saturday, Mawson is fit as a fiddle (as usual) and has just done a new 8c link at Malham. Pasquill has been in the Frankenjura, he didn't manage anything super hard as it was hot but one day he managed 3 8bs! Not bad by most people's standard. I was intrigued to see how Temple would hold out. Pete Robins has been taunting me saying it's 8a+ ever since he repeated it. Bob Hickish had been over a few times this year but not ticked it yet. The crag was in pretty good condition. Pascal soon had the route down to about 6 moves(!) and faired the best falling off after all the hard climbing (i fell off this move once too). He was so powered out he couldn't manage the jug to jug move. It was cool watching him climb on it. Vid:

Neil got it all sorted but wasn't feeling on top form so the redpoint eluded him. Jordan came down the next day for a burn too. I've got a new little project there which i'm pretty psyched about. It's only a link up with a few independent moves but i love the boulder problem on it. It's pretty tough with slopey grips.
Some pics:


Inspector warming up flashing Mudjekeewis 7b+:

Mick Lovatt trying Wirral Whip 7c+:

I had another 'could ave done it' moment on Walking Mussel. This time it was a wet foot rather than a wet hand that stopped me. I've got a different sequence to avoid the wet hold now but i still have the stand on it. The crag was the wettest yet. It's frustrating as i'm ready to finish it but i need it to be dry. Just got to be patient!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Over The Moon

The monsoon continues, hopes are raised by a couple of dry days before the crushing dismay of a forecast including 4 days of rain in a row. People go on about the weather being shit in Britain. I guess it is compared to most places but most summers are fine by me. I like it when it's mild and there's usually plenty of dry weather and dry rocks. What we're experiencing at the moment however is complete shite and i think everyone's struggling. We have plenty of rocks that don't seep here in Wales but it's not much use if it rains everyday. My wet hold on Walking Mussel doesn't make things any easier, in fact i'll go as far as to say it's a right pain in the ringpiece. I had a decent session at the start of the week but i ended up cutting my skin and had to stop. However, i have realised that i am a complete arsehole. I've been doing the crack such a hard way. I've been completely tunnel visioned into a blinkered sequence. Not standing on the god awful smear and using the shite slopey bankhand means it's now a lot easier. I couldn't try WM cos of skin last night so to put it to the test i got on Over The Moon, an 8a which also finishes up the crack. I got a bit carried away the first go and tried to do it putting all the middle clips in and not really knowing the moves. I was boxed stupid on the shakeout before the crack but was still really close to doing it. It felt great actually doing some decent climbing and getting pumped rather than falling off the same boulder problem. I really thought the effort had finished me for the day but i managed to get the route next go by climbing it more efficiently. It was the last 8a i had to do downstairs, here they are in order of difficulty, easiest first (IMO):

Mussel Beach - Low in the grade but 8a nevertheless and a great intro to the grade. Always popular.
Over the Moon Direct - Also popular. Hard moves in the middle lead to a decent shakeout before some very droppable moves through the last bulge.
Parasite - More meaty than it's neighbour Mussel B and longer with an excellent finishing headwall. The bit over the lip is hard if you're short and the rockover above is hard if you're tall.
Battle of The Little Big Orme - Prime! Superb rock and moves. One of the best. Helps if you can get a no hands kneebar halfway up.
Statement of Youth - The original classic is still a big draw. Takes in a lot of tricky old skool climbing and has a redpoint crux right at the end. Essential.
Over The Moon - From the shakeout on Over The Moon Direct move right and tackle the burly crack. Pumpy!

Pete was trying Big Bang. He says a lot of the difficulty of the route is tied up in skin issues as it's so savagely crimpy. He's a fat bastard compared to Caff of course. Weightwatcher's for Robins.

It doesn't look like i'll be down LPT for a bit cos of work which is gutting, just gotta keep in shape and get ready to strike when the times right.

Happy swimming people!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pill Box Graded List

I haven't really climbed much on the box since 2009 but Nodder's recent interest has resulted in me having a few sessions there and i've been reminded about how cool it is. I used to go there so much and its been great doing some of the classics again. Some of the grades have shifted a bit as things have got repeated so i thought i'd blog about these changes and hopefully some more folk will get keen. Its such a good angle and the rock and the link up possibilities make it great training and a great place to get some ticks. More people climb Jack Daniels Connection these days and it appears the logical way to do it isn't my original 7b+ sequence. So this gets 7b now. There is also a easier way of climbing Ain't No Party when coming from the right so this affects the grades of Drink Driving/Ain't no Party (7b now) and Jack Daniels/Ain't no Party (7b+ now). Tommy repeated Millenium Party and thought 7c+ was fair. As Millenium Drive is a hard 7c in itself and this finish is slightly harder i'm inclined to agree. Pete Robins has done an eliminate between Chocolate Wall wwhich he has named Screwball. I had a quick go today but the high crimp was horrible on my index finger so i left it. No split tips please! I regret the Cypriot problems, they're pointless. Here is my list (attempted to put them in order of difficulty), hope i havent missed anything:

1. Johnny's Box Problem - 8b+ (ha ha)
2. Jack the Drunk - 8a+
3. Drink Driving - 8a+
4. Last Malteser - 8a
5. Malteser/Last Orders - 7c+
6. Millenium Party - 7c+
7. Cypriot/Ain't no Party - 7c+
8. Millenium Drive - 7c
9. Cypriot - WB - 7c
10. Jack the Greek - 7c
11. The Malteser - 7c
12. Last Rites Assis - 7c
13. Screwball - 7b+
14. Chris' Link - 7b+
15. Jack's Party - 7b+
16. Millenium Greek - 7b+
17. The Cypriot - 7b+
18. Last Rites - 7b+
19. Whisky Bitch sds - 7b+
20. Ain't No Party sds - 7b+
21. Original Party - 7b
22. Pill Thrill sds - 7b
23. Drive By - 7b
24. Chocolate Wall - 7b
25. Jack Daniels Connection - 7b
26. Les Bos/Last Orders - 7b
27. The Greek sds - 7b
28. Whisky Bitch - 7b
29. Mr Whippy - 7a+
30. Pill Thrill - 7a+
31. Flake 99 - 7a+
32. Ain't no Party Like a Pill Box Party - 7a+
33. Last Orders sds - 7a+
34. Pill Box Original - 7a
35. Where's my Hippo - 7a
36. The Greek - 7a
37. Last Orders - 7a
38. Les Bos - 6c+

Friday, 15 June 2012

Corinthian Groove 2nd Ascent

Corinthian Groove is a route on Chain Gang Wall that was first climbed by Mark Katz in 2003. At 8b it's the hardest route on the Upper Drive and it's seen off a few suitors over the years. The route starts up the classic font 7a+, Mr Whippy before tackling a very hard crux section and finishing up Fhoulish Ghoulish (prob about 7a+ to the top from there). Most notably Danny Cattell nearly repeated it a few years ago falling off the headwall off Fhoulish. He didn't have the top wired and is an unbelievable punt. The route started to acquire a bit of a repuation and it was only a matter of time before ticking machine Pete Robins gave it a blast. Despite being well within his grade Pete struggled on the last hard move and success wasn't forthcoming. Pete was convinced it was the hardest 8b in North Wales. Before a trip to the Frankenjura he finally discovered the key beta for the move he was struggling on. It was a heel!! (surprise surprise). He returned to finally complete the 2nd ascent last night. I think Katzy will be satisfied with how long it's held out. A great FA for the little man! Pics: After all the despair and pain and misery the good lord finally gave me a break yesterday on Walking Mussel. I finally had a breakthrough session and boy did i need it. First redpoint i got the undercut but something was different this time, i felt different and could have done the match. Second redpoint i did the match for the first time. It's a weird sensation when you find yourself a little higher up the route for the first time. You really have to focus and try and keep it together. After the match is another tricky move off a backhand. It always feels a little tricky but it's not that hard really. I was reaching up for the good undercut before the rest when my hand exploded off. Damnnnnn, pretty unlucky. I think it was probably a result of dampness on my fingers from the lower hold. I was over the moon to make progress and got the undercut 2 more times. Once again climbing picks you up when you need it. Instead of wanting to go home and sleep and eat cake i wanted to go home and train! I was buzzing off the endorphins all night. I wish it felt that good every time you went climbing!

Monday, 11 June 2012


Redpointing sucks! Well sometimes.... After being on redpoint on day 4 of Walking Mussel and falling off the crux i thought it would be a speedy tick. 10 days later and i'm still falling off that same move (a little more convincingly of course). I've done the move four times and dropped the next hard move. I guess i just need to accept that that is the nature of this route. It's basically two hard moves in the middle of the cliff and they are pretty damn easy to fall off. Today i was mainly annoyed because i felt shit after 2 days off. I guess i just need to think of Pete and Neil on Megalopa last year, they were in the same position but higher up the cliff and they managed to find the mental resilience. I could still do it next go.. it's just that it could take all year! Having 3 weeks off it hasn't helped. I think i'm quite stifled by lack of a decent tick but i've just not had many opportunities to get anything done. On the positive i got the flake on Pilgrim last week, a new highpoint. Which means i'll probably do the problem in about 2015. Alas i do despair! The Pill Box has been in vogue recently, even it's biggest critic David Noden has been going and forced to retract all the horrible, bitter things he has said over the years. There's a lot of linkage and problems to do there but the new stuff is barely documented so the new guide should point folk in the right direction. There's even a few more links for an old timer like me....

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Legend

The heatwave is over and indifferent British summer weather seems to be here! I've had a indifferent time of things in the last few weeks. Until the other day i hadn't been on Walking Mussel for 17 days, not the way to keep momentum going. I was surprised how good i felt on it considering. Me and Tommy did a couple of forgotten routes on the upper drive by Cold War. Both routes were climbed in 99. Utter from The Gutter 7c was put up by Kristian Klemmow and Tony Shelmerdine did Ivor Bigum 7b+ to the left. They're both worthwhile, i managed to flash Utter and would say probably 7b+ for the tall but a nice route. There are half a dozen routes beyond Black Wall that are unbanned and have been re-equipped by Tony. They seem decent and go up to about 7a. I've just glued the hold on Pill Box back on. It was actually quite a tricky operation. There were 3 parts that had to be glued on seperately and i kept forgetting how they fitted in. Luckily the resin was a similar colour to the rock and so it seems to be blended in ok. I got the hold configuration sorted eventually and am quite pleased with the finish. Hopefully this will now be a long term solution to an ever threatening problem. I met this guy for the first time in 3 years: The legend Huffy, who left his mark in Wales and beyond. He doesn't really climb much now but still got to the shothole on Trigger Cut. He fell off here on Directors back in the day. Once a monster always a monster! The Huff:

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Wobbly Box Hold

Just a heads up to anyone who is planning to head to the Pill Box in the next few days. I've taken the wobbly hold off (lower hold on start of Whisky Bitch/The Greek) and will be gluing it back on soon. The hold had become incresingly wobbly to the point where i was worried that someone might pull it off whilst climbing. Chances are the pieces would have been lost or the hold could have obliterated. So i made the decision to take it off in control to give it the best chance of a long and stable future. The good news is it is stable underneath so i should be able to stick it back together no bother. Well that's if i can remember which bit goes where!