It’s been a long time since the last blog, mostly down to lack of internet access, but back and ready to vent my bollocks. Well, in a nutshell June was a slow month for climbing but nonetheless a good one. Most days out I was feeling confident and I’ve been chomping at the bit for some difficultly. Ive been to home in Hull narrowly missing out on a day tick of Mr Nice (7c+). Then I had a uni field trip to South Wales i.e. Pembroke, so I took my car and had a few evening sessions. An attempt at White Heat (E5 6b) was aborted from 1/3rd height due to an unnervingly, rapid rising tide, I stripped the route on the descent though so the onsight is still there.
At the end of the trip, a few hours before heading back to Bangor I made a last minute decision to try John Wayne (E5 6a), I’d wanted to do it for a while but found it really intimidating. Trying to exclude and doubting thoughts from my mind I kept busy before abbing in. At the bottom I couldn’t find any more procrastinating tasks so it was time to head upwards. Flying through the preamble things felt good. I was stood on a slabby ramp beneath the route proper, trying to fiddle in some good gear until, click, a sinker wire. It was time to engage the tendons and the pulleys. No hesitation, pulling between fingery breaks I reached the peg. The rough rock teamed with the howling wind provided a certain encouragement. This ascent was different, I just kept going, stopping briefly to send home a cam or clip some tat. Nearing the top I took a deep breath and committed to the final push, which turned out to be ever so slightly anticlimactic as the meat of the route had been done. A desperate drive home ensued, after a 5am rise, I was glad to see my bed at 4am.
John Wayne (E5 6a), Chris Carroll Collection
Back in Bangor I moved into an awesome new house and the weather found its feet. I headed to Idwal slabs and walls with Laura, we smashed out Tennis Shoe Direct (E1 5a) and Rampart Corner (E1 5c) and dropped down to the atmospheric ‘suicide walls’. The intention was to do the ominously named Mur y Meirwon a.k.a Wall of the Dead (E5 6b), but it proved to be absolutely nails so I finished up Suicide Wall (E2 5c). I found myself unable to let it lie, and headed back two days later with my new housemate, Owain to see it right. After seconding Owain on his almost gearless ascent of Suicide Wall it was time for a rematch. It turns out even with the knowledge the start is nails, involving some awkward sloping footholds and fiddly vertical handholds. Made it through this time though and gained the comfort of the ledge. From here its the bold half. As the protection gets wider spaced the difficulty escalates, culminating in a final 14ft run-out on either small or knobbly pockets. On reaching the huge jug at the end of the run-out I let out a celebratory whoop only to find I had one more big move to make. I quickly recomposed and popped for the top. I don’t know if I’ve got the experience to say, but I reckon this route could be soft E6.
Anyway that’s the blog up to date apart from a couple of new projects to mention. One is a new line I’ve found. I managed to top rope the first half clean first go, but it has a hard, thin move which so far doesn’t seem very well protected. I’ve yet to try the second half but thats quite exciting. The next project is more of a long term goal. For a while I had hoped to tick all the extremes in North Wales Rock but I decided to make it a proper goal and try to tick the entirety of NWR from the multipitch Vdiffs to the slate 8b, Bungles’ Arete. Here’s a link to the full list for anyone interested, North Wales Rock Ticklist.
Piece Out x