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Sunday, 24 October 2010

New Diamond 8a

Jon Ratcliffe has climbed his project line on the Diamond. This is a very cool little number following a diagonal break left to right on the right hand side of the crag. The route joins Hysteria at the top. It is a power endurance affair and quite a unique line for North Wales. Jon equipped and started trying the line last year. Over the winter a big jug was smashed off by the sea by the grade remained the same as this left a jug underneath. Its called The Waiting Game, very appropriate, nice one fella!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Freezing Day at Pigeons

Went down Pigeons today, it was very cold and windy! Stiff Upper Lip has seen some attention since it has been rebolted (Pete Robins has redpointed it). This must be one of the steepest 8a's in the country. It makes the 'roof warrior' in Cheedale seem not very roofy! About 5 bolts worth of it are completely horizontal! Jim's clips were in so i had a quick bolt to bolt. It was brilliant, some good holds and a burly section on undercuts and then a frustrating last move slap! Keen to do it sometime when i'm climbing stronger again.

Some footage of one of Jim's redpoints:

Monday, 18 October 2010


When i lived in Holywell i spent a lot of time climbing in the Eglwyseg valley near Langollen. People have climbed here for years with a lot of the routes protected by fixed gear. In the early noughties the old fixed protection started to get replaced with stainless bolts and new sport routes started to go up. A new guide book came out and the areas popularity was assured. I stopped coming here a few years ago as i had done most of the better 7's at the time and normally found myself at the Ormes. The Valley has a lot going for it however. Its obviously not tidal and apart from a hot summers day conditions are nearly always good. There are lots of 7's to go at and quite a few 8's up to 8b. It feels like quite a stress free scene compared to the Ormes! There are even some projects. Rob Mirfin has been putting up hard new routes here for a few years. I have been a few times recently and am quite keen to get back into it. On Sunday i went with Mule and we did a 7b+ called Cubase which was cool. I also fell a foot move away from flashing a 7c called Dyperspace. My hand uncurled as i tried to move my foot up, was quite gutting as i've never flashed 7c in Britain. The lack of climbing has taken its toll though and i feel in poor shape. 5 weeks ago i was doing 8a/+ worth of climbing 3 times a session on the Diamond and now my arms feel tired after warming up. Haven't had much urge to go climbing although when i've been i have enjoyed it.

Lee Proctor, Mr Dinbren:

Mule flashing Cubase:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Sea of Tranquility 2nd Ascent

Pete Robins has done the probable 2nd ascent of Sea Of Tranquility on LPT. In the 97 Rockfax it credits Neil Carson with the 2nd ascent but rumour has it that this is a mistake. Over the years i have spoken to several people who were around at the time and they all thought that Carson didn't do it. If anyone knows for sure get in touch. Sea of was graded 8c by Ben Moon in 1993 who thought it to be similar to Liquid Ambar in the harder range of the grade. However with the evolution of grades throughout the world and with a distinct lack of repeats for both routes both could now be considered 8c+. Three of the four people who have done LA say 8c (Ben M, Jerry and Simpson, not sure what Pete thinks now) but they are all old skool in their grading. For me the fact the people who have failed to repeat both routes tells a story. I've belayed Mcclure and Simpson on Sea Of and neither managed to get it sorted in a few days of effort. This year Malc managed Liquid in two halfs but didn't get it done and Nic Sellars didn't do it in the height of his sport climbing powers (he said it was nails). Its a shame they don't get more attention as they're both brilliant routes. Pete has very few routes left to do on LPT now with the obvious one being Big Bang which will surely be the most prestigious 2nd ascent in North Wales when completed. He also becomes the first man to tick the three 8c/+s Liquid, Sea of and Infanticide which is quite an achievement. LPT almost ticked! - not bad for a few years worth of effort!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

25 Days And Finally a Topout

No i haven't crushed my project but after over 25 climbing days there i've finally done a route!!! Ok so Hysteria might not be the grandest of Diamond routes but its still a route. Jonny R was looking good on his project falling with the jug basically in his hand - will be a cracker. Have been back to the Mill a few times and the strength is slowly returning. Even popped into the Cave yesterday to see how shit i am. Wasn't too bad just need some conditioning. Quite keen for a few things in there this winter.