BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

With work, rain and injury I haven't had much chance to get out on the Welsh boulders recently but I did manage the 3rd ascent of this neo-classic at Tremeirchion:

The sitter to 36 Chambers is in my opinion one of the finest limestone problems in the country. It starts on a big chunky tufa and about four long moves lead into the stand up. The rock is bullet proof high quality limestone, the holds are lovely and it is very involved and continuous. It finishes on a jug at about 5/6 metres, the only thing it lacks is a top out. Danny Cattell made the first ascent of both the stand and the sit. He gave both 7c+(!) at the time but the stand has settled at 7c and most people think the sit is worth 8a. Strong long man Tom Newberry made the 2nd ascent of the sit in a fleeting visit in 2012. I'd always had aspirations to do the sit start but always struggled to repeat the stand let alone get it wired. The breakthrough came through sheer persistence and working out a more secure way of doing the last hard move. For most this move is slappy and accurate and you could fall there forever but I managed to put my long legs to good use and get them on the only positive foothold about. I started to feel pretty good and getting through the start consistently meant it was soon in the bag. The new beta on the top made me think it could be 7c+ for me but it is likely still 8a for the average sized man. James Noble made the 4th ascent last week and reckoned it was similar in difficulty and quality to Alphane Moon (an 8a problem in Chironico). I haven't had much chance to get out since and on Boxing Day I was scraping my windscreen when something went twang in my back. My whole middle was knackered and I couldn't even take deep breaths. So now I'm playing the waiting game praying it sorts itself out soon. I find it more than ironic that you can spend your life clinging to steep rock with little problem but can fuck yourself standing still moving your arm in a straight line!

Only a few months to go until we can dust off the ropes again and get back on the main meat. There's still at least 8 more 8cs and above for the bumpy boys to go at on the North Wales lime. I'm pretty excited about the arrival (hopefully!) of two new long awaited guidebooks to my favourite areas. Pete Harrison is coming to the end of 3 and a half years glued to his laptop putting all the passion and energy of recent times into a new North Wales lime guide. Knowing what a perfectionist he is I expect it will not disappoint. He's been going out his way to get specific photos and old areas re-equipped to make the guide the best it can possibly be. A lot has gone on in the last 4 years and this will be showcased in the new guide.
Also on the horizon is the second edition of the North Wales Bouldering guide. Panton has really mastered his craft now so expect a beautiful piece of work showcasing 8 more years of development. In fact the release date is probably dependent on him drawing a line under continued development cos as the old saying goes 'it never ends'....

Hope we get another classic summer and the crags are bustling with hangdoggers doing their thing.