BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Ormeman of the Week: Pete Harrison - Services to Re-equipping.

Ever had a good idea but then come to the decision that it’s too much like hard work? There are plenty of things we'd all love to do but actually getting around to it is often one step too far. Well this isn't the case for this weeks Ormesman of the week. Rebolt LPT and lots of upper drive routes - check. Establish 90 metre horizontal line across the little Orme - check. Decide to write a North Wales Limestone guide with all proceeds going to the bolt fund - check.
Pete Harrison is a man who doesn't mess about. Once he's decided on doing something he just gets on with it, no faffing or procrastination. I only came across Pete on the Orme a few years ago. He grew up in the area but had time away in the armed forces and a stint living in Canada. I was on the pavement and I could see this guy on Mumbo Jumbo area on a rope doing some rebolting. It was to become a familiar sight. Pete soon took his re-equipping mission down to LPT. The bolt situation on LPT was quite inconsistent. The majority off the routes had good eco bolts but there were plenty with rusty old expansion bolts that desperately needed replacing. Some routes were well bolted but had one or two shit bolts that needed replacing. Pete started on the right side of the crag and worked his way leftwards making sure every route had decent resin bolts. A few routes were fully bolted but relied on the odd wire placement (e.g. Face Race and Mean Mother). These were bolted properly so you could leave your rack on the ground. I had placed a few bolts on a few of the harder routes and had rebolted Liquid Ambar but these were mainly for selfish reasons as these were climbs I wanted to try. Pete did his bolting for the good of the crag and as a result 2009 and 2010 turned out to be golden years for LPT. Nearly every route had chalk on it and routes like Parasite and Walking Mussel that had basically been ignored for years were seeing attempts. I would be in the cave staring down at LPT watching this guy dangling above the sea with the petrol drill.
Over the years a few people had suggested the idea of establishing a hand line across the Craig-y-Don seawalls to gain access to the Diamond on the Little Orme. This crag had hardly been climbed on for 20 years despite its impressive walls, existing routes and projects. It would surely become a forgotten crag if some reliable form of access wasn't established. When Pete heard the idea he decided he would crack on with it. The logistics of establishing a horizontal line like this on your own is beyond me. It took Pete a lot of effort and he did indeed have some worrying moments with knots stuffed into cracks facing huge pendulums etc…. Pete placed resin bolts across the walls and linked them with static line. The end result was brilliant, the hand line was perfect and finally we could go to the Diamond without getting wet and have a decent amount of time at the crag. I for one was over the moon after a few dodgy moments wading in and out and the sinking dingy escapade with Mawson. I could also try The Brute project after rebolting it a few years previous. A new generation of Orme climbers could experience the Diamond for the first time and this amazing crag provided a brilliant new alternative to LPT. Of course Pete didn't stop there and did some more re-equipping. This year he rebolted the classic but neglected Wall of the Evening Light so that should get some attention next season. It sounds amazing! A lot of work happens on Pen Trwyn checking the lower offs for the BMC; Pete has been one of the main people doing this along with Andy Boorman and Chris Parkin. This is also essential work which is time consuming.
Back in November I was told that a group of locals planned to release a lime guide with the proceeds going to the bolt fund. It came as no surprise to learn that Pete was spearheading this project and was doing the bulk of the work putting the guide together. He has spent a lot of hours cutting his teeth with the software and co-ordinating the efforts. I’m sure it will be a great guide.
So after reading this I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Pete’s efforts in recent years have been outstanding and that the Orme and all us climbers owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts. I would say buy him a pint when you see him but he’d probably rather you just give the money to the bolt fund! Nice one mate, you’re probably blushing reading this you modest git.
The drilling machine:

1 comment:

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