Saturday, 29 May 2010

After work Pass action

On Tuesday evening I headed up to Dinas Bach in the Llanberis crag with friends choo and Jim. I had never visited this crag before and it is one of the quieter crags in the area - it is however fantastic. It has good set of routes at all grades, including a short E5 called Felony, which was our objective for the evening. I won the game of rock, paper, scissors so I quested up first for the onsight attempt, put the gear in and fell off the crux. After Choo had made a successfully ascent and Jim had fallen off I got back on it and climbed the route second go.

Attempting Prison Break

Our eyes were however drawn to a line to the left which according to the guidebook was waiting a first ascent. We had a few plays on it and with darkness approaching and Choo taking a couple of 25 foot falls we decided to return for a re-match on Thursday. Unfortunately I only managed one attempt, which resulted in airborne retreat before rain stopped play. Jim and Choo then managed to get it done last night whilst I was camping in the Moelwyns and named it Prison Break E6 6b - a fine addition to hard climbing in the Llanberis pass. Effort lads!!!

Learn to Lead Course

On Tuesday and Wednesday I ran a learn to lead course for my good friend Sylvia of The Rock Climbing Company. Lucy and Matt were on there honeymoon and keen to transfer there indoor leading skills to the crags of North Wales. On Tuesday we visited the upper Tier of Tremadog and topped up our tans whilst looking at seconding routes, using a guidebook, placing natural gear, setting up top and bottom ropes and looked at movement skills on rock.

The nest day we headed back to Tremadog and we climbed Rio in 2 pitches to give Matt and Lucy their first multipitch climb. In the afternoon it was time for them to get on the sharp end of the rope and they climbed Boo Boo with me providing guidance and advice from an abseil rope next to them. Its always a buzz seeing someone complete their first lead climb and it always makes me think of my own first leading experiences many years ago... Well done team!

Lucy leading the first pitch of Boo Boo

On the belay ledge

Matt spotting a gear placement on the second pitch

Devon And Cornwall Holiday

Last week Jen and I headed down to the west country for a bit of a mini road trip. We had plans to hit the Granite and Killas sea crags of West Penwith before heading up the North Coast for some big adventures. The weather at the start of the week was cold but we managed to get some good routes done at Sennen, Chair Ladder, Bosigran and Carn Kenidjack - including a very fine E2 called Bishops Rib. Its great to sample a different climbing area and different rock. The granite on many of the West Penwith crags is immaculate and a real joy to climb on - where technique and confidence are more important than being strong!

Jen showing off on Saxon at Carn Kenidjack

The weather then turned bad so we headed to the drier climes of Jen's parents in Exeter before heading up to the Culm coast. The sea cliffs here are generally pretty bad ass, loose, dangerous and commiting.

The Culm Coast

But there are some exceptions. We climbed a fine little traverse called The Wine Dark Sea at Damehole Point which I would recommend and had a couple of sessions at Lower Sharpnose Point between beach and ice cream action!

Damehole Point

Scrambling to the start of The Wine Dark Sea

Jen on Pitch 2

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Evening Slate

Just back from a quick hit with Jen and Lou to the slate to find out we have a new Prime Minister! What a beautiful evening - though it is chilly in the wind still. Jen and Lou climbed a nice 6a slab while I took a few photos.

Lou and Jen walking into the quarries with Crib Goch in the Background

Jen loving some slab action

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Scrambling and more Scrambling

Just finished up four days of fantastic scrambling for Seren Ventures, sat at home having a cold beer and listening to Andrew Marr talk about politics! On Thursday and Friday I took out Mike and Ben, a Father Son combo that I introduced to roped scrambling last year. They had not manged to get out on the hills much since last year so we decided on tackling Bristly Ridge - a tricky grade 1 - a route they have always wanted to do but have not yet had the confidence to try by themselves. We ascended in the swirling mist which made for an atmospheric scramble and provided a good test of Mike and Ben's route finding skills. On the way we looked at the different ways a rope can be used to safeguard short tricky steps. We descended by the Gribin Ridge - a short grade 1 - and had a go at abseiling with out the use of a harness or belay plate - the South African Abseil.

Bristly Ridge and the Glyders from Tryfan

On Friday we did a grade 3 on Tryfan Bach in the morning and a grade 3 on the Milestone Buttress in the Afternoon where we focused on building belays. belaying from above and below and movement over harder ground. It was fantastic to see Mike and Ben again and they will be back for more action in the summer.

Shayne on the tricky start of Nor' Nor' Buttress

For the past 2 days I have been out with Shayne of Nantwich, scrambling all over the Glyders. Saturday saw us taking on the challenge of Seniors Ridge Direct Start and then the ultra classic grade 3, Cneifion Arete. Thankfully the forecast 60 mph winds did not appear, which we were thankful for given the exposed nature of the terrain! Today Shayne fulfilled an ambition to climb Tryfan. I don't think he thought his first ascent of this peak would have been by a grade 3 scramble on its East face. We had an amazing day under bright sunshine and light winds and enjoyed the challenge of Nor' Nor' Buttress. I was continually impressed with Shayne's ability to deal with tricky and exposed ground on only his second day of hard scrambling.

Shayne, Adam and Eve. Tryfan summit.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Gogarth Main Cliff

Seconding pitch 2 of The Assassin

After a very bust few weeks I've had a couple of days off. Yesterday I had a fine day in the slate quarries with Bryn, managing to make the most out of the sun by sheltering from the cold north wind. Today Gaz and I ventured down to the Main Cliff of Gogarth - one of my favourite places to hang out. Again it was slightly chilly in the wind but we managed to enjoy 2 great E3's - The Assassin and Hyena. Off to Clwyd limestone tomorrow with Jim for some sport climbing action.