BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Friday, 28 December 2012

Mid Winter Blues

The mid winter blues have really kicked in - this really is the worst time to live in North Wales! Summer was extremely wet but this time of year is even worse, it's so grey and dreary. I miss climbing routes and the buzz of the sport scene. Everyone is hibernating and the hustle and bustle of the Orme scene is a distant memory. I've been fantasizing about warm afternoons down LPT just as the crag is coming into the shade. Ahhh.... I miss the endorphins and to add insult to injury i'm very heavy and so pulling down is now too hard. In truth i've lost my zest but need to think for the future and get training. It's good to have some down time in the year and i certainly don't need to be a beast in December. I went down Pigeon's last week. The pebbles are quite low and we climbed some great roof problems on the ladder wall. These deserve recording IMO, the two we did were like the left wall of Angel Bay but better. Mule repeated Fourteen Years Later and Limehouse, 7c:

I've uploaded a few more of my old films to Vimeo.
This one's from Hueco in 2007:

Best of the Westies from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.

It's ever so slightly racy but no where near as bad as my first effort from 2003, Stonedlove. If anyone thinks they can handle this i will give them the password but i warn you it's not for the easily offended and is very immature indeed. We were young though :).

Thursday, 20 December 2012

West Coast Gimps

After finishing uni in 2004 i embarked on a epic climbing trip to the US with some fellow loons. The following 3 months were unforgettable, of course there was lots of quality climbing and amazing ascents but there were also lots of epics along the way. I managed to capture a fair few ascents (and epics) on my little camera. On my return i was living with Some Climbers hard gritter Dan Honneyman and he let me use his PC to put together the film. I got some covers printed out and managed to flog a few on UKB. It went down pretty well and they kept trickling out to across Britain and beyond for a few years to come. It was especially nice sending them abroad. These days i don't watch it much but whenever i do it makes me smile. It was the kind of trip that won't happen again. Everyone's too old, with girlfriends, jobs etc.. Anyway it crossed my mind that i should get it online to keep it alive. I considered a torrent but i preferred to have it more easily accessible so i upgraded my Vimeo account so i could upload it. It's pretty long, is very immature but hopefully people will still enjoy it 7 years later. It the greatest achievement of my amateur film career! Enjoy:

West Coast Gimps from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.

Some other bits. A relic of North Wales bouldering that is actually dead. I don't think Mr P's intro in the old Northern Soul coastal crags pamphlet can be beat:
A strange place to climb you might think; so close to a busy road, so devoid of traditional ambience; so fucking hardcore. The initial assault on your senses might send you scampering back to the mountains and pretty views. that is, if you fail to notice just how perfect this crag is. Believe me once you've gotten stuck into one of the many superb redpoint links you'll be so absorbed that you won't even notice the passing of the world beyond the confines of this magic little garden.

Another from the archive, Irish Si doing Gaia:

And a nice 7a down Pigeons beach:

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Back to The Training Board

Every winter i tell myself that i'm going to train like a beast and come out in Spring and blitz the sport routes. For several reasons it never quite happens and i always find myself lamenting another missed opportunity. The main reason is that to train properly you have to curtail your outdoor sessions a bit and i find that hard to do. I love climbing on a board but i love climbing outside a lot more. I find it hard to do any training when i get in from the crag and i don't like feeling tired when i'm on the crag. Last winter i pottered about outside (only climbed 7c), did little training and was still ok in spring. I feel like my recent ticks have set me free in a way. I managed 4 years of bouldering ticks in 6 weeks, plus the FA i really wanted so don't feel so guilty about going inside now. Plus i'm definitely out of my purple patch now (probably due to an expanding winter waistline) so don't feel like i can keep crushing in the 8's. Every time i see one of those wads training videos i feel a tinge of guilt. I'm trying to achieve my potential at a sport with minimal proper effort. I know climbing is training but know how much i could benefit from a few pull ups and a deadhang regime. I figure if i can climb F8b/+ and 8a boulders by pottering about outside i could improve with some effort. I'm a lazy twat though so these grandiose plans may come to nothing.
I have been out to Ogwen a few times. I managed to do Pit Traverse, a classy 7c that i've always fancied. I failed on Pit and the Pendulum 7b though, seemed nails. Yesterday i was up at Lily Savage, it was too cold and a bit seepy. I tried a project up there and failed to repeat Paul o Grady (punter!). Hosey B style proj giveaway, right of Lily Savage:

Vid of Alex despatching Paul o Grady:

The best 7b in North Wales fo sho!

Then i played on The Spawn 7c+, i'd never even seen this Katz problem and was suitably impressed. I can't believe it's had so few ascents actually as it's one of the better hard problems if you ask me, very Swiss-esque. The start is super steep and there's plenty of beta options. I'm definitely keen to try this again to see if i can work out a sequence.
Jordan made a flying visit to repeat Tramps which he did with minimal bother. I think it's going to end up as 7c+ which is ironic to me as i've never been so sure about the grade of an FA. On the other hand for once i don't actually care, i'm still relieved that i managed it after all that effort.