Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Monday, 10 December 2012

Black Mamba

Finally, I knew it would happen eventually.
          So there's a boulder in Barmouth Quarry that i have laid siege to with 5 different ascents so far, only 1 to go. Today I climbed Black Mamba (FA)  a furiously hard Font 7B+ I have tried the line over 4 sessions or around 9 hours. I have never climbed such an awesome boulder before. So pure it only involves 5 hand moves, but trying to link the moves felt impossible. I found that each move needed to be set up for perfectly but each move needs a different body position which in there own are hard to hold never mind move. So after working all the moves and for the first time linking the first 2 and the last 2 i felt that it might be possible. All I needed to do was link the middle move which also happens to be the hardest, so after far to many trys and still no luck i was thinking of packing up for the day. I tried 1 more time and broke off a crucial foot hold   also tearing some skin from my finger, this disappointed me but by doing so allowed me to find a better sequence for the finish so after several attempts at the finish and managing the moves i was happy that I might get the line sooner or later. So I mooched about for a little while looking at a few more un-climbed lines and after about 40min decided i would pack up. But as we do I decided to have 1 more go, I pulled on and managed to stick the first three moves which I had never done before but then fell. So i knew i could do it and decided it was going down. I tried and tried getting the hard moves but kept falling on the last 2, so i took a long rest and had a quiet word with myself about how it was easy and that if i just keep the core tension i will be fine. So i took my try sticking the hard move, quick sort your feet out all that was left is the final hard move a cutloose slap for the final sloper I was slipping and just hauled my self at it catching the edge and squeezing for dear life. I pulled over the top and sat down for a long time just watching the sun start to set over the harbor.

But that is only the beginning as there is a Hard 6B+ start and a 6C finish that can be added to the line which i think will come in at around 7C+ so although the hardest part has been done I know it still has more to offer  :)  

If any one tries a repeat of this don,t be alarmed it its harder than the grade or likewise easier. My grades are terrible and usually tend to be (hard at the grade) But if you compare this route to Luminox a font 7A+ that I put up it is a huge step in difficulty but then I  think that Luminox is only around the easy 7A mark and its only due to another climber saying he felt it was more V8 that i gave it that grade. But if you do try the line and feel you have a more accurate grade dont hesitate to let me no.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Grit Week

So from the 9th of November till the 14th I spent a week up on the grit, had a really good time ticking classics and climbing in a new area for me. So i started the week by ticking a few classics such as flying buttress direct, and The Tippler, i also soloed so many routes i don,t even no where to begin. I then climbed Censor which is given E3 5c but dam i found it bold i placed a wire blind round the lip and it was the wrong size but it was to hard to get back out so I had to press on through the crux with a bad deck potential. I also managed to climb Moss Side E4 6a which was good fun got it on my second try after a little slip, but the real goal for me was to climb Strapadictomy at Froggatt so towards the end of out trip we took a walk up and scoped the route i felt confident i could do it so went for the onsight. I climbed the first bit easy up to the move right, placed some cams and the wire out right and down climbed. I took a rest and then went for it so back up to the move right which i did fine but i had placed the wire in my hand slot so didnt make the next move and fell. i then had to lower off and get the gear. so i tryed it on a toprope instead and kept slipping off a smear which is uber polished. So i eventually got to the top and was pretty nackered, we packed up and went to the pub. The next day tho we came back and i managed to get the route on my second try placing the kit. i found an easy sequence through the top which felt good for me. I do have a video of it but waiting for Bruce to send it to me so i can upload it.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Hunger

So my Latest Big thing is a new route i have put up on Bird Rock near Tywyn it is a 40M pitch which is quite hard about F7b.
As its a Trad Route though it gets E7 6b, You start up this nice easy bit or rock (5a) which climbs up to a groove. When you arrive at the groove there is some decent kit, so you truck on up an E4 6a to the ledge where you get a decent sling and an insitue wire. From here you start the first crux sequence which passes a very bad peg ( blade peg about 5mm deep). You pass this up and leftward to a good rest then make a rock over move up to some slopers, from here you move up and left to a good hold and the sanctuary of half a dozen cams. You then step up and Right into a groove, from here you step back left onto the overhanging face and pull into a porthole. Then all that remains is a hard rockover from a tiny crimp and an easy finish to the top. Massive air if you fall off but you really don't want to fall off, the top section is safe but you could have a bad fall from the middle crux which could result in a 25m deckout worst case. Hence the Grade... here is a photo of the route


This is a Video of me making the first ascent of luminox at The Cregennan lakes a V7 boulder.

Hollywood Playboy

Hollywood Playboy
Hollywood Playboy: So I found a project for the year just down the road from where i live, I named it Hollywood Playboy inspired by a can of deodarent i had in my bathroom. Since i found the project I have bolted it with help from Terry Taylor and after many tries finally made an ascent. The route is about 3ft overhanging and very technical with 3 cruxes in which 1 is a dyno it starts with a rockover onto a block where you clip the second bolt from here an almost continuous sequence of hard moves leads to the top with only marginal rests. So you make the first easy crux sequence between the 2nd and 3rd bolt to a semi rest from here and extremely difficult pull rightward gains access to the crux sequence where a quick snatch to a pebble type crimp and a hard rockover followed by a foot swap on a marginal edge gains the sanctuary of larger crimps and the next bolt. From here you get a quick shake out and an attempt at the dyno move which if fully committed isn't that hard. Once you have made the dyno you then slap up and into a undercut mono and clip the bolt, all very strenuous. Even then theres still no let up as the final moves involve slapping up to sloping sidepulls on smears and a hard dynamic move to catch the hanging flake where the chains can be clipped. I gave the route 7c+ but to tell you the truth i have no idea  as i have onsighted 7b+ but never tryed anythin as hard as this so it might be graded wrong. I will say however after working the route i must have tried it between 20 and 30 times before i made an ascent so i am looking forward to a repeat if any ones up for the challenge.

March to September

So March was an amazing month for me, I started the month with a trip to Nesscliffe. It was my first time in Nesscliffe and i have never had so much fun in 1 weekend, i managed to toprope a load of routes up to E7 onsight which was amazing for me just need to go back and lead them now.

So that was just the beginning I also Manged to Bag an Onsight of Swinging By The Bell in Vivian and a few other routes here and there including the amazing Left Wall Direct In the Glorious sunshine. I then spent the rest of the month Bouldering In the Pass.

 Most of April and May was spent bouldering and training hard in the Gym. Abit of a shame but it allowed me to up my bouldering and core strength so not to bad, June was a much better month tho with a few E5 onsights. I dedicated a large portion of June to climbing at Tremadog Trying to tick a load of lines, it was quite a success with most of the routes up to E4 being ticked. I did however have a terrible time on Void, me and Bruce set off up Void it was his Big lead and i was happy to second. We climbed the first few pitches and was resting under the pod, Bruce set off and shortly after came tumbling back down ripping a cam and decking out on the ledge. He then proceeded to bounce and roll off the ledge, this instantly blew my psyche, he pulled back on and tried again getting to the top of the pod and the jug. But failing to make the next sequence he lowered off allowing me to have a go. So up i went to the jug had a quick shake and tried to blast through the top moves. The route shut me down tho i was to tired and massively lacking in Psyche, but i persevered and after 5 attempts i made it to the top. Its an amazing route and i cant wait to get back on it when I am abit fitter.

So June was going well and i was enjoying climbing on slate at the time, I had made a few E5 Onsights and got a F7b+ onsight aswell. So when i had the opportunity i headed off to Bus Stop to Try my luck on Scare City, i Figured that i had made a bunch of E5 onsights how much harder could it be so we arrived and i set of on the route. I fell from hard moves after the flake lowered of and tried again getting it on my second go, it was a nice route quite easy but i was dissapointed that i never got the onsight but thats just how it happens sometimes.

September was good I was in and out of Llanberis at the time so i managed to grab an accent of cave route and roadside basic on the cromlech boulders.
Then it was time to head off to Font so we packed the car and drove over, it was a great trip getting some fine lines done, the only burden was the persistent rain which made it difficult to get out. But i still managed a bunch of 6B+ flash and a quick 7A but with Ieuan feeling ill we cut the trip short and headed back to wales.
But hopefully next year will be better and i can get out on some hard problems... we shall see

Friday, 23 November 2012

Start to 2012

Starting the crux sequence on Hollywood Playboy
So I decided to up my game this year, I started the year by Gradually building up my strength. This was was a great way for me to refine my technique and try to build up some finger and tendon strength.

So i spent most of the winter months bouldering and the occasional endurance session just to try and keep fit, which i found is harder to do without a belayer :). By the end of January I found out That Barmouth quarry was opened to climb in which was great for me as it was only down the road from where i was living, so i waited for a nice day and headed on up to clean loose rock from some of the routes. There was 1 obvious line which hadn't been climbed  a large diagonal crack line that resembled a lightning bolt hence why i named the route Zeuse,  so i abbed off tore at the wall removing large portions of loose rock and then tried the route on a grigri. getting to the top first go it felt like an E4 but it still had some loose rock on it. So a few days later i went back and ran round the crag ticking all the routes bearing in mind there was nothing harder than an E2 and whoever graded those routes was being ambitious. I also did The sport route that Terry bolted which are great lines, i then proceeded to climb my line which went well other than snapping a hold of at the start and jumping off back 2 the floor i think once it cleans up it will go at about E2 5c depending on if the other routes at the crag get downgraded or not. 

So i Had noticed a wall in the quarry which is immediately obvious, when you stand at the bottom it looks so blank and other than the pinscar fractures looked impossible. So i threw a rope down it and tried it on a gri gri, the route was so blank i thought it might be impossible tiny sidepulls and crimpers but i persevered and after about 3 sessions had worked all the moves on it. So i knew a sequence was possible but could not link the 3 cruxes on the route, but me being me i checked for gear found 3 bomber placements even if they where small bits of kit and thought it would be a possible lead. The only problem was 1 piece of kit was also a crucial hold and if you dont place it a deck out from 12m is possible, but i went for the lead anyway getting past the first crux and to the 2nd piece of kit i pressed on but fell on the hard crux crossover. i then dogged my way up higher until below the dyno where i also lobbed of on the first go but got it on the second once here you have to place a cam from a side pull in your hand hold which i found out was very hard and ended up hanging of the gear. Unable to get to the top I lowered off and decided i would try the route when i was abit fitter, the only problem was i found out theres a bird ban that lasts from march till end of june so that was it for the quarry until later in the year.