BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bye Winter?

I really hope so, yes i will soon complain about the grease and the condensation but fuck it at least i won't be freezing my nuts off! I sat in the car today with the windows up and just baked like a crisp. God it was nice! I did some Mayfair wall descaling the other day. The big flake on the start on Masterclass came off with virtually no effort. I could have done it with my hands. Very scary to think of all the people who have hung off it over the years. It came off in one piece and is now wedged in the ground. I don't think it will affect the route much, there's quite a good foothold there now: probably 20 inches by 20
I also levered the big flake left of Contusion off in the name of crag safety. To repay me if someone could upgrade Masterplan to 8b+ i'd be much obliged. I haven't been on Walking Mussel for a week. I'm at the stage where i could get the undercut well next go and top out or i could fall off for another ten days. It's hard to improve on it really, improving means doing it. But then i might still fall off the dreaded crack! I'm in the midst of some viral affliction so have been taking it easy. I did a few routes at Penmaenhead yesterday, the sun really was too good to resist. I climbed on Expresseway Wall which i hadn't been back to since we developed it. I did my old kings hardest FA, The Quarrywomen (6c). I was quite impressed, good quality and a good lead from Mikey. It really is a little gem that crag. It is good stone and rock and there's loads to go at. Easy sport climbing in Wales pisses all over the Peak and Yorkshire for quality from what i've seen. Today i met up with Ben Bransby who was keen to check out Dulas. I was only 5 minutes late but the impatient git was doing some dodgy self belay manouvres up Ralarwdins:
He told me he'd done Bat Route last week so obviously a man on form. I replaced the hanger that some cunt had nicked of Tony Stud and we headed up to the main cave. The place was a shit tip, some dickhead youths had been having a Carlsberg and Nik Nak orgy. Messy little twats. I bagged it up and took it when we left. Ben was keen for Last Crusade, he got most the way across the roof on the flash but was stopped by the sequency finish. I set off up Tony's atmospheric caving experience, Lord Nibbler. This route climbs up the gulley right of Last Crusade goes past that routes belay and up the wall to the finish of Zoidberg. Despite its modest grade i was a bit gripped as much of it involved back and footing between the two walls. Anyway it was great, a great experience for a 6b. People should do it more. I'm still glad i didn't finish Crusade up there though. Ben fell off the end on his next two goes. Despite my illness i got on my link up project. I'd been quite disheartened walking away from it last time. Every move on the new section felt nails! The beauty of these roofs though is that there is nearly always some hidden trickery. You've just got to put the time in and suss it out. I made good progress this time and at the end i was in the position where i could basically do all the hand moves but one but with a few feet manouvres still to sort out. There's two moves where my feet are so spanned after doing a big move left i can't release them without swinging off. I think/hope that i'll be able to sort this with some of my Parisellas accessories. The new section is only 7 hand moves but it's probably 8a condensed into 7 moves at a guess? The route is still a pipedream at the moment but it doesn't seem quite as far fetched after today. Inspiring and daunting in equal measure but so fuckin meaty you just gotta keep going. Ben got The Last Crusade on his 4th redpoint in the end. I think on his last go he could start to hear Pete Robins taunts in his head so realised he had to pull it out. Soon all the holds will be dry as will pigeons and t shirt in bed will be no more! yeee The longest clipstick at Waterfall:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Triple Crown Quest

The Mayfair Wall triple crown consists of the three grade 8 routes: Masterplan, Masterclass and Oyster. Mayfair is a classic Welsh wall stooped in history with some of the best sport routes in the region. The triple crown is a good challenge as all three routes are completely different in style. Oyster is a short burly crack put up by Jerry Moffatt is 1983 and graded E4 6b!!! It gets 8a now, surely one of the biggest sandbags ever! I had a quick go a month ago and couldn't do the original shoulder press, such a hard move. I managed to work another sequence though so it should go. Masterclass is another Moffatt route from 1983 and was 7c+ for years. It used to get a fair few ascents back in the day when people used to train on brick edges. These days it doesn't get much attention is generally regarded as being nails. The start is nasty and sharp and the crux is unlikely and technical. It is quite cool in that it makes you do moves that seem inprobable. I guess it's a bit like slate in that respect. I've always got shutdown on it before but can do the moves now. At the start of the climb there is a big hollow flake which would likely slice through your rope if it came off on lead. I'm going to pull it off, i don't think it will affect the climb that much and i don't care as it definitely has the potential to kill someone! Masterplan is the newbie of the trio, it was put up by a handsome visionary in 2009. It definitely has the nicest climbing of the trio and is more modern/bouldery (and hence more popular than the other two). Difficulty wise there is not much between Masterplan and Masterclass (probably the difference between hard 8a and soft 8a+). As far as i know only Pete Robins and Neil Dyer have done all three. I spent my 30th birthday belaying Robins and my route The Hole Truth at Dyserth. I was intrigued to see how he'd find it as i'd never seen anyone else on it. I had worried that someone might be able to handjam up the hole and sure enough Pete did. It was hard getting into the jam though and he couldn't release it when he got to the lip. He spent ages messing about with it and causing himself pain. For me the really hard bit was getting into the Hole but Pete was steady on this and could go straight into the good part (Jordan said he could do this too). I guess thats the difference between 8b bouldering strength and 7c strength. Luckily for me he found the end tricky though and found the toehook to be quite low percentage. He was too boxed by the time he had it worked so will have to go back. It must be my hardest FA as he's done all the others 2nd go. Jordan turned up after we'd left and bagged the 2nd ascent on his second session, nice one la. I was down LPT yesterday thinking to myself what a strange pastime redpointing is. You go to the same place time after time, and just do exactly the same thing then go home and come back and do it again. Climbing up big cliffs seems to make sense but redpointing seems like a strange way to spend your life. Big up to Tommy who ended his seige on Pas de Deux!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Awesome Mawsome

Awesome Inspector Mawson took a break from trying Rainshadow on Thursday and visited LPT to have a whirl on Walking Mussel. The Inspector is a very good climber. He's always been a stamina jock but he has got significant power gains from his training over winter. I thought he'd have a good chance of getting it in a session. It's not a very complicated route so if you're going well you've got every chance of doing it quickly. Anyway to cut a short story short he pissed it making perhaps the quickest ascent. The fact that he found the bottom bulge the hardest indicates how easy he found the crux. He said it was a bit similar to the crux of Rainshadow but that is font 7c+ as opposed to 7b+ on WM. It came as no surprise to me that he thought it was a gift for 8b+. It could be 8b though i would have thought one of the other guys would have downgraded it. I went back down to LPT yesterday after an enforced 9 day break from it. It definitely feels like a breach of human rights having to work when the tide is out. I was paranoid about feeling worse on it after the loss of momentum. I've not been doing any hardcore climbing or training in the meantime either. It was still too cold but i suspect folk are tired of me complaining about this so i'll pipe down. I had 4/5 redpoints and on the last one made the breakthrough and grabbed the undercut. I didn't quite wiggle into it well enough and fell off the match but i was happy. I'm having a bit of a different experience on this route. Normally after this many days on something this seeds of stress and frustration start to sprout. I feel none of this though, i just enjoy every go and feel dead relaxed. I think it's partly to do with the nature of the route and partly because my redpointing head feels good this year. I'm sure this will change if i fall off the crack for ten days though. Emma and Jim were trying Youthanasia. I've been going to LPT since the 90s and literally apart from Pete on Wild Youth and i think Keith Sharples once i've never seen anyone try it. This is really bizarre and criminal really. It looks brilliant! Pete said the top moves were some of the best on the crag. I guess Melanchollie is most people's preferred choice. I'd love to give it a go sometime. Jordan Buys has been in Wales over the weekend. I've always admired Jordan's enthusiasm. He just wants to go everywhere and climb everything, no matter how esoteric. He's another one who is doing good things on Rainshadow, good to see the boys trying to step it up. He went to Dyserth Waterfall yesterday and had a go on The Hole Truth, my route from last year. I sent him a message to get his verdict and he replied: "dirty, reachy and sharp but i liked it". My sentiments exactly i thought, this route is meat. He's keen to go back to finish it and Madness Reigns 8a.