On Wednesday it was Duncan's birthday, so naturally it was an excuse for two days of climbing...
On Tuesday Dunc and I headed up to Castell Cidwm, but he was feeling a little under the weather (bloody weather), so opting for the easy, we set off up The Curver (HVS 4c). I took the first pitch, then Dunc did the second, which takes you into wild terrain on the 'lip of everything', and is possibly only exposed VS. After this I had a 40 metre scramble pitch through heather and crap rock. As Duncan got within 5 metres of me on second, he said there was a lower-off where he had previously belayed. We reversed the choss and lowered off. A complete waste of 40 minutes.
Next up, The Straightener (E2 5b). A nerve-wracking lead on huge jugs of generally suspect nature. Each pull feels like any excess force would pull the hold clean off the wall. On top of this, the gear is quite spaced, and I wouldn't like to test any of it. Bold. On second Duncan sent a rugby ball sized block hurtling to the deck which generated a shuddering impact boom.
That was it for the days climbing as we were heading to Stockport to see a Ron Fawcett lecture. I had heard rumours that it wasn't very good because he was too shy and modest. Rubbish... It was great. Some awesome stories about roughing-it around the world, first ascents, and one-upmanship. What a legend.
On Wednesday (the birthday) we took the BUMS minibus and a few cars to the pass. Armed with 300 cubic metres of foam we laid seige to the problems at Wavelength and Utopia. It was great fun. Every problem getting its very own send train. The highlight was Boysen's Groove (V4), as Bubbles ticked it and morphed from avid ledge shuffler to psyched boulderer. Good effort! To round the day off we had a BBQ by the roadside boulders.
Summer has arrived.