Tuesday, July 31, 2012

UK rock round up...

Looking at my friends blogs (aren't we sad, we all have blogs?) each post seems to have some witty and profound title, followed by reams and reams of eloquent prose (actually that bit was a lie). I'm not that witty or profound so I usually just go with the name of the crag, or the route, or the area. Unoriginal, I know but at least you know what you are letting yourself in for.

I got back from Alaska and had two days back in Wales before heading to Lofoten. In between the whirlwind of washing, unpacking, discussing how crap the weather has been while I was away, discussing the weather in Alaska and a well done for not dieing BBQ I manged to get a quick route in with Burrows.

Apparently a constant deluge covered North Wales for the whole of June. It might have been a coincidence, but my return coincided with the first sunshine for a month. Obviously everywhere was wet so there was one option: Gogarth. We abseiled into the Wen Slab and set off up A Dream of White Horses. This was the fourth time I'd done this route and it never disappoints. The last pitch was pretty soaked, which added to the entertainment.

Ollie on Dream...
Back from Lofoten Duncan, Ben and I headed down to near Blaenau Ffestiniog for some dogging. We started at Craig Yr Wrysgan. I set off up an E1 called Condor, which had tricky and pumpy crack, followed by a bold top out onto a slab. I got up to this point and was too gripped/pumped to do the final moves. I took a hang on the gear and after shaking the lactic away surprised myself by doing the move first go. Duncan then had much the same expirence on Green Wall (E3) taking a hang right near the top.

Dunc on Green Wall.
Dunc and Ben sorting gear at the bottom of Clipiau.
We finished the day at Craig y Clipiau. Ben lead Great Feat/Mean Feat in one long pitch. At the top he untied and dropped his ropes. I then lead it on his gear, but had to belay half way when I got a rope stuck in a crack. Dunc then lead the tricky top corner crack. The climbing is excellent and although slightly esoteric is one of the best E1s in North Wales.

The next day we headed to Pant Ifan. I love Tremadog and seem to spend far too much time there, but Dunc and Ben had hardly climbed there. Dunc set of leading Mangoletsi and seemed to be enjoying it until Mason stomped up to the base of the crag like a petulant child. Having already ditched one belayer, for having the audacity of not answering his phone for thirty minutes, Alex was in need a of a new one. Mason had to climb E6 that day and Duncan was whisked off to the Lleyn to hold his ropes.

Ben lead the excellent top pitch of Itch. After that I fancied a go at Harvey Proctor's Spanking Slab. Ben lead the easy access pitch. I then set off, pulling through the sadly overgrown corner of Monkey Puzzle to find myself at the base of a very thin crack on a very thin slab. Apparently Dai Lampard gave it HVS! Whilst I contemplated my fate I enjoyed watching two elderly gentleman climbing Poorman's Peutrey, and exclaiming things like: "I say Nigel, the exposure on this route is outrageous." When they were at most twenty metres above the tree line. I up climbed and down climbed the crack for a while, before deciding that discretion is the better part of valor and escaping up Monkey Puzzle's flared crack.

Dunc and I had to be in the Lakes at the weekend for work, so we drove up on Thursday night with the plan of cragging on Friday. We went to Goat Crag in Borrowdale. We'd planned to climb the classic E2 Tumbleweed Connection but thought we'd warm up first. I set off up DDT a HVS I'd not done. It had ideas way above its' station and was pretty hard and scary. Thankfully I managed to gibber and shake my way up it without too much trauma. Back at the bags Dunc realized he'd conveniently forgotten the lunch and we ran away.

Dunc showing DDT who the boss is.

The tree belay mentioned in the guide didn't exist, so I had to make do with this. Luckily Duncan doesn't weigh much!

1 comment:

  1. Livin the dream. Thats a great pic of a sunny DOWH, keep it up!