I certain can’t life without them. However I have still been making frustrating progress, in repairing the damage that I manged to reap onto my server. I still can’t use the uploader for photos, and I am back working tomorrow, I think two days effort is enough. I might well try reinstalling the the whole WordPress package when I next have a few hours off!
It seems to have all happened whilst I have been hiding inside. Dave Macloed climbed the Indian Face, a whole crag was developed in the quarries and I grew a good inch of belly face sat infront of the computer. I might have to limit my computer work to rainy days and evenings!
Well, I have managed to get picture to link bank to their sources, however there is still a problem with uploading photos, which is a shame, as I have been geeting back into my photography again. I might mean that I can link to photos eslewhere on the web, but I won’t be able to put my images up so easily.
I did have a few from saturday, when I went and climbed Lliwedd with a friend. It was a long and tiring afternoon. But some of the piccies were nice.
Anyway. I need to peel myself off the keyboard and have a beer, before I go mad.
I have spent the last three days work for a local business called Boulder Adventures, they have a centre in the heart of Llanberis, and formerly was run by Mountain Ventures. Before they sold the building on I have to say that they pretty much ran the building to its end. Several years ago now when Boulder took over they gutted all the building and started from scratch.
What they achieve was nothing short of a miracle, the centre is now a superb facility that offers a wide range of courses to a even wider range of clients. Everytime I work there the centre seems to have grown, and the latest addition is a new wood cabin classroom in the grounds of Bryn Du there main base.
I find it hard to believe that its the same centre to what I used to hang out around back in the late 1990’s. Whilst MV might have run the centre into the ground, it was a starting block for many instructors in the outdoor in the days before you could do a BSc in Outdoor Activities, they even ran the first ever fast track instructor scheme.
What was also great was I ran into Sam an old employee of Boulder who left to start a business further south called Totem that specialises in team building and corperate development programmes. Several years ago Sam got me off my arse after I did a couple of days work at Boulder and we drove up and climbed the Old Man of Hoy and Old Man of Stoer and back in three days.
This week I was doing a big abseil and rock climbing on tuesday, using a great crag up the Pass with amazing views, and the Pont y Cromlech slabs. The next day I went up Snowdon, the first time since the Summit Cafe had re-opened. SO often I am on Snowdon with teh team, but I rarely reach the summit. We had lunch below the Zigzags on the PYG track, as I was expecting that the Cafe would ban packed lunches. SOmething that I was going to have a rant about.
However the Cafe is open for people with packed lunches, which is good, as I would hate to point out that public money had built the £9 million building. My taxes well spent?
Today I went coasteering, which is a funny activity, a cross between scrambling, swimming and jumping, basically all the things that most kids would be told not ot do, but we take them along the coast on what can only be described as an amazing adventure.
As we headed along we progressive increase the size of jumps, and it is amzing to see kids that hesitate to make a first leap from sea level build up to confidently leap of higher and higher platforms. The last of which some 8 metres, had me thinking twice before I leapt into the abyss. I am a firm believer though in not asking anybody to do something that I would not.
Anyway I hope the group had a nicer week as I did.
I spent the weekend camping over near Rhoscolyn, with some good friends, lots of BBQ’s and of course some great climbing. Most of the dads were tied up with there families on the Saturday, so I spent some time snapping. Hopefully the fruits of my labor are to your liking.
I did spend some time soloing around the lookout cliffs, as well as sneaking up The Truant, and taking a team of friends up Symphony Cracks (diff). Before heading back for the first of many BBQ’s for another friends birthday.
On Sunday a team of four of us headed back to the Rhoscolyn Crags and climbed a bunch of routes. Martin and I climbed Icarus, Mask of the Red Death, Eric and Fan Fair. All great routes, in particular traversing round from Llawder to the Eric was awesome, as I had never climbed on this section of crag before.
The route Climbed up a steep nose on good holds and gear, before the holds turned upside down and sideways, and the gear became more trick to place. The route then climbed up a lovely slabby arete.
Although the route Fan Fair which is a greatly under rated route, at HVS it takes the type of overhanging wall that you’d only expect from a climbing wall route ofm the same grade. Fortunately every hold is a not only big but totally positive as well. Anyway the weekend was great and I have attach a few of the piccies here.
I had a mixed day, the morning was spent baking up at Pen Y Pass cafe, mixed results though. First was a bara brith, which came out really real. Next up was a Chocolate Brownie, which tastes great, but did come out a little guey, which some people like and other don’t and next was a Date and Walnut Flapjack. I’d imagine that these might sell well over the weekend, given its meant to be nice weather!
After that I went to go bouldering, in between I also manage to spend about an hour or more on a wild goose chase after some walker reported cries for help, and then the sound of something hitting the ground. We even got the North Wales Police helicoptor in to search the varios gully’s but found nothing.
It was then Cromlech o’clock, again team Yosemite made a good display of climbing skills. Eventually managing a few problem we hadn’t done this season. Although of note was for me it wasn’t an edge problem year just yet, although if i had tried to hang the finishing jug rather than half hearted through for it, who knows? Maybe next time or next year?
Anyway’s I’ll try and put some actions shots of the bouldering up at some point.
The choice of crags to climb on today was immense, a reasonably long spell of dry weather, a high pressure the size of western Europe and a psyche Bunney. We choose rather than to fry at Gogarth the mountains would be good, so headed up to the Mot for a bit of shade. I had heard of the route Jubilee Climb, and heard the crux was particular hard for a HVS, but the climbing good.
We weren’t disppointed, as the climbing was amazing the first two pitches climb on the same rock that you find on the Nose of Dinas Mot, however these pitches aren’t polished, and provide amazing climbing the main difficulties of both pitch revolve around grit like cracks and slabs.
At the top of pitch two you reach what can only be described as a jump through geologic time, to the most grit like rock in the Pass, if not Wales. The friction is good and above looms a roof with a steep crack leading upwards via a wide section to a slabbing off. At HVS 5b it look amusing, and when you come to climb it you get the Joke. If it was E3 I might have fallen off, it was only because the grade was HVS that I refused to and kept on plugging away at the two cracks. It was a bit the Strapiombo or whatever it is at Froggat that hideous HVS roof crack just right of the classic E5.
Anyway above was a great 5a slab that Bunney ran up in good style, it two however had a grit like slab and a grit like crack. It was an astonishing climb, and totally under rated, given the choice between that or Cenotaph corner then this route would win hands down of both variety and position. However it is often wet, and in the shade so needs a day that is both very dry and very warm to be pleasant!
We descended down Jammed Boulder Gully, and decided to head over to the Glass Flipper Crag. We did the right hand of the lines, and it is like 3 grit VS slabs on top of one another, very foreshorten the route is actually over 30 metres long, probably near 40, and requires a belief in the grit like friction to pad up. Whilst run out the crux is probably getting off the ground and the descent, however there is a great thread and I left behind my prussic to abseil down said gully.
The reward for our grit day out was Ice Cream in Georgio’s, where rachel told us that Al had done the first ascent but never credited with it. There are a few of these wrongful credits in guides. I know of a couple where I climb the route before and never wrote it up only to find the route in a new guide. Similarly I have claimed routes, and subsequent found the route had already been climbed.
One route on the Slate, I found was cliams once before as one route, and then Hosey who did even more routes book digging found that it had been claim before that! Anyway I think it was the Glass Flipper we climbed, need to check the guidebook.
Well, I can still barely lift my arms above my head any more. I got back early enough this evening to go for El Cap team training on the Crouchan, Llion and Katie led Phantom Rib, and I went up Nea with John Bunney, who had broken his Dream of White Horses cherry at the same time as I was getting spanked on Positron.
An awesome night in the Pass, not seen many better than that. This high pressure looks likes its here to stay, woohoo! Anyway Llion and Katie went on to climb Nea, whilst John and I lazed at the bottom of the crag, soaking up the last of the evening sun. Then back in time for Fish and Chips.
I thought I would open with a brief look at the state of British Trad Climbing, as today I went to Gogarth and was virtually alone except one other team. Fine I thought they’ll be doing gogarth of another of the easy classics. No. They were on Positron, a route simon and I had been psyching ourselves up for all the way across the Island. So in my book that would make British Trad climbing in a pretty healthy state when you have to queue for E5’s mid week a Gogarth.
The route was awesome, and Si lead the first pitch making it look easy until that final move up the steep groove. I then made the second pitch look desperate, but I had just seconded the first pitch without chalk, and with my SLR strapped to my back!
Unfortunately Si had to rest on the final main pitch, but what lead, and what an atmospheric bit of climbing. Totally sustain, and it just keeps coming at you until the final moves into the much appreciated groove.
I lead out across Cordon Bleau, mainly because I had climbed the last pitch of dinosaur before, and wasn’t going up there again! It was a long day out, and my arms can barely type, but I have to recover as I am heading up the pass imminently
Si and I recalled one of the last times we climbed at Gogarth, many years ago now. We had been in Time, Bangor Uni’s answer to a night club, then gone back to someones house for more booze. Anyway it ended up with us somehow being at Gogarth, still drunk and attempting to climb the Strand E2. This was probably the reason that I tried to get Simon to up grade the route in the new guide. However when asked why and I recounted this story of an ascent where I was almost passing out, and then realising I was still climbing, and then having to dry retch on the belay. I got the response I should have expected, ‘So mark you want me to up grade a route because you climbed it drunk, and therefore found it harder!’. Anyway funny how you remember these thing I should try and remember some of my other Uni adventures!