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Saturday, 17 September 2011

New 8a+ on The Diamond

Neil Dyer climbed the old left hand Skip of Fools project today. Neil was surprised by the quality of Dumpster Divers (i don't know why! Name connection to Skip of Fools, google it!). This was one of the oldest projects in North Wales and if it were at any other crag it would have been done yonks ago. Pete Robins almost flashed the 2nd ascent falling really high on one of the last hard moves. The first proper hard move of the route is a spectacular dyno which is followed by sustained climbing above. The boys seem to think soft 8a+ is appropriate. The two long wall climbs to the left Robinson Cruiser and Non Tidal Screamer are now good to go. Pete did Robinson last week reckoning it to be pretty hard for the guidebook grade of 7c+. This must of been the first ascent for 20 years. Pete reckoned it could be 8a which in my brain register's as definitely 8a :). Expect a hard runout finish. Caff did Non Tidal Screamer, also probably the first ascent for a very long time. Unsurprisingly this also seems to be pretty tricky for its guidebook grade of 7c and don't be surprised if it feels 7c+ by modern standards. Either George didn't realise how well he was climbing in the late Eighties or we've all gone soft (probably both). Boat People is another example, 7c to the top of the crag in the guide but surely 7c+ compared to all the popular 7c's round here. Owen did NGOOTB (effort) and Caff did the 3rd ascent of The Brute (effort). I'm sure it was a casual affair, i love the way Caff keeps his belayer informed of his movements when he's on a hard route - "i'll have a little look in a min Soph" and the classic "bit of loose". Legend! Anyway no project is safe down The Diamond now, i'm quite glad i don't have to stress about it anymore as all the beasts are going down this year. I tried my Pigeon's proj again yesterday, it was a bit hot and still again. I took my jeans and kneepad but the kneebar wasn't as bomber as i hoped. I persisted and by the end of the session i understood the intricacies of it a bit better and managed to link the 3 hard moves. Pete was trying the S crack but had a go of my proj at the end and confirmed that it's tricky and there is no revolutionary beta that i'm missing. He reckons kneepads are cheating but he's just bitter cos his knee's too short. I embrace cheating like Tiger Woods so i've gone a step further and glued some rubber to my jeans. Please let it work, winter gop is coming! After i went to the cave and had a few redpoints on The Wire, it's a bit of a frustrating one as it's very easy to fall off Broken Heart even if you feel fairly fresh. You have to concentrate and climb it right. Dyer turned up and we killed the day off down LPT. I was keen to have a play on Liquid Ambar as i hadn't been on it this year and i wanted to keep it fresh in my mind. I wanted to try the crux as i knew the big slap Moffatt beta that i had employed when i did it wouldn't work for me on the link as it would be very low percentage. I know he was Jerry Moffatt but i find the way he did that move much more dismaying than the other methods despite being less powerful. It's such a hard accurate slap to be doing there. I had been taking notes when Malc was on it last year and was keen to try his foot beta of keeping his feet low on the shit left hand crimp pinch. I pulled and i roared and i was heartbroken to discover that i'm not as strong as Malcolm Smith, i wish someone had told me sooner, i've been living a lie for all these years. Anyway this crux move is substantially harder than all the other moves on the route for me and i'm not sure how i'm going to do it. The high feet feel too high and Malcs way feels too powerful and low. It'll probably be Malcs way. Just need to get stronger on that shit left hand. Dyer tried a cheeky heel on a decent sidepull which looked interesting. I had it in mind to go away this winter and do loads of campussing but i think its more a case of being able to hold a couple of very shit holds on the crux. On the plus side i was all over the first hard bit straight off, i was pleased because this is the second hardest bit and likely font 7b+. I was even more pleased to find the last sequence pretty steady on it's own. It is significantly easier than the lower moves. I'm sure it's hard on redpoint but if you're getting there you're laughing anyway. It's my lifetime goal and i'm fairly optimistic i can crack it within ten years after yesterdays session. Just need to get beastly, work the crux out and link 13 hard moves. Shouldn't be too bad actually. Its been the golden year for Welsh sport climbing. With well over 100 new routes from French 4 to 8c+ and hopefully more to come the place really is alive.

1 comment:

Dave Redpath said...

SO much going down recently, I really did pick a shite week :(