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Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Wizard is Oz

I did my 24th new route of the year today at Penmaenhead. I had wondered about the wall right of Clogau Gold years ago but had never checked it out. Recently Tommy mentioned he had looked at it and it looked good. I abbed down it and it did look very cool so i bolted it up. The route took no cleaning and there were no loose holds at all which is rare for a virgin route of this height. The rock is really nice and rough. The route follows the first two bolts of Clogau Cold on easy terrain then breaks right onto the ledge. From here blast straight up the headwall. The first section is reasonably steady up to a small overlap and a jug. Then you tackle the crux sequence which is a really nice tenuous couple of moves with some more nice moves above on bad feet. I've called it The Wizard is Oz. Oz is the 6 ft 6 Ghambian doorman at The Barrel in Rhyl, a very handsome man. I've given it 7b+, it's quite hard to grade as the hard section is very shortlived but it seems too thin for 7b and it's a bit easier than a hard 7b+ like Rompsville. All in all a very satisfying experience and if it's my last new route this year it's a good one to end on. I'm chuffed to have the hardest route as Dyserth, Dulas and Penmaenhead. I was a bit snooty about Penmaenhead years ago when i was doing the first new routes there. Fair play to the old king though it is a very handy crag. It's a convenient ticking venue but the quality is actually very good and with over 60 routes there's loads to go at. I onsighted Clogau Gold 7a after my FA and found it quite tough for 7a. I think it's because it was unchalked and i've just been following the dots this year. Nice big wall anyway.
I went to Dulas with Pete Robin's the other day. Pete did the 2nd ascent of The Last Crusade, he managed it first redpoint which is a good effort as it's quite a complex route and hard to remember straight off. I guess it doesn't matter when you're four grades beneath your limit. He confirmed the grade but said he found it as hard as Temple which he found really easy. I still think he beasted Temple and 8c wad Bob Hickish has a couple of sessions on it recently and reckoned it was tricky. I had a play on the link up i bolted. The new section was really good and it seemed like the moves would go ok with some time. It's definitely doable but i'm going to have to be climbing well. It'll be quite pumpy with Last Crusade start, then hard 8 move or so middle sequence then the redpoint crux of Temple. Look's like i'll be seiging in that roof for the 3rd year in a row. We then went down LPT, pete was keen for a look on The Big Crunch project that i bolted a year or two ago. The first crux is nails and it's yet to be worked out. The middle section is excellent and doable and then there's a really hard lip encounter. Pete reckoned it could be 9a! I had a go at the middle bit and did the moves, LPT LGP! Footage of Tommy crushing Simon Says 8a in Split Infinity:

Finally some bellend kids have set fire to the two gym mats in the Cave. Tommy put it out and no real harm is done but i think it's worth keeping the place free from such detritus as it is definitely tempting for some nob who's a bit trigger happy with his lighter. It could have been a lot worse!

1 comment:

Dave Redpath said...

A few years ago the neds at Dumbie set fire to a plastic bath filled with wood right under Sanction 8b. Malc had to glue some bits back on as it got easier - shame :)