About me:

Originally from Hull, I now live in Llanberis, North Wales. Totally addicted to climbing, I work at the Indy Climbing wall and as a freelance routesetter to fund my dirty habit.

18 May 2011

The start of summer

Since finishing my exams, the weather has beeen a bit naf and I've not got round to do the things I was keen for. But I've had a good few days out.

Last thursday I went with Laura to Mayfair Wall on the Orme (on which apparently all the routes are getting extended because of a ban lift) and warmed-up on Contusion (6c) a wicked route with rests before the hard bits. Then bagged King Krank (E5 6b), but its more like a 7a+ as all the hard moves hard a bolt near them, so a good one to break into the grade (although the moves are hard for E5). It rained so we finished off in the cave.

The next day Tommy C, Chris C and I headed to Craig y Forwyn, the banned crag from a blog a while back. The weather was gash for most the day but inbetween the showers Chris and Tommy led The Flue (VS 4c) following a wicked crack line. I was feeling psyched so soloed that route and Pterodactyl (HVS 5a) just left of the flue. I had a crack at Quick Step (E5 6a) on the arete of the Great Wall but the rain and time pressure were too much so I reversed stripping the gear.

On saturday I was having a rest day, but with nothing better to do I headed to Bubbles with Gogarth. He was keen for Flytrap (E2 5b) so I nonchalantly agreed. Sweet Jesus, it is frikking 'out there' for E2 (as in, it's E3 in disguise). The first pitch is a juggy romp to a ledge. The second takes a downward traverse line to the back of a cave and the base of a groove. The third heads up the groove to the top corner of the cave, then launches out right on jugs to a steep section. Deep in the Bowels of Gogarth and 'the grip' is coming over me. The next few moves are steep and really greasy, it takes a few goes to commit. I finally launch into the roof and get bridged out over the Irish Sea. I over reach out right to jugs, and cutloose, wohoooo! The belay is on a huge chockstone in the roof of the cave, a spectacular position.

A couple of Indy sessions later, and its Wednesday. Jon R, Doylo and I went to this new crag with a new 7c, the first ascent was yesterday. It is probably the best 7c in North Wales (according to Doylo and Jon). It tackles an overhanging axe-edge arete, and finishes up a perfect headwall. I went for the flash, but I got spooked about making the 3rd clip and dropped off. Jon and Doylo dispatched the route quickly, and so with the peer pressure on, a biting wind and just time for one more go it had to be done. Ignoring any imperfections with the sequence, I just kept cranking and made it to the headwall, pumped. Straddling the arete I mustered a hands off rest and knew it was in the bag. Clipping the chains, I had made the 4th ascent of  Release the Hounds (hard 7c). Sweet.

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