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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Last Crusade

I completed my Llanddulas roof project today. I bolted the line off Tony Shelmerdines ladder back in February. I had eyed the line up last year when i was trying Temple but unlike Temple this line had not been looked at or bolted. I hung on the bolts occasionally trying to find a way through a sea of funky climbing and downwards facing holds. The start and the end were the hard bits but as it cleaned up a jug appeared at the start which made it easier. I slowly got a decent sequence on the end and was soon on redpoint. The route features brilliant climbing. I think it has better moves than Temple of Gloom though it is perhaps not quite as meaty a line as the wall comes in close at the end. It is a power endurance route, about 20 moves with no shaking out or chalking (for me anyway). I got close in June but i tore my oblique warming up on one of the moves and that resulted in a month off. The line remained in my mind and i was desperate to return and complete it. Immediately i was getting to the end again wrestling up that final sequence on slopey sidepulls and heel hooks. Yesterday i did the last tricky move but was totally powered out and fell grabbing a jug undercut. I have to skip the last two bolts as i can't clip them and there is a ledge that comes into the fall zone. I fell and swooped right down skimming my bouldering mat. It was quite exciting and i knew it would be bad news to fall from the next moves. Danger is not something that usually comes into sport climbing! Today i went back with Danny Cattell who had belayed the day i hurt myself. I got past the move i fell off last time but the plan for the last moves soon went out of the window. My feet were in different places than i had planned and i couldn't pull the last moves even though they are on jugs. I couldn't slap or move so i improvised and pushed my knee against a small corner. By some miracle it wedged enough to allow me to keep moving up and i topped out on the ledge. Unlike Temple this one doesn't top out as i didn't fancy back and footing up the cave above. I was really pleased to have my two babies side by side. Two quality but different roof climbs. The grade is 8a+, it is a slightly easier proposition as the start is easier on The Last Crusade. Whereas Temple has a font 7a+ the start to this route is more like 6c+. I managed to get it on film- more footage for the film. I have 3 more new routes in the 8's i'd like to do this year. I'm going to concentrate on them a bit more and stop homming around on routes that i could do anytime and tiring myself. Next up is the hole project for which i need to power up.
Pics from Mike Doyle:

Danny quotes of the day: "there's not been much going on in the routes scene has there, theres been nothing on North Wales bouldering" and "What's Dans Finish". What a guy!

Later on i went down the Diamond. It was so good, no grease, no seepage and everything lit up in golden light. This place is so inspiring when its like that. The potential of the place really dawns on you when you see that massive virgin wall all lit up. Incredible. Some pics:
Boat People and Skip of Fools:

Big black wall:

Jim figuring out Skip of Fools 8a+:

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