BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bouldering Season

Bouldering season is here. Here are some videos:

Old Welsh bouldering footage:

Some problems at Porth Ysgo and Talfarach:

An amazing gabbro project:

First tick of bouldering season:

doylo on lotus from Ducko1988 on Vimeo.

Ed Hamer crushing Last Malteser 8a on the Box:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Mayfair Extensions

A year or two ago the council gave us the go ahead to climb on the top section of Mayfair wall above the belays of The Bloods through to Mayfair. There were two old pitches up there from the 80s, both climbed as 2nd pitches to The Bloods. Both were Andy Pollitt routes, the 2nd pitch of The Bloods traversed right and went up a slabby wall at E5 6a. The Senile Penile Extension went up a groove to the left at E5 6b. We needed to sort these out for the guide as this would create 28 metre pitches on what was already one of the best walls in the area. I was keen to start it off so in July I missioned it through neck high bracken to the top of the crag to gain access to the upper pitches. I stuck a bolt in completely the wrong place but managed to deviate off the old belays when i got to the top of the crag. Pete Harrison was on groundsman duty as there would undoubtedly be some loose rock coming down. I bolted the old 2nd pitch to The Bloods which would actually be an extension to Mayfair as it was right above it. I also bolted Senile Penile Extension. I gazed across to the left and there was another line, this time with rusty old expansion bolts all the way up it. I had no clue as to what it was as there was only mention of two extensions in the old guides. I got excited and repositioned my rope. It looked a lot harder and really good; I got most of the bolts in but would have to come back to finish it. I also bolted the old Julio Juvenito extension that climbs from the normal lower off of the 7a up to the Mayfair belay. The extensions turned out to be quality - the wall above Mayfair didn't affect the grade but was quality slabby climbing and now takes it to the top of the wall. Tony Shelmerdine managed to find a way to the top of the crag at 6c+. He added a couple of new bolts breaking right from just above the Contusion belay into the new Mayfair extension. This is a great expedition for a 6 and should prove popular. Senile Penile turned out to be excellent also and goes at soft 7b+. It is directly above Contusion so that gives it a nice start. Julio extension is fun steep climbing and bumps the grade to 7a+. I finished bolting my new project and started trying it, I had asked about it a bit and it turns out it was a forgotten project of 90's projectmeister Phil Smith. I struggled with the crux initially then one day I just climbed it. It felt bloody brilliant, The Bloods is a great route to start up, then you can chill before the powerful crux moves. It is really nice climbing involving a fantastic thin pinch and a small undercut. After the crux you rock up the groove before easy climbing takes you to the top of the wall. It felt great to do a long new route even though it's not really a pumpy route. I called it Cold Blood and although it felt 8a when i was working it, it felt steady on the lead and thus I am unsure as to whether it's 8a or 7c+. I'm desperate to get it right for the guide so really need a 2nd opinion. I am offering a £15 reward for someone who knows the difference between 7c+ and 8a to try it and give me an opinion! :-) It's easier than Masterclass but then so is every 8a I've ever been on. There was another decent line in between my project and Senile Penile which Pete Harrison stuck some bolts in. He only gave it a quick go as he was off climbing with a back problem. Ally Smith had gone to try my route and had managed it second go pretty comfortably - or so we thought! I was there a few weeks later with his belayer Luke Owens and it turns out he had done Pete's project by mistake! Talk about kicking a man when he's down. Ally reckoned the route was hard 7c but it is very morpho so most people will probably find it to be 7c+. Bad Blood seems an appropriate name for this one!
Me on Senile Penile 7b+:

Dave Evans on Bad Blood 7c/+:

A nice trundle just above The Bloods belay