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Monday, 20 February 2012

Orme Beaches

I stayed local this weekend and headed down to some beachside bouldering on the Greatest Orme. Me and Gav went down to West Shore on Saturday. It was good to go down in bouldering season, it gets the sun all day so can be a bit hot in summer. After a nice warm up circuit we parked the pads under one of Mules new classics. I Am the Walrus is a very cool overhanging arete and was given 7b+ by the dog. When you first walk above it it just looks like a greasy little problem. Gav was dismissive! A bit of chalk and a close up look and it soon reveals itself as a mini classic with brilliant moves and holds. The crux is matching a amazing slopey rail at the lip and we soon had it done to here. A bit of Foster body positioning magic reduced the crux to a stable move and it was game on. I managed to dispatch and Gav got to the crux but forgot his own beta. He doesn't get out much so his lack of session fitness prevented him finishing it which was a shame:

There are probably a dozen or so worthwhile problems down here but i guess people will keep away until it's all documented in the guide. I'm certainly looking forward to see how some beasts get on on Mules problem The Spray which looks a serious boulder problem. Yesterday i headed down to Pigeons beach boulders with Mr P and Neil Dyer. I hadn't been there for many years and wanted to check out an old Paul Higginson problem that was in the guide as 7b+. From memory it was very cool but i never heard of anyone ever doing it. I pulled up outside the Cave but luckily i managed not to peer in and i had my crucifix to hand to keep away the evil Cave sprits. I'm doing quite well resisting its charms. Down Pigeons things were a bit damp to start with but it soon dried out. I warmed up and started to try and work out Higg's fossil overhang. The problem blasts straight up a steep wall from a sitter. There are many possible sequences and holds so i spent absolutely ages trying many different methods. Dyer joined me and worked out his own sequence which consisted of two big moves at the end:

He managed to despatch it and i eventually figured out a direct crimpy method avoiding the two slopey pinches in the middle but alas it was too late as the wad had been shot from the shaft. I would say it's one of the best problems on the Orme, it really is very good. Nodder (who had just ticked Halfway House, effort) later told me that Katzy had flashed it years ago and downgraded it. This is a great effort considering how many holds there are to choose from. I think 7c is fair though. Neil went round to do a classic looking 7a+ on one of the other boulders. Mr P and I prepared ourselves for the inevitable flash but 7 goes later and he still hadn't topped out. We'd never seen this before, he normally flashes most things up to 7b+! So perhaps a bit of a sandbag that one, very classic though. Even more shocking news though is that he has started training. This could have repercussions on a global scale. Later i put a picture of the 7c on Facebook and Paul Higginson commented that he couldn't remember what he called it. Ducko suggested Fourteen Years Later and he decided to go with that. Such a good problem certainly deserves a name. Some footage:

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