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Monday, 31 May 2010

Broken Sam Vid

Vid of Pete making the 2nd ascent of Broken Sam with completely different beta on Sams Finish. Now i know how Chris Davies feels, damn those golden heels!!!

I played around on Pilgrim today and finally did some good links with the more sensible heel beta. Cool! Some pics by Dave Pinnington:

Marine Drive Closures at Weekend

The Ormes shut from 6.00 am til midday on Friday 4th and is basically shut all day on Saturday. You can still walk to LPT along the beach. Tides will be getting early again by the weekend. Went down LPT yesterday, tried Wild Understatement as it has slightly bigger holds and i didn't want to make my split tip worse. This was given 8a by George Smith in 1989 i think but it would be the world's hardest for the grade! Pete did it last year and reckoned 8a+ and Bransby did it this year and agreed. Whereas Statement is just sustained all the way this has a crux right at the top, is really technical, probably font 7a with bad feet. Anyway really cool route. Tommy iced Statement. Ed did Pilgrim in Cave.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Hamer Bros Hammer Orme

The Hamer bros are in town and its crush season! Last night Ed polished up the 2nd Ascent of In Heaven hard 8a+ in the Cave. Today Sam made a very quick ascent of Melancholie (3 days!) and Ed flashed Parasite 8a. Pete did the 2nd ascent of Melon Beach and gave it an extended finish up the Parasite headwall. Tommy dropped Statement inches from the groove and i tried the middle section of Melancholie, split me tip in the process, hard route that one! Did the moves but i need to be in better shape to repeat the route. And that was that, another great day down on the beach.
Sam crushing:

Some more shots of people falling:
Sausage off Parasite:

Tommy off Statement:

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Some you win some you lose!!!!!

Felt good warming up today, had a spring in my stride and managed Trigger Cut first go in the Cave. Then went downstairs to finish Battle, first redpoint i fell off going for the final jug. Then next go i did it, felt a lot better than the other day. Sausage did it first redpoint. I felt on a roll so i got on Parasite. I got shutdown, usual story when you feel like your cranking the climbing gods have other ideas. The Hamer bros were also down for a bit of crushing. Sam fell off going into Bad Boy on Melancholie looking super strong on it. Ed crushed Pas de Deux first redpoint. This seems to be settling back to 8a+. Seems i'm an utter penis for thinking it was 8b. Oh well i hold my head in shame.



Sam almost doing Melancholie:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Wild Youth

Pete Robins joined in on the link up mayhem down LPT today by climbing the obvious lefthand start to Youthanasia (i.e. starting up Wild Understatement) today. No one seems to know if Youthanasia itself has been repeated. The main candidate is Neil Carson as his route Infanticide joins Youthanasia at the top. The climbing on Youthanasia is very technical with much effort and moves put in without much upwards progress. It is also not very steep territory for the grade. Pete said the strange climbing meant it is hard to grade it but it felt like probable 8b+ for effort. It took him about 5 sessions to work it out and redpoint it. Most 8bs he has done on his holidays have been done quicksharp. He also said the upper moves were some of the best on the crag! Nice work bud!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Broken Sam

Went down LPT today with Malc. Yesterday it was 22 degrees at 7 o clock so i was hoping for some cooler conditions today. It turned out to be 10 degrees cooler and was absolutely mint. I was keen for a brilliant 8a called Battle of the Little Big Orme and Malc was keen for another go on Liquid. I had 3 redpoints on Battle with the 2nd being the best, almost did it. This route has quite a tenuous crux sequence with two annoyingly blind footholds. Gonna have another do tomorrow. Malc made progress on LA doing it in two. Then we headed to the Cave, i wasn't expecting much after 3 good goes on Battle. Managed to squeeze out a link that i've been trying sporadically for over a year, Broken Heart into the righthand finish of Clever Beaver (Sams Finish). The grade is 8a but i think its the hardest one i've done. Super good power endurance training with a very drop-able last move.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Louis Armstrong 5th Ascent

Malc crushed Louis Armstrong in less than perfect conditions today (sea mist!!!) for its 5th ascent (Danny, Ty, Mickey, Nacho, Malc). Tommy C also cracked Masterplan on Mayfair today, effort mate. I have been in yorkshire for 2 days sweating my tits off at Kilnsey, so hot!!! First day had some good go's at Grooved Arete, felt a bit better on it than last year, despite it being earlier in the season. Today i floundered a bit on it then had one bolt to bolt on Full Tilt. I have always always been inspired by this route as it climbs right up the middle of the North Buttress. Unfortunately its often wet but today it was dry, chalked and ticked and Tom Newmans clips were in so i couldn't resist a bash. The route boils down to 3 hard moves and they're all BIG moves! It took a few goes to get the hard moves but i just about did them. Was quite pleased as it was only a quick burn and it is a hard 8b. Was interesting to compare it to my Diamond project which is probably fairly similar gradewise. The Diamond thing has easier moves but i think much more fitness is required.
Gangle puffing and panting and almost doing Full Tilt:

Sausage and the Cow:

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Malc crushes LPT

Had a long day in the Cave today. Malc and Mark were back on the Orme. We bouldered, i had more redpoints on Broken Sam, no cigar but very good training! Then i went down LPT with the boys to give Malc some beta on Pas de Deux. First go up he experimented with the moves a bit, looked very solid when he did them. No surprise there. He skipped a move at the end by going off the intermediate with his foot low to the pinch rather than going again to the last sloper. Very interesting method, i wanted to try it. A bit later he crushed it first redpoint, to be fair he absolutely pissed it. Check the footage (these holds aren't jugs by the way just in case you wondered):

When he got down i asked what grade he thought it was, i kind of knew what was coming. He said probably 8a+ but he hadn't tried my beta and he did confess to liking basic climbing and small pinches. No surprise there either! I still think it needs a few more actual ascents to clear up the grade. I found it hard but it doesn't mean its 8b. He then did Statement, he had tried this the other day and fell on the flash and on his first redpoint. Think he thought it was tricky. I went back to the cave for another redpoint but saw Malc onsight Over the Moon Direct from the road. Not a bad day. There was a dead fox in split infinity so Fatneck lobbed it over the wall before to stop it stinking the orme out. Also a good effort. I wouldn't have wanted to pick it up!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Melon Beach

Went back downstairs with sausage today and ticked my project link up first RP. Felt great on it today, still strong on Mussel Beach when i got there and didn't get that pumped which was encouraging after the previous days efforts. Thats the beauty of getting fitter, you see gains quickly! This is a brilliant link up route, taking in some amazing ground. Very crimpy hard start then a burly finish with a decent rest in the middle. I've wanted to do this for years. The better finish would be continuing up the final Parasite headwall but i'll leave this for Pete or Dyer if they can be arsed. The grade is hard 8a+, very nice. Some shots:

Sausage had a redpoint of Pas De Deux but felt too tired:

Team Scotland Hit The Orme

Floppy on Crucial:

The amazing weather and conditions continue on the Ormes. Five scottish based hommes have been down having it large on the lime. Will almost flashed Rockatrocity and Malc fell off the VERY last move of Louis Armstrong. Will and Malc also did what are probably the 2nd and 3rd ascents of the low start to Beaver Direct 7c+. Downstairs the guys were on Bad Boy and Statement. I ended up grabbing the last draw on my link, i was too boxed to clip it and i was too gripped to skip another clip as the one on the lip moves and it would be a screamer onto it. Another improvement though and such good training. Psyched for sport climbing! Sausage got on Pas de Deux and almost flashed all the individual moves. Last year i watched Simpson, Pete, Danny, Holger, Ioan try it and not one of them did all the moves. This led me to believe it was quite hard and hence the upgrade. Well sausage seemed to find it alright, he didn't get it done though cos his skin was a bit shit. I'm still hoping it settles at soft 8b as i've seen sausage crush hard moves on bouldery 8b's really quickly before. I spose it just needs a few more actual ascents. Personally i was convinced it was at least as hard and probably harder than Zeke. Anyway we'll see. Sausage thought the top sequence was Font 7b+, i thought it could of been 7c. Its good that everyones still psyched for LPT although its not so good for awkward buggers like me trying to link routes together!!
Malc crushing Beaver Direct low start:

Will on Bad Boy:

The old king and the original Ormesman Colin Goodey (one of the first men to climb on the Orme):

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Orme Legend Removes Turd From Cave

Ormesman Norman Clacher proved his love for the Orme today by removing a turd from the blue mat in the cave that some tourist had kindly left for us. Charming!

Climbed on Mayfair with Tommy, he tried Masterplan, looking good after his winter in his shed! Did all the moves apart from the crux and was mad keen for it. Then we went downstairs. I had two redpoints on Melanbeach, the last fall falling from what is effectively the last move, nice!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Some Pics.

I have a new camera so the phone pics should be a thing of the past! Some shots of today:


Dobbin on Lou Ferrino

Dan repeating Halfway House:

Nodder on Clyde:

Dan almost doing Clyde:


Essential cave kit:

Nodder on Belpig:

A55 Sport Climbs

Over the last few years there has been much development on the crags that run alongside the A55 in North Wales. Most significantly my old king started the ball rolling by kicking off development at the crag underneath the old 70 degrees hotel in Colwyn Bay. Others got involved and there are now over 50 sport climbs up to 7a+ at Penmaenhead. It catches the afternoon sun and there are some big lines as well as some lovely flowstone. Llanddulas Cave and Castle Inn have also had a bit of a makeover with lots of rebolting and some new routes. All this development is documented in my dads guide which has been a labour of love for him. I proof-read the book before it was sent to the publishers and it was looking very nice indeed. Anyway the guide should be getting distributed as we speak and you can order a copy from HERE or get it from your local climbing shop soon. Its a bargain at £11.99!
Fathers for Justice 6c at Penmaenhead:

Monday, 10 May 2010

Old Projects

Am feeling knackered after 5 days on. Things are on the up though, i can feel things starting to happen. Went back down LPT on Sunday, this time to try Melancopout again with a view into linking it into the top of Mussel Beach. I've wanted to do this for years but have never had the confidence to get back on it such is the crimpy nature of Melancholie. Also i've never done the crux of MB particularly well so when you can't do the start and you find the end hard it is not a recipe for success. Getting through Mel start the other day gave me the confidence however and i was keen to try MB again. I dogged up and sorted the moves then had a redpoint. Err, well i hadn't sorted the moves enough and i fucked up my feet on the redpoint crux turning the lip on Mussel. Was really happy to get there though. Did the Mel start a lot easier though which was satisfying and quite important and i'm not quite fit enough to get much back on the BB jug. I almost did this climb in 2005 so will be nice to tick it. LPT is definitely entering the link up age. Its got a long way to go to catch up with the tor, Malham and Kilsney but there are some brilliant link up routes to do. Not forgetting the last two independent lines either, what a crag. Fifth day on was spent in the Cave, wasn't feeling sprightly enough for Broken Heart/TC so got on another old proj, Broken Heart/Sams Finish. Have been trying this sporadically for over a year. I think it could possibly be the worlds hardest link up. But it shouldn't be!!! But it is!!!! Ahhhhh. Anyway fell off the last move once more going up to the sidepull. Will be a happy man when i do this one.
Pic of me downstairs courtesy of Dave P:

Friday, 7 May 2010


Managed a fun new training link downstairs today. Melancopout starts up Melancholie to the undercuts then steps right and finished up Bad Boy. I'm giving it soft 8a+, its probably 8a to the undercuts. Was quite chuffed mainly because i've only got through the start of Melancholie once or twice since i did it almost 6 years ago so felt good. Was an all out effort though, luckily managed to get enough back on the jug of BB to finish it. Am determind to get Melancholie wired with the end result hopefully being the Melancholie/Pas de Deux link- seems a long way at the moment though. So this was a good one to start with even though its not really that significant. Was good nick today, perfect temps and dry.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Orme and the Old School

Have been hammering the cave since my last post trying to get back into shape. When you can't do the sections of your project you have to go back to basics: Rockatrocity, Lou Ferrino etc... It has been quite useful getting used to these again as they are integral parts of some of the links i want to do when i'm going well. Also managed to get into Broken Heart from The Wire and almost managed the magic hat trick the other day (RA/LF/TC). Today i was back up to speed and back on redpoint thank the lord! Had quite a few good go's, almost getting to the shot once or twice. Its full steam ahead now to good climbing form, i have a strong desire to experience that feeling of climbing well at your limit and ultimately ticking things at your limit. I can just about remember what that feels like. Belayed Pete on Masterclass, this Moffatt route on Mayfair Wall was graded 7c+ but is regarded as 8a these days. Pete had a bit of a tussle with the crux move describing it as 'hard'. It got me thinking, everything from the 80s and early 90s is fuckin nails and the grades are very stiff compared to modern grades. Pete had just come back from Kalymnos where he had onsighted 8a, he said the difference was significant. He also did an 8b in Greece on the quick, think he's had about 3/4 sessions on Youthanasia, Steve Mayers 8b which Pete descirbed as 'as intense as Melancholie but halfway up the crag'! And then there is Oyster, Jerry's 7c+ on Mayfair, Jesus for 7c+ this is something else. Makes Mussel Beach and Rodney God 8a on the Cutaway look like a 7b+. It seemed to me that out of the 3 hard routes on Mayfair it could be the case that Oyster 7c+ is the hardest and my route Masterplan the easiest. Dyer assured me thats this isn't the case but there is definetely two grading systems at work on the Ormes and probably in Britain.

pic of Gav on Pill Thrill 7a+: