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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Last Proj's

Warmer times have arrived and it's all steam ahead on the sport crags. I don't think there will be as many new routes as previous years this time around but there are still plums out there for the lucky ones. I've been lucky enough over the last few years to do every route i've bolted bar two. The Big Crunch will quite possibly be the hardest route in Wales so i see that one more as my gift to the Orme rather than something i'd have chance on. Pete Robins is making good progress however and with a bit of luck he might get it this year. My other project is a link up at Llanddulas that i bolted in 2011. It is a link up of Last Crusade and Temple of Gloom but the hard bit is a new section in the middle of the roof of about 7/8 moves. I'd figured out the first hard move but couldn't suss the rest and only had a couple of attempts over the next few years. My seige of Parisellas culminated in In Hell and In Heaven, the two hardest bits of climbing i'd done so it seemed like a good time to get back on the roof. I started to figure out a sequence and was it definitely felt more feasible this year. It was still damn hard however and i still couldn't link the crux moves. One day i'd had a quick go on Liquid Ambar in the morning then headed to the proj with Tommy and Sausage. I may have had a sequence but i still couldn't do it. Liquid Ambar genuinely felt like a more feasible proposition. I was on the verge of giving up again. I couldn't link the new section on it's own and it was in the middle of the roof with the redpoint crux of Temple still to come at the end. Pete Robins asked to have a go and i thought it would be a good idea to get some help with it. Pete came up with some wacky contorted sequence which he reckoned was Font 7C+. It lit my fire a bit and i returned with fresh ideas and motivation. The next few sessions i made great progress. I found a crucial kneebar rest before Temple which would mean the fitness aspect was not quite as obscene. It's a bomber knee with a pad but your toe is on a smear in the roof so it's quite intense and you can't chill for as long as you'd like. The crucial moment came when i tried some madcap beta for the crux and hey presto it worked. It amazes me how often this happens on a new bit or rock. You think you've tried everything, can't find a nice way to do it then some amazing method that fits you well comes from nowhere. Now i could link from the first hard move after Last Crusade through to the kneebar. This was getting exciting! The obvious thing to do would be to do that link to the end of the route so i sussed out the end of Temple again and found more efficient beta than 4 years ago when i did the FA. This is a perfect hard project for me- my style, 10 minutes from home, an FA, all but for one little detail which has really dampened my sprits. Two of the slots on Temple seem to be perma-wet these days. I know it's only April but i have little optimism about their drying prospects as they were wet in July last year when Tommy did Temple. They are greasy, minging little bastards and they're really spoiling my fun at the moment. Add to that the fact that two more holds have become weirdly greasy and i'm struggling to know what to do for the best. I can only hope things improve as i'm going to need a lot of sessions to have a chance on this thing this year and i can't hold wet grips. Despite the adversity i'm obsessed my this thing, it's fuckin meaty and amazing. I love looking back from Temple at this cool groove line dissecting the big roof.