A Busy Week Ahead

So I had to take today to sort through a load of stuff, and get ready to head south. As I am meeting some exciting clients in Devon tomorrow and then headed down to Land’s End for some coaching for a few days.

I then have to leg it back across the south coast to my mum’s in Bournemouth, where I hope to squeeze in a day at a new climbing wall or a crag with a old school friend that has just got back into climbing. Although not sure I’ll manage it.

I then head up to London for the day to give a talk on my book Hanging By A Thread, I am sure there will be tickets left, you can order them from overhang climbing. I have to make it back on the last train that evening to Bournemouth.

Then it is all the way back up to Wales to do a MTA CPD course on teaching technique outside. The date is 13/5/2014 and we meet at the RAC boulders at 6pm. To book your place on this you need to log into the MTA website and book via them.

I am also giving the same talk on Hanging By A Thread at the Beacon in aid of the North Wales Bolt Fund. Tickets are available on the night in the form of a donation. This is on Thursday 15th May at 7pm

Extremely Esoteric

I am growing to really like my lifestyle at the moment, the balancing act of my work-life balance seems to be tipping more to life than work. Believe it or not this can play havoc with your motivation. I know people stuck in the system working for the man won’t like this, but having too much time means that you can always put off today til tomorrow.

I do work, its just a lot of that work is from home, like this blog post, I class it as work I don’t get paid but for some strange reason people read it, which is great. However the other major issue with motivation is having lived, worked  and climbed in North Wales for 20 years is the list of routes left to do that are a) Within my physical and mental ability and b) Worth doing is very short. Without training specifically for the hardest of them, means that I have thrown the towel in with some routes, (E5 is actually pretty hard, as is E4) as such I accept I will probably never lead Lord of the Flies. I am after all 40 next year and apparently nearing the top of the hill, I am looking forward to free wheeling down the other side, when I am over it!

Some friends though are pretty good at finding the obscure that is interesting enough to warrant the effort to get to. The Evans is one of those people, a person with whom I have had some pretty adventurous days on Red Walls with. Today he suggested Simdde Ddu, which features in Mark Glaister Mid Wales section North Wales Climbs, and The Emperors New Toes, was the cover shot of the Meirionydd Guidebook.

The Meirionydd  guidebook I once accused of only having slightly more substance than the bible and being about the same size in a conversation with a friend. Anyway in the CC guide, Emperors… gets VS. It description is short, sweat and suitably vague, although armed with climb the blunt rib you won’t go far wrong, unless you actually think the route is VS. North Wales Climbs has the grade as HVS, which seems more on the money, as the climbing is only HVS, although the hollow nature of some of the rock, wobbly gear and the committing nature of the start makes me think I was meant to start to the left of the rib and move right to it, rather than take the rib direct.

Dave then abseiled and tried to clean The In of the Sixth Happiness (E4), which he did pretty well on the top half, he failed miserable on the bottom bold bit. So he took longer to reach the first good (?) gear and 5m. He then battled to the top as his feet began to freeze, to lead this great route, which has probably seen less than a handful of ascents since it was first climb some 20 years ago.

We had forgotten that we were heading to a highish mountain crag, so I seconded with totally numb hands. I could see they were on a holds, whether or not they would stay there was beyond my knowledge. At one point at the top I clawed a massive jug and I might as well of had hook on the hold for all I could feel of it. I then got my first hit of the screaming baffles this year, which goes to show just how warm this winter was and probably how good my wetsuit is at keeping me warm!

Dave insisted he would nip up a E3 we hadn’t cleaned. Arse, Plate handed are three words that spring to mind. One fall and a couple of whympers (sic!) later he arrived at the top, I was frozen again and not in an Olaf kind of a way. So he abseilled off and we retreated.

To me there seems like there is a fair amount of bouldering there, none of it hard but a few V1-3 problems scattered about and potential for some real highball sends in the V4+.

The thing is going to mid wales to a random crag, actually made me want to climb and maybe even head back with a crash pad (need to find one as not had one for years) and ropes again as there is a few things to look at a combo of a HVS and E1 route that looks like a good ** route. A kind of motivation that simply seems impossible when it comes to throw laps on the classics, although it is good fun going round the classics again, the adventure though is lacking.


Coding for a Cause

So having been busy recently with re-equipping the Slate quarries, I had been in contact with the power that be at the north wales bolt fund and one of the issues was the Upper Pen Twryn belay and route checks. These essentially need to be done as part of the access agreement with Conway Council.

So being something of an evangelical coder, I wondered whether I could write a small web based application for the people that were trained to test and therefore more easily coordinate there efforts when checking the belays and routes.

After some toing and froing, I managed to make a simple system that is essentially closed off to the public but will allow those involved to add the details and keep a database up to date.

What was really good for me, is that I really took up programming to make icoachclimbing.com and that website was really only a way to help me learn how to program server side programming. The idea being that eventually when my body fails me I have a different ‘trade’ to fall back on. What was good with this was I managed to code everything up in a few hours over a few evenings, so must be getting better at it!