Saturday, 20 February 2010

Snowy North Wales Bouldering

We got out into Snowdonia today for some rock... Things were wet, temps were cold but our Psyche was high!The Bustach Boulders were our first stop. Below the snowline and in the shadow of Snowdon, they're a hidden gem. Caroline eyes up the Font 6c+ steep line of pockets that make Fagin.

Caroline surprises herself with a quick send. Footwork that makes the most out of the small holds available is the key... or in Carolines case, take your top off and cut loose!

Winter conditions as we move up in altitude towards the Sheep Pen boulders in the Ogwen Valley. Beautiful day and the most inspiring setting you could imagine for bouldering. We were not sure if the problems would be dry or snow covered but it was worth a look.
We found the Sheep Pen in almost perfect conditions. It was Caroline's first time up here and she was amazed by the perfection of the rock and the clean lines. First problem was Dog Shooter a Font 6b that i remmeber taking a few goes at a couple of years back... Caroline onsights it, Haa! Anyway, we end up going through the collection of classics. Toe Dragon (Font 6c) is next, then the obvious and brilliant Toe Dragon into Dog Shooter link up (Font 7a+).
Then Caroline prooves she'd never been here before by suggesting i try "this thing over here". Uggghhhh.... it's The Gnasher (Font 7a). I have tried it before but it's a killer. It needs alot of tension and power to catch a razor sharp tooth filled pocket static or pure ignorance and a high pain treshold to dyno to it! Obviously during past attempts on this problem i tried to rely on the latter.
This time however i could pull on and lock the moves - deadpointing into the pocket in control and moving on to the better finishing holds! The training is working! The first move involves a shoulder high right hand hold (feels best as an open hand) and a knee-height left foot hold (not as large or as positive as you'd like on this angle). The right foot has nothing that fits me and the left hand leaves a flat hold and begins the long journey into the Gnasher's nasty mouth. Brilliant!
Buzzing after that i decided to try one of the 3 remaining problems on the block i had left to do. Toe Dragon into Kingdom of Rain link (Font 7b)... dispatched first go, it was one of those days!

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