Thursday, 26 February 2009

Poetry Pink

My fingers curl on to the inch deep "ledge". Respite... for awhile. Numb tips from the cold and from crimping sooo hard. The Mantel. If succesful I clip a bolt; faliure I take a 50 foot ground sweeping fall. In the zone now. I chalk and bring my left foot up to a small edge and left hand to a tiny crimp. I cant feel my tips, cant feel the hold. Reverse. Rethink. This time I rock up and reverse both hands, palming down on the edge, arms locked out, in the zone. My right foot creeps up on to the "ledge". Solid. Left hand to small crimp. Stand up. Clip bolt. Breathe. Its in the bag... well almost. E5.

I dragged myself up poetry pink today before the rain stopped play for Jim 'big guns' McCormack. My first E5 of the year so really chuffed!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Fell Racing

I entered the Moel y Ci fell race on saturday - my second race of the year. Its only a short course - 4 miles and 350m ascent so it suited me as the pace was quite high. I was really pleased with how it went and proof that dragging yourself up hills every tuesday night in the dark is worth it! I finished 10th in the mens race and 15th overall. The next race is Moel Winnion above Rachub in a couple of weeks - better get on with some more training!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Super Slate

5 minutes from my house are the Dinorwig slate quarries - a lifetimes worth of sheltered, quick drying routes - so what better place to go on a sunny friday in feb? It felt almost spring like this morning so I teamed up with a friend choo and made the massive 10 minute walk in to the Never Never Land slab. I got on a route called Short Stories E4 6a - one of those 'bolted' slate routes - the first bolt is a good way off the deck and there is some good air time potential higher up. Its definately not a sport route! It climbs nicely, being sustatined but never desperate and with big enough run outs to ensure you stay focused! Choo then got on its neighbouring route - Kublai Khan E4 6b/6a which definately feels easier. It has a hard crux right above a new bolt then steady climbing to reach a spot where you can lasso a metal spike to protect the last moves! Real cowboy action! A good entry to the E4 grade.
We then wandered down to the Mau Mau, a route which I have been wanting to get on for years. It goes at E4 6a and has a reputation for being strenuous and pumpy. It does however have excellent gear and it seems that all the training at the Beacon climbing wall is paying off as I climbed it without too much effort. A great route!
We then had a play on True Clip, a desperate 7b+ sport route with some funky moves. Choo had a go on lead and fell making the last hard moves! One to come back for.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Scrambling on Tryfan - Monday

What a fine spring like morning! The snow has all but dissapeared now - its still clinging on to the shaded spots on the highest peaks and cwms - so with the sun shining I headed up onto Tryfan with young Oli for a scrambling adventure. We decided on Nor' Nor' Buttress as this looked dry and free of any remaining snow. We moved quickly over varied terrain but unfortunately by the time we got to the top the cloud had come down and the wind had picked up. We donned an extra layer then bailed off down the rather unpleasant western gully - a quick way off the top but loose in places.