BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Monday, 26 April 2010

Home And Dry

Well we made it back via our scheduled flight luckily. Last go psyche or shit or bust failed to get us up anything. Ben never quite made it to the mono again on Darwin (on his best effort he had fell on the move just after the mono). Wasn't meant to be this time. Sausage dropped the end of a few more things (he woz robbed). I almost gave up the will to live as my poor form continued. At the end it was just too painful, our skin could take no more. Looking back i wish i'd stuck with my original strategy, instead of trying to climb hard i should of lowered my grade and tried to build some fitness up on the longer stuff. I was tricked by feeling strong in the Cave! Oh well you live and learn.
To add insult to injury i have returned in the worst shape i've been in for ages. I ate about 16 slabs of chocolate out there, so put on 3/4 pounds. Bad bad news. In the cave today i could barely pull onto anything. Bad bad bad. The orme was minty mint though. Fresh, clear and dry. Went down LPT yesterday with mini Pickles. Hung on the crux section of the project i bolted again. It must be font 7c+ minimum, it makes the crux of Liquid Ambar look like playschool! Might have to give this one to the highest bidder in time. Will get back on it when i'm climbing strong, should have a better idea then. Nails! Good to get back to the beach though. Pete was trying Youthanasia, sounded hard!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Margalef 4

The climbers out here are impressive. Good chicks start at about 8b and the really good one (Maja Vindmar!!!) onsight 8b+! Its another world, saw some chicks chilling out on Darwin yesterday,swinging around, combined age of 20 or something! Standards are high, for the blokes things start to get tricky at about 8c. I nearly done two 8as now (combined height 15 metres), LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Margalef 3

Well since we've been here some volcano in Iceland has fired its wad into the atmospehere. So dunno when i'm gonna be getting home, got lots of footage of people falling off stuff, quite amusing. The best has to be sausage falling off the slab of Cara in Siurana, he did it next go. I'll keep trying to climb shit but i'm losing the will if truth be told. Fucking pockets!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Margalef 2

Well the first week has passed fairly unsucessfully on the redpoint front. The other two are looking good on their respective projects. I don't have a project, i'm sacking Darwin as i've stopped improving (never have such jugs been so hard to link!). Gonna spend the last week doing easier stuff and trying to flash stuff. Had a fun day yesterday trying to flash a few things. Got halfway up a power endurance 7c+ called Aeroplastica, unsurprisingly i got pumped and fell off. Good fun though. Had a few wad ticks. Saw Andrada do the 8c+ version of Dementia Senil yesterday. Very beastly indeed. Caught up with Davey G again and Chad and Jon Cardwell. Dave good value as always. Other beast sightings include Maja Vindmar and Enzo Oddo. Very nice crags here but the pockets are fucking painful after a while. Pic of sausage almost doing a 4 bolt 8b:

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Margalef 1

Quick rundown, climbing like shit. Getting spanked on everything, nice n sunny though. Pocket strength feeling surprisingly shit. Long routes are too long and the short routes are too short. Enjoying Darwin apart from the mono which fuckin hurts, trying to get my head round it. No hard moves but a tricky link especially with the clips which are hard. Might just seige it till go home, very fun indeed. miss the orme

Thursday, 8 April 2010

1st Sesh on the Proj

Went down LPT yesterday to try a world class piece of rock that no man had ever attempted before. I was excited and very hopeful that the resin had set properly! It was great to finally try the sequences that i had envisaged from the ab rope. I spent a while on the obvious crux which is on the first bit of steepness. There are holds but i couldn't come up with a decent sequence. I'm sure there's a way but it is defo hard. Above things went a bit better, it climbed much differently than i had thought. One really obvious pinch for the right i ended up taking with my left. It was coming together fast, some quite long moves on it. Anyway i did most of the moves up to the lip where two small crimps must be utilised (didn't want to risk splitting my tip with upcoming holiday). Turns out you rock leftwards into the LA belay, but thats not it as above is a really nice slabby English 6a headwall which takes you to the top of the crag. Climbing direct into this headwall without rocking left would be artificial and a lot harder too, kind of Big Bang-esque. It felt natural the way i did it. So to sum it up roughly its about 7b to the crux which is probably font 7c or 7c+ (certainly harder than anything on Liquid Ambar). To the top from there is probably 8b or 8b+. So if i put those figures into the gradeometer it comes out as 8c+, maybe?????? So good though and not one that i'll be interested in giving away, was hard work bolting it! Went up to the Cave after, haven't felt too springy and fresh since that day i got to the shot. Did Trigger Cut, decided it didn't go down easy enough and left (soon will be back though).

Monday, 5 April 2010

Spanish Strategy

My trip is getting ever closer (going on thurs). When i booked the trip the main intention was to get some routes done and get a bit fitter, lie in the sun etc... After my recent increase in form in the Cave however i have started thinking that if i pick the right route i could maybe do something tricky. It would be nice to get fitter but i hope to be working when i get back so what exactly am i trying to get fit for? Diamond season isn't til mid August after all. I will play it by ear but if i think it could be productive to spend most of the trip on one or two routes that's what i'll do. I'll have a fun trip whatever! Good forecast for Spain. Hopefully i'll get a glance of Sharma's bulge (will report back on that one). Maybe i'll get on this route again, very Cave like (but easier moves):

A Satisfying Day

Abbed back down LPT to resin bolt the proj. It took took ages, i had the petrol drill this time but i was feeling the pressure about getting the bolt positions in appropriate places. This is a mega route after all. I placed 9 bolts and two lower off bolts. Really happy with my efforts, was quite satisfying. Normally when you bolt something you're pretty sure you're going to climb it sometime. I'm not so sure about this one as i think it may be 8c+ or 9a but i'm certainly going to give it a good go. You don't know how your climbing will progress if your motivation stays up. I never thought i'd climb 8a, and i never thought i'd climb 8b so who knows in a year or two. I would still have bolted this even if someone had told me there was no chance i would ever climb it. It will be a stellar addition to LPT one day. Nice to have such a cool proj down there too. Big Bang is 8b/+ to the infamous slab crux sequence. I don't think this will have anything as hard as that top bit of BB on it but to me it looks more sustained. Anyway i my have a go this week and see if i can hold some positions. Need to put a redtag on the first bolt too!!!!!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The Future and The Now

Today i abbed down LPT to check out the unclimbed line. AT the top of the crag i was feeling disorientated but i soon found the right place to go down. I was excited, the sun was out and the tide was in. It always feels a bit weird abbing on one line when you do rope access for a living, bit spooky. I spent hours on the wall. As anyone who has bolted steep rock will know, it is desperate to get the purchase needed to drill properly when your hanging off an overhanging cliff. I ended up boning down on the poor holds on the route to keep myself in when drilling. I almost went through a tip on one of them. The plan was to wack some shitty expansion bolts in just so i could come back at a later date and stick the resin bolts in. After the first, every hole took a lot of effort and time to drill. Bloody knackering. As i went down i also spent a long time pondering how it would climb and feeling up the few holds that existed. It was blatantly a classic just like its neighbours. The hardest looking bit was in the black rock at the first part of steepness. It looked very hard indeed that section. There were holds though and that was main thing. I soon ran out of battery power, could have done with putting one more bolt in but there is a break so a few cams should suffice when i return. There was also one jug flake that i think i'll reinforce a la Liquid, just to make sure it doesn't come off as its very crucial. Neil chose Big Bang, Jerry chose Liquid, Ben chose Sea of Tranquility. I'm not sure anyones had a close look at this one before but its just about all there. What isn't there however is my abilty to climb this hard but it will be nice to have a long term project in my home area especially one this cool. As for the grade it looked at least as hard as Liquid (hard 8c maybe 8c+ in real money). In my limited experience of such things i would say its not 8b+ and not 9a+, somewhere in between! Hopefully i'll get the chance to bolt it up before i go away. Also need to think about the top, unfortunately it seemed to me that climbing straight up the scooped headwall would make it slightly artificial as left is the Liquid Ambar top groove which i think you will be able to pull into at the top opposite the LA belay, tricky to know what to do, as there is rock and holds above. I guess i'll just have another look and make a judgement on it. When i got back up to the road i felt knackered but i still climbed in the Cave getting to the shothole on my project (i was boxed though). Getting there felt like all the winters effort was worth it. Hopefully it'll go down soon.
One of the better holds on the proj:

Looking down:

An old ab station: