BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Ormesman of the Week - George Smith,hard FA crusher

Tony is of the opinion that some of my Ormesmen of the week don't actually qulify for the title as a true Ormesman has "climbed on every crag and done most the routes". I guess i agree with him, a few show stopping ascents doesn't make a true Ormesman but i'm widening the scope of Ormesmanship in order to make a more entertaining series!
George Smith is more well known for his trad antics at Gogarth and elsewhere than for his efforts on the Ormes. He does have some impressive first ascents to his name and spent a considerable amount of time climbing in the area. George was one of the early pioneers of the Diamond and must have braved that epic abseil off the top of the Little Orme trying to find his way through the mass of overhanging rock. Amazingly his Skip of Fools 8a+ is the hardest thing there (if you've seen this crag you'll understand this comment!). Never Get Out of the Boat has had several ascents since the Diamond renaissance with common opinion rating it as one of the best 8a's on the Ormes. I find the efforts of the early Diamondsmen very impressive as equipping the routes must have taken a lot of effort not to mention the small detail of getting in there. It's a stressful enough crag as it is now with the handline access! George also stamped his mark on Pigeons Cave with 3 first ascents. Until recent times this has been another place that has been left to rot. There is still 3 routes to re-equip down there. George's Stiff Upper Lip is a fantastic roof climb unlike anything else on the Ormes. Big burly moves lead you to a jug before a droppable last move. Pete Robins made the first ascent of this for a long time last year. Apparently George spent days and days trying to get to his belay before he realised he wasn't going to do it and dropped it a metre or so. The extension is a great project. George is also responsible for Wild Understatement, Parasite and Fair Sized Fish down on LPT. Wild Understatement was upgraded to 8a+ in the recent LPT boom years. Its like Statement only much harder (and thats hard enough!). Parasite is a route that was always looked down upon as a result of its proximity to Mussel Beach. The fact is though if Parasite has been done first Mussel beach would be the parasite! Its great climbing and is now justifiably popular. The top blue headwall must be sampled. On top of the Little Orme the esoteric Magic Flute 7c is another George creation and well worth seeking out. George is a North Wales legend, respect!


t_b said...

George made a sica model of the final pinch hold of Stiff Upper Lip before giving up and finishing at the earlier belay. Also, have you heard his story about finding a dstinctive-looking pebble on the beach below the Diamond, absent mindedly throwing it out to sea. Only to find the exact same pebble again on the next visit.

Doylo said...

No not heard that! Sounds like a miracle! Pete robins keen for stiff UL extension