BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Hatch Life High

Pete Robins did the obvious connection of Hatch Life into Left Wall High today. This really needed doing and gives 3 nice starts for LWH-In Heaven (8a+), HLH (hard 8a) and The Highlife (7c+??). The Hatch start still goes fine without the undercut and Pete dug it out a bit with a shovel, how glamorous! Earlier on Pete did the second ascent of Tramp's Tea Party using some different beta. Although he admitted it suited him i could tell he thought it was alright. Let's see what others say about the grade. Caff even said it was 3 stars but we managed to knock him down to 2. Not bad praise though from someone who's just come back from Yosemite. Pete also did a new 8a in the Ogwen yesterday up at Gallt-yr-Ogof. I expect news of this will be on NWB next week.

Vid of the Cave link:

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Tramps Tea Party

I did a project on the Orme today that i've been playing on all year. Up past Elephants Cave is an old eliminate wall known as the Sugar Lump. This place was quite popular with the North Wales bouldering mafia in the 90s and it even featured in the 97 Rockfax in the bouldering section. It is pretty terrible in modern terms but there is one line on the big block just beneath. I'd been up there a few times but it wasn't until Craig 'Ducko' Davies took me up there that i got keen for the line. The one downside was that the local rough eggs had lit a fire under it and made it black. I was not deterred however and started scrubbing it to bring it back to life. To start with the slopey grips were greasy but soon it was grease free and it was often windy up there so quite good for conditions. I got nowhere to start with, i had hoped it would be about 7c but it soon became apparent it was much harder. I could only do the last few moves and the start seemed particularly hard. I left it as route season came but still had the occasional session. A turning point occurred when i took Neil Dyer up there. Not only did he help me with some beta but he got excited about moving a massive block that was wedged into the apex. The block did detract from the problem somewhat and it was hard not to dab it. I went back up a few weeks later and i couldn't believe my eyes when i saw it had been moved! It could only be one man! I still don't know how he did it, he must have rigged up some chain blocks on a tree or something. I knew that Neil had no designs on the problem himself, he just liked the challenge and wanted to help a mate. What a guy! Pritch standing on the block:

Anyway the problem was now much improved and armed with two 5.10 kneepads the beta for the middle started to come together. I'd never been on a climb like it, it seemed that every session i went i found some new trick. Despite the end of the climb coming together the start still alluded me and i genuinely didn't know if i could do it. I'd actually done the hand moves but couldn't link the positions with my feet. It got wet after the Autumn deluge and my form went through the roof. I went back to it optimistic and i was now strong enough and although i felt great on the end i still couldn't do the bloody start. Last Saturday the breakthrough came and i got through the move. I climbed all the way to the end and fell off the last tricky move to a jug. Whoop, it was on and i was ecstatic that all my efforts were going to have the desired outcome. I went back on Monday really hopeful but my body seemed to have a dip and just felt knackered for no real reason. This happened a few weeks ago, everything just ached and i just didn't have enough zing in my arms for the end. I didn't feel much better today but thought i might have a chance if i got it in a few goes. I sat down at the start and a really good feeling came over me. I soon found myself staring at the jug pocket, it was one of those 50/50 moments. I'd been there many times before and managed to finish it. I was extremely satisfied, meaty new problems like this on the limestone are very rare indeed and it was nice to do something independent (none link up) in a different area. I normally prefer climbing with other people as it motivates me more but i had a great time up there on my own just beavering away on the problem. Despite the broken glass etc.. it is a good spot to climb. The problem took 14 sessions but only 3 of those were spent redpointing. It felt like hard 8a when i was working it but i think if you went there with the beta it would feel easier. I don't even think the start is that bad now, once i did it once i could do it every go. It's just one of the things you encounter on FA's. I think what makes it is that is starts on a really obvious jug and it finishes on a juggy ledge. I'm half tempted not to post the video as i know everyone will go an piss it with the beta i spent days and days working out but that's bad spirit so here it is:


Once again, cheers Ding Dong!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Dan Knight Destroys The Gop

Dan Knight returned to his favourite Welsh crag yesterday and left with 3 FAs. By his own admission the Gop suits Dan's climbing down to a tee. On his first visit he did both the 8a's in not very many goes and he also did the FA of a hard project which became Paper Birds 8a+ after half a dozen sessions. Yesterday he started off by climbing Mule's old project, the sit start to the crag classic Push The Button. Push The Button is a soft 8a and Dan reckoned although the low start added 3 or 4 moves it didn't warrant an extra grade and was likely hard 8a. Mule reckoned it would be 8a+ but he had a harder sequence on PTB (as per usual). He was feeling good so he moved onto the low start to Smoke a Bloke. Smoke a Bloke is a wicked, nails one move 7b+ (or more likely 7c!!). Danny used to try the direct low start and it looked nails. Dan managed it from the Blokesmoker Low start (just to the right) much to his surprise, he had pencilled it in as a long term project. Then he capped his day by doing the direct low start! Trying to get a grade estimation out of him was like trying to get blood out of a stone, he meekly replied 8a to me. Top British boulderer Ned Feehally visited the Gop last week and tried the Blokesmoker start. He reckoned it was pretty tough, maybe even 8b so it seems unlikely that it's 8a. Ned also tried Paper Birds but couldn't do the nails first move. Dan admitted that he felt he had reached the next level and he has climbed 8b before so its likely that these problems are pretty damn tricky! Nice one la

Lankmaster Barrows returned to the Orme this weekend. Check out the footage of him resting his way up Directors from last time:

Some attempts on Director's Cut (8a+?) in Parisella's, also footage of Broken Heart (7c+) from Alex Barrows on Vimeo.

Watching him in the Cave makes me feel 50% sickened and 50% impressed. It's a shame to see such historical hardcore pieces of climbing devalued in a way but on the other hand the technical knees are definitely pretty cool. I'm just glad the vast majority will never be able to get them. He did The Wire this weekend, shaking out where i'm in bulk. I normally get slagged off for lanking stuff but this guy gives me short mans syndrome! I can get through the hard Broken Heart moves most goes but power out on the hard moves before the jugs. If your left leg fits you can shake off your right knee and then stick the left in and move to the jugs. Oh well, i'll just need to get a bit fitter. Today he managed Drink Driving - on the two crux moves he could keep his feet really low on good holds rather than having to put them in the break like everyone else. Unsurprisingly he thought it was 8a like this (it is bottom end anyway). It seems we have two options, either downgrade nearly every 8a and 8a+ on the Orme for giants with good knee skills or we can just write a separate guide for Barrows. I'd go for the latter.

Good Orme 7a:

Sunday, 11 November 2012

First Kneebarred Ascent of Directors Cut

I feel sick typing a blog about Alex Barrows but i have to be unbiased as Orme reporter and despite the fact that he cheated and all the problems are no more than 7c with his trickery here goes... The lanky cunt made short work of the hardcore Cave classic Directors Cut utilizing the kneebars and a swanky kneepad. Directors in its original form has always been in the thick end of 8b. As i previously mentioned the kneebars make the crux moves of Trigger pretty solid so it was always a matter of time before someone tall did Directors with them. To add insult to injury Barrows worked out a no hands rest at the end of Lou Ferrino. All this brings the problem down to soft 8a+ although i'm not sure many will be able to get his Lou Ferrino rest. He got the problem in 2 sessions of redpoints but last weekend did Halfway and Daisy From Concrete. He also did Greenheart with a new sequence, similar to the one Pete Robins uses when he tried Pilgrimage. This involves rolling over to the Trigger Cut starting hold and slapping down and right with another knee. He reckoned this was worth 8a with his rest. To cap his weekend he did Broken Trigger, it seems he's finally found a bouldering outlet for his sport fitness! Nice work!

I had a good sesh at Tremeirchion with the dog. A few weeks ago i had a breakthrough on the sitter to 36 Chambers, i finally got a sequence for the sitter moves and climbed into the stand. Yesterday i was keen for some redpoints but struggled with one move on the stand. It was piss off the ladder but tricky from the deck. We both did 22 Chambers which goes from the same sit start and is mega. This is a tough 7c like 36. Amazing problems and lime. Some footage:

The crux move of 22 Chambers:

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lightweight 2nd ascent

Me and Dan went up to Craig Pont-y-Pant (aka Rhiw Goch) yesterday for some steep board style action. I was trying Mules sitter to Ride the Wild Smurf which goes at 7c+. The crux is the first move which is a nails violent slap into a backhand off a sharp crimp. I've got a sequence on the rest of it but the first move is desperate and i didn't manage it. Back to linking 'tricky moves' for me i think. Hard moves still feel hard! Dan was trying Lightweight which is a 8a variation on Poppy's Move. Lightweight was actually done after Poppy's and in truth is the true line as it's the easiest way to climb it. It utilises a small sharp crimp which Floppy missed when he did Poppy's. Poppy's is essentially an eliminate now. Despite the good forecast the showers kept stopping play frustratingly but Dan kept psyched and finally hit the right bit of the lip and held the swing. The topout was wet and slimey but he flopped onto the top.


Barrows did Halfway House and Daisy From Concrete in the Cave. We both reckon Halfway could be 7c+ now with paddage. I believe Nodder also thinks that might be the case.