BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Friday, 12 October 2012

Big Numbers Descend on The Diamond

Pete Robins has ticked his Diamond project just in the nick of time! After battling with day after day of bad conditions he pulled through onto the juggy ground today to give the route a logical first belay. Pete had bolted the route to the top of the crag - a 30 metre monster. However the crag got wet after the deluge and never really recovered. I got this rather happy txt of the man of the moment: " Skin of my teeth!!! So good to have dry holds! So so relieved. Top was dripping unfortunately but not really bothered. Is this really happening?". Quite happy then it seems. The line in question does the first boulder problem of the Brute straight off the deck and then a big leftwards dyno leads to slots and tiny crimps. The first 6 bolts are so intense, Pete likened this section to doing a long Font 8a. After this a reasonable (?) shakeout is gained before more hard bouldering which leads to lots of jugs (but still on steep ground). From here the extension turns into a stam fest and blasts to the top on mainly good holds. Pete's route finishes slightly higher than the Brute belay.
Pete has been cranking in the area since 2009 climbing most the hard routes including the LPT 8c+ trilogy. He's done a couple of good FAs (Stiff Upper Lip Extension is probably the best) but he definitely had a reputation amongst us locals as being a bit bolt shy. It's more that we were imagining what we would bolt up if we had his ability. Pete Harrison put it to Pete early on in Diamond season and he explained that he didn't want to take a few days off climbing to bolt something as he was worried he'd lose fitness (obviously absurd). Pete's probing seemed to spur him on however and he was soon bolting his way down the Diamond to create an amazing project all of his own. I was quite shocked when i saw he'd pulled his finger out but he didn't mess about and his project was blatantly one of the best hard routes in Britain. Many sessions of effort and beta tweaking followed. Also as the best conditions started to become less regular he had to be patient and resolve himself to climbing on it when it was less than perfect. On the day i went to film him he used a block of chalk trying to dry the holds out. The man wanted it! Pete says his route (as yet unnamed) is likely 8c+ and that it will be half a grade harder to take it to the top for whoever fancies that. It is a great moment for the Diamond. It seems absurd given the steepness and obvious amount of hard lines but until last year the hardest route there was 8a+. The 8cs - 9as were staring us in the face but we needed someone good to get keen. I think this is just the start for this amazing crag, i'd love to see the topo in ten years! Despite it's obvious downsides the quality and inspiring nature of the routes means it should be a forcing ground for years to come.
Some video stills.
Nails first section:

2nd hard section:

It would seem that 8b and 8c+ are the hard grades to go for in North Wales. Come on beasts we need more 8b+/8cs!

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