BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Friday, 9 March 2012

Routes Season!?

There has been some early season action going down on LPT. Spring is almost with us and luckily for us in Wales we don't need to wait til June for the crags to dry out. Most of them are good to go! Caff did Walking Mussel the other day, he'd had a look at it once or twice before but got it quicksharp on redpoint. I went down yesterday to join in the fun. My main goal for the year is to go up a sport grade. I did Melanchollie 8b back in 2004, then bouldered for a few years and struggled to do any more tricky routes. Essentially i had punched above my weight and took advantage of being a skinny strong fingered youth. My all round sport climbing has improved in recent years and after i did my 8b in Dyserth last year i realised that i needed to raise the bar this year. There aren't too many 8b+'s to choose from in North Wales. Wild Youth/Youthanasia and Walking Mussel down LPT. I still think the Brute is 8b+ even though i just wasn't fit enough during those 2 years. And that's about it really! Walking Mussel is the obvious candidate for me. It's on LPT so easy to get belayers, is a great route and more bouldery than fitness. The beasts say it's soft for the grade so thats a bonus too. I've had a quick look at it before and so knew what to expect. The start is a cool Font 7a+ through a bulge which is followed by massive jugs. Then it's easy up to the main crux in the middle. The crux is reaching into a high undercut off a bony pinch and then matching the undercut is also tricky. The route then finishes up the finger crack of Over The Moon (this will probably be the crux for me!). First go up i didn't make much impression on it. I wasn't expecting to have much joy on the bony pinch as i wasn't convinced about my current finger strength. I couldn't even begin to do the standard dropknee method for the crux. I came down and belayed Caff. Caff has chosen Liquid Ambar as his next Orme project and so was keen to open his account on it. He was looking good on it sorting out the beta for most of the tricky bits. Interestingly he found the bit after the crux quite hard as he couldn't use the footholds that us taller climbers use. I'm sure he'll figure out some Caff trickery for it. I'm interested to see his progress on the route. I still find it criminal how little attention it's got over the years. Caff said tongue in cheek that if it takes him 10 days or less he'll call it 8c and 8c+ if it takes longer. I had another blast at WM and it all came together this time. I shunned the drop knee and kept straight on with right on the right. I was tickling the undercut and the match wasn't too bad either. Game on, bonza! It should be fine once i unstrap Rik Waller from my back. It certainly seems very easy for 8b+ but i'm sure it'll be a bitch to put together. Tommy is working Pas de Deux (99% 8a+). Emma was trying Over The Moon direct and Calum was on Mussel Beach. Let the season commence!

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