Last Work of the Year!

Well, I have done two days teaching some guys from a centre in Kent how to rock climb. It was interesting in that we had to survive some foul weather. So foul that the Beacon had to tape up some of the cracks in the brick work as the rain was literally spraying over the bouldering mats. (Can’t wait for them to move into there new building)

I have to say I have never seen the weather like that up there, and I spent a few years of my life working and playing up there. Watching the rain bounce off the outside of the building meant we felt somewhat justify from avoid climbing on real rock.

I spent the day coaching them in movement techniques and some basic ropework, and prayed for better weather today. Although the weather was better, in that we got passing showers rather than a constant hosing, it wasn’t pretty out there. We did manage to get a few leads in on Tryfan Bach in between the rain, before bugging out early an having a brew and doing some ropework upstairs in Petes Eats.

Sadly its the last days work I have, and have to say that I am starting to feel the pinch in terms of work. In the last two months I have only had three days work each month, and sadly its just not enough to pay my bills. So weather or not I’ll be staying in Wales really does depend on work. I think I have enough money in the bank to see me through Christmas, but after that it really is a total unknown.

I have been applying for some office based jobs in the outdoors and other fields but not heard back from any of them. So I’ll be down the Job Centre soon, seeing if there is any work about. Its a shame as I love my job and like to think that I am reasonably proficient at it, but if no one has the money to go on climbing and mountaineering courses then it becomes an issue of survival. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t update this blog for a while, but I am really not in the mood for it at the moment.

@Grimerclimbers Boulder Britian

I have put a link through my twitter feed to this book, but I thought I’d just add a link to the sample pages of Naill Grimes’ new Boulder Britian book. If your not aware of Naill, he is an incredibly funny man whowrites guidebooks for the BMC as a day job, at night and at weekends he seems to have been busy putting together a self published project called Boulder Britian.

Whilst I have only seen this teaser of the book, it looks like a veritable smogesborg of boulder across Britain, and probably helps put a little greatness back into an otherwise small country. He is currently offering pre-sales that should be delivered in time for Santa to put them in your stockings if you’ve been nice!

You can visit his website at

PHP for Beginners and Boldness for Experts

Dave Evans running it out a long, long way on the Rainbow Slab!

Well I filled my day by spending the morning doing a few online tutorials in how to write php code. I have looked and done some basic stuff before, and I am starting to feel a lot more confident with actually understanding it. So when I look at a page of code it looks less like Russian and more like Welsh. So whilst I still don’t fully understand it there are words and phrases that are starting to make sense!

I then got a call to the Rainbow, from Dave Evans. I walked up from the village if was a lovely day, and Dave started by climbing RIchard Of York Gave Battle In Vain or Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Brown, Indigo, Violet. He did the direct finish, So it was essentially a E2 solo into an E3. It was a very brave climb, as I have looked at it before, but I am pretty sure I haven’t climbed it, although I do have a vague recollection of follow Will up it once?!

Anyway a nice route on this brave slab. Dave took a proper ‘Rainbow Lob’ a week or so ago when he got ledge bound on Chewing the Cwd. He jumped off not once but twice! Was good being back on the Rainbow, although I have only one route left to do, Splitstream. As the first and only time I tried it I got very lost and tried Stiff Syd’s Cap, result was failure.

For the life of me I have forgotten the lass’s name who was out with us, but she (nicky?) did a great job on Bella Lugosi, and was certainly more steady than when I did it for the first time.

Skyline Buttress and more Mind Bending

Well, I spent the morning doing some climbing on the Skyline Buttress level in Australia. Which is one of the highest levels in the Dinorwic Quarries. We climbed Clash of the Titans a great little F6a, then another F6a called the Skyline Club, before I headed to the Put It On The Slate Waiter area of the quarry and climbed Harri Bach Llanrug, another F6a, and had a quick top rope on Rock Yoga.

We managed the first route before the heavens opened and then had to hide in a hut, the shower passed fairly quickly and in true slate style we were back on sun drenched rock in ten minutes. What made my day was that my friend Simon had already brought and downloaded my guidebook app, so ironically he was using the full app before me, as I had yet to get my codes to get a free copy.

In the afternoon I got my own copy of the app and explored its features and crags, and it struck me what I had managed to do. Hopefully you’ll all like it, we are already planning the first update to the central database, which will hopefully go someway to show our commitment to constantly improving the guide.

As well as playing I also had another computor lesson, this one on more practical database design and normalisation. I have to say the lessons have really helped join a lot of the dots together. I am now in the middle of some online php and SQL lessons. I have to say the ideas I have are coming together, and I might start programming in anger soon. Although I have to say the designing of a good database seems to be two parts logic and two parts dark art.


Full guide now available in app store

Well I got a text from Steve last night when I was sleeping saying that the app was going to be available in 24hours.

It was a great text to wake up to, even better was that the app was already in the store. If you own a climbing wall, outdoor shop or an online blog and would be happy to have a poster advertising the app, or willing to put a link to it online we would greatly appreciate the help marketing this new evolution of the guidebook.

If you haven’t already then there is a free taster version to vivian quarry.

I should emphasise that this is version one of the app and more routes and crags will be added later, as well as some more functions in the longer term.

Really exciting times!

I would also like to say a massive thanks to Steve Golley who has managed to make an incredible app from all the data I provided, whilst juggling work and coaching commitments.

If you do buy the guide please find the time to write a review for the app store.

A link to the app can be found at thesend.

Snake Wrestling and other things

Llion starts the day off with Leg Break

If I was Andy K, I would start this story with I nearly died, and perhaps I nearly did, but it was from over exertion rather than climbing dare doing. The day started like any other cragging day, coffee and porridge. I am a big porridge fan at the moment due to its cost, the economy of a hearty porridge and treacle start to the day is by my reckoning the cheapest breakie via alcoholics diet of a can of Special Brew, and I haven’t quite reached that stage yet. Anyway my dietary habits aside team extreme, headed to Tremadog today, and found the conditions to be reasonable favourable. Llion had eyed up a line with the rather worrying name called Leg Break. It takes a great eliminate line through the Meshach Buttress at about E2. He made it look very easy. I then had the idea that E2 is a nice grade so went to climb The Snake, if you don’t know this route, then is take s a traverse across the top of the Vector buttress from the base of the Void Pod. I remember it being hard when I first did it many years ago. Today, I found the initial moves into the hanging pod/groove reasonable, whereas the traverse is somewhat pumpy.

I also had to try and protect both Llion and Katie, what resulted was the worse rope drag I have had, in years. As I was Battling my way across the head wall, I was having to pull rope through to move an inch. By the time I reach the top few moves of Cream which I had to finish up, it was like dragging another human up the route. I might have shouted alot, and apologise for my rather colourful language.

In my defence I had the last move of a route to do, my elbows were round my ears, and I felt like I was getting pulled off, and not in a good way. As I inched, and I mean inched my way up the last move to get stood on a good rail and the end of the hard climbing, the effort I was putting into staying on the rock became apparent, as I finally made it.

Stood on the ledge, I had run out of fight, whilst I wasn’t going to fall off the effort suddenly overcame me, and I had to lay my head on the rock over the top of the crag, in a semi-belly flopped position, and fight to remain conscious. Hyperventilating, it took me 5 minutes to climb the last 2 feet, which was essentially a mantel shelf. It then took me another 5 minutes to pull enough rope through to make a belay, and another ten minutes possibly more to pull one of the ropes through to belay.

Great route, my advice don’t start it from the Grim Wall tree, make the effort to get across to the Void Pod. After that Katie made a quick ascent of Grim Wall effect.

All in all a good day, but my word, I have not fought like that on a route for a long, long time! Longer quickdraws, less gear and a better place to belay from would have made my life easier. The route is none-the-less amazing.

Me exiting the groove and moving onto the Vector Headwall.
A wider view of Cream, The Snake traverses across from the right arete above the climber in Blue's Head.
Lloking up at to locals attempting Cream, it was a bit damp, or that was the best excuse he could come up with!
Dress to Thrill - I think some Leeds Uni students?

What do you say?

I headed up the wall tonight and had a great session, but was introduced to someone as I was getting changed, and was well quite stunned to be honest. I felt like I had seen a ghost, as a friend introduce me to this person with “this is <insert a name here>, from the <Insert a crag name here>”. At first it didn’t twig, but then it hit me like a freight train, as the images of that day came back.

The last time I saw this person they were having the worse day of there life, they had just fallen the length of the <insert crag name here>, stripped all the gear and had pretty much severed their foot clean off the bottom of their leg. On top of that her level of consciousness was rapidly going downhill, my money was on her not making it.

I was first on scene with another rock climber from the Llanberis Team and basically had a first aid kit and some oxygen. Whilst one major thing had gone wrong for them on that fateful day, I can only say that ever since she has been extremely lucky.

Then out of the blue here they was looking back at me, talking, walking and at the wall for a climb. I didn’t think that ‘Wow that’s a ffffing miracle your<insert inappropriate word – alive, talking, walking, climbing>’, was all that appropriate a thing to say. So was rather stunned into silence. I am shocked that after the extensive injuries they sustained that they are walking let alone climbing.

Anyway nice to see them on there way to a full recovery, and my god the human body is an amazing thing, and as for the NHS they can do some good work!