Monday, 26 March 2007

North Wales Blitz

Friday night/Saturday morning I got a call at 2:20 am from Kev who had arrived early to Chester along with Rob and Steve from Dublin – Uuughghhh…. Picked them up, drove them home, watered them and put them to bed and forgot about them… ZZzzzzzzzz

Saturday, Uggghhhh… woke up tired to a beautiful morning! WOW! Pottered around the kitchen as noisily as possible hoping to try and wake up the lads – wasn’t working so I just gave ‘em a kick!

After a slap up breakfast we hit the road – destination, Llandudno and LPT. Drove up, paid the toll, parked, and jumped out and onto the cliff wall and…. Full tide! A 7 bloody meter full tide! WHAT!?!? Shit!!! Right er… where to now? Lets try Castle inn… looks ok, plenty in the 6c range – might be a good spot for an introduction to routes again. Headed towards it and stalled pulling into the car park of a very neat little wall. Whos there? Only John Dunne et al! Complete with little baby and wife. Classic!

Either way… we pretty much ticked the crag! Nigel even turned up and more amazing still, he put a harness on… and then he ticked the hardest route on the crag! A 7b that holds broke off in the past, now considered 7c by the Cattells and hard 7c+ by Mr. Dunne! Well after trying it I’d say it could be anywhere in those grades – either way a great lead by Nigel!

We got back to the house in darkness and were treated to a massive Irish stew ala Caroline and a night of climbing DVDs and Southpark. Sunday we got up early to catch the tide at LPT – a quick breakfast and we were out of the door before Caroline was even out of bed! Down to the crag at low tide with a hazy mist over everything and a good bit of seepage on the crag – I was mad keen for the lads to get on Night Glue because it’s sooo damn nice… but it was not to be… We did some low 6’s to warm up and let the crag dry a bit before I got on “I’ve been a bad, bad boy” to put the draws in and see if I could do it. It wasn’t much easier than it was last year when I topped it after Neal lead it but it was a eye opening experience to try it on lead and identify areas that I need to work on – basically, I can get up to the traverse in one push assuming I don’t fluff the start (a distinct possibility) the traverse I finally managed to do using a big cross through and some hard crimping! I need to work on this section specifically and train for it! Didn’t feel as strong as I should have on those holds – saying that once I figured out a sequence it was ok. The following bit was ok to the point where you’re at the last bolt and need to reach around the blunt arête and yard off that Orrible sharp flake!!! That took some trying and I know even when I get to the level of being able to link the rest of the route I’m going to ping off that section a load of times before I eventually manage to redpoint this line. It is not to my strengths. Steep, almost footless traverses on closed, crimpy pockets – I need to use my feet. How did it feel compared to the two benchmark 7c+’s I worked in Ceuse?? Different world altogether!! You could not actually compare these lines for difficulty or technicality – they were do’able – QUICKLY! Suited my style – this was going to be a VERY, VERY long term project… but it will make me stronger!! (Hopefully a lot!)

As the tide was coming in we left the crag – had a picnic, ate an ice-cream, laughed at a tiny car and drove to Llandullas to finish off the weekend with another 4 routes. Pumpy. Tired. Can’t even type anymore… Happy!

No comments: