3999 new routes…. and one Gary Gibson

Just saw over on Facebook that Gary Gibson is one 3999 new route. I gave a sarcastic and  tongue in cheek reply of its quality not quantity. Whether it was seen as the joke it was meant to over the inter web, I don’t know and probably don’t care.

However it is an amazing achievement, as I know a lot of climbers, probably myself included who hasn’t climb anywhere near 4000 existing routes. So it is a massive achievement in its own right. If for instance we say 50% are sports routes, and on average have 4 bolts and a lower off (These estimates could be very conservative). Thats around £20 a route, so multiply that by 2000, and in bolts alone Gary has forked out probably at least £40000, about twice as much as the BMC has given to the better bolts campaign (I will adjust this if I am wrong but I think the BMC has given two lots of £10000 for bolts).

You of course have to factor in the travel to these new crags, which if you look at Gary’s Great page SportsClimbs.co.uk you realise that they aren’t exactly all on his or anyone else doorstep. So probably add on another £10000+ for fuel. You soon get the idea that he is something of a machine.

If I could ask Gary one question then it would be what is the best of the soon to be 4000 routes he has climbed.

A day of two halves

Direct Route, Dinas Mot, LLnaberis Pass
The classic final crux pitch of Direct Route, Dinas Mot, LLnaberis Pass

So my day has been a busy one. As I had to get up and do some admin work of sending invoices into various people, which is always good, as it results in getting paid and sadly probably a carpet or some new flooring in the bathroom.

I then headed up the pass and climbed Direct Route, which is just stunning. A classic is every sense of the word. With two iconic pitches the hand traverse and the final groove. I got to lead it all as I was out with a friend who doesn’t climb that much. It seemed the rest of the world was shade bathing on the Mot, as I probably spent longer waiting in a queue for the ab than climbing the route.

I then headed home for rehydration before heading up the pass again. This time to Scimitar ridge, where I climbed Cheron, a great E2 up a corner to the right of the also great Troy. It is a great and technical route which keeps coming at you, although a lot of that is the amount of gear you are throwing in above your head nearly all the way up it.

Scimitar Ridge. Llanberis Pass.
The awesome Trot on Scimitar Ridge. Llanberis Pass.

We then abseiled back down Killerkranky and I had another top rope, managing to make the initial crux this time and then plug my way up the hold to the top. Simon joke the next time there we will have to put on our big boy pants. As we have done all the easy routes now!


Random and Varied

I do love my life. I may not have much but who needs to be greedy. That life is made better by the work I get to carry out. So this month I have some coaching, guiding and the ‘normal’ instructor work but this week I also have a photo shoot with a well known fashion magazine.

These random and varied jobs keep me on my toes. So this week I have been scouting out locations and today driving the photographer round. Who also happens to be a climber, when I asked him what he climbs he handed me his phone with a great ridge climb in the Fitzroy group, in Patagonia.

Anyway, it seems he was happy with the suggested locations and shoot starts tomorrow. What is really funny is these media type who have come to the area are amazed by North Wales. I guess compared to a london office it is that. Although part is due to the 5* hotel they are staying in. I waited for half an hour there for the photography team and was so relaxed it was amazing despite me certainly lowering the usual tone of the place. The view from the Drawing room is something to behold.

Also had a win on one location as we needed vehicular access, we asked for a key for a gate and no white tape or hoop jumping instead we were just given the key. Who’d of thought it in this day and age of white tape and ‘elf and safety.

Might see if I can get some shots from the locations and post them but I am thinking it wouldn’t be possible.