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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Back to The Craft

Unbelievably it's been 9 years since those first bouldering forays at Craftnant and the FA's of Wonderwall, Cruella and Grasswind (think the latter two were in 2003). The crag has reached maturity in recent times and has been in vogue this year. I went up yesterday with Dan to give Nodder's neo classic Special K a blast. Time conspired against us and we got distracted so didn't get on it. I will be back! It was a bit dampy on arrival but just about climbable. We warmed up pissing about on Katzy's Cruella. It's funny as at the time we didn't think much about this problem but now i'm of the opinion that it's brilliant. The moves are really cool and the holds are so lush. Really nice rough mountain slopes. Dan got it quickstyle, i found myself having a bit of a battle in the end as i kept homming it up. I manned up in the end and finished it. Dan was checking out Floppy's 8b to the right. I remember taking Chris up there, when he first spotted the line i disregarded his interest. Fair play it's a cracker and one of the better hard problem's in North Wales. Really pure, short and hard. Dude's got the vision! Dan's quite keen for it, would be cool for it to get repeated. He's got decent pedigree, he did 8b in Rocklands this year and has climbed numerous 8a+'s around the place including a 30 minute ascent of Jim Holloways Trice 8a+ at Flagstaff, Colorado. With fading light we jumped ship to DC's 7c Grasswind which has had a few ascent's this year. I really didn't think this one was for me but i perservered. I tried to get the heel to work for ages but it just wasn't having it so i abandoned all finesse and got the move laying one on. This was actually ok and the set up was easier. It was getting dark however so i needed to act fast. Dan ticked it with a mad toe hook power screaming his way through. I got the good hold on the lip from the start but my foot slipped off matching. I gritted my teeth, got into the 'board' mentality and satched it up. Mega, a fantastic problem, as good as Cruella with also a beautiful visual line. These problems are some of the better ones of their grade in NWales. Consensus seems to be soft 7c for Grasswind but i didn't find Cruella to be 2 grades easier so perhaps that is 7b+. I still think Wonderwall's too brutal for 7b especially now it's lost a hold. When i was trying to make the cruxes of these problem's i found myself thinking back to how hard i try and how ferocious i get on the board. Why is it so hard to replicate this effort outside! I do stuff inside that seconds before i thought i had no chance on by conjuring up pure psyche from within and just forcing myself to do a move that feels improbable. I need to tap into this on rock and i'll pull stuff out the bag a lot quicker.
Top Craftnant tips
- take wellies or get piss wet feet ( slid down the hill all the way on my arse getting soaked)
- don't park on muddy downwards slopes. The fucking car got stuck and we had to piss about sticking pebbles and bracken under the wheels. Slightly epic.

Old pic of Floppy on Grasswind:

Now i'm off to this magnificent place!:

1 comment:

Ghostface said...

Every problem you wrote about there, me and Donnelly endured the other month. Sprained my wrist on the way up! Made a video short of a wet day there but not chopped it up. No full sends then anyway. Marvellous venue though, can't wait to go back with your aforementioned equipment!