BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Standby at Llanddulas

I have been waiting to ab down LPT but it hasn't been dry for long enough. Went to Llanddulas Cave today with Tony. Gruff and Jimmy Big Guns turned up later. I tried my roof a bit but it was quite wet, still felt hard too. Tony tried El Tigre and Jim got on The Wirral Whip, i left before his last redpoint so don't know whether he got it done or not. I went back to the Orme optimistically, it was honking it down though. Plan B was to go in the Cave and it had dried out nicely. Felt good warming up and then got to the redpoint crux on my project every go feeling the best ever on it, a good feeling. Pete was gettin sacked on his beast of a project. Owen from scouseland did The Highlife commenting that the first ascentionist must have been a visionary. Good effort to him. I did Trigger just after my warm up and did it at the end when i was boxed which was confidence boosting.
The Wirral Whip


Saturday, 27 March 2010

Back to the Beach

Today i made a long awaited return to LPT. My plan was to thrash around on Liquid and try and work a different sequence in the middle. I have no fitness so this would be more worthwhile for me than getting 3 bolts up an 8a (sounds strange i know). Anyway it was my 8th day on so didn't expect too much, indeed i lacked the edge needed on such a hard route. I sacked it off and contemplated my future trying this route. I want to do it but at my current level this would mean committing far too much time to one route. Its as hard as 8c gets after all! Liquid isn't going anywhere but there are projects dotted about which i would rather get psyched for at this stage of the game. Between Liquid Ambar and Big Bang i have spied a line that i think is climbable. It is a very featured piece of rock, i have checked out some of the holds from LA and it really is excellent. It has a headwall similar to Big Bang but this one looks easier to me, scooping in so it looks like you can get on your feet a bit more. I think its all there, even the start looks good. Obviously this line is in sector hard of LPT surrounded by 8c+,8c,9a,8c so i expect it will be at least 8c covering the ground that it does. I've always said to myself that if i ever climb 8c or thereabouts i will bolt it up and give it a go. Even if it's far too hard there will be an amazing project for someone. In my mind the line is known as The Big Crunch. As The Big Bang marked the genesis of the universe The Big Crunch is where it will all end and this will probably turn out to be the last significant route on LPT. Exciting stuff! After Liquid i joined Choo on Melancholie, i never felt that good on this since i did it as a skinny youth in 2004. Today i managed the moves though they felt hard. I am psyched to try and get this wired again as i have a couple of link ups to aim for. Most significantly the much talked about Melancholie/Pas de Deux link up, the counter diagonal to Bad boy is an obvious challenge. I have basically done this in two bits having done Pas De Deux last year. Linking it should prove very tricky being hard 8b into font 7b+/c sequence albeit with a rest between the two, hardcore crimping endurance needed. More inspiration for me (like i need any more living round here!) anyway even if nothing comes of it. This was the first time i'd tried the top of Melancholie since i did it, very crimpy. I finished off with Bad Boy. With my fitness being so shit i wasn't sure i had it in me, so i climbed like Pete Robins and Adam Ondra in a speed climbing final. Ironically i got less pumped than when i am fit, i was so quick.
Defo getting down with the speed vibe on steep ground!
LPT topo i nicked from the Wiki, pic by Pete Harrison:

Neil Dyer seeing what the fuss is about on the Angel project:

Three Degrees Of Levitation

Went back and bolted and lead the route yesterday. Really cool. I propose a tentative grade of 7c (could be well out, very morpho).

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Too many projects...

Went back to Crag X today to scope some new lines. The left hand side of the crag was where i was heading. So hard to tell how hard things are just by looking though. I abbed down (disturbing some big blocks at the top on the way) and could instantly see a potential for 3 lines, they all looked tricky. with two looking quite thin. the rock was so clean and very nice, similar to the stuff at the Cattells Tremerchion bouldering crag. One had a big pocket jug halfway up, i knew it had been toproped to the jug by someone coming in from the right. I was quite psyched to see if the line would go direct the whole way. I set up a top rope and tried the moves from the hole, i found a way eventually utilising my big reach to get a pretty decent hold. It went, the direct start looked blank though but being an optimistic, stubborn bugger i had another look. I didn't want to traverse into the hole if i could avoid it. There were two holds covering quite a big area of rock and they were quite far apart, the godsend was that the feet were quite good and you could really sit on the footholds.I managed to make the move up to a graton like crimp with my right off a crimp backhand with my left. The jug was closeish but i was stuck. There was only one thing for it and i sprung again with my right. After a few goes i stuck the jug, what a fucking move. I was buzzing. I hadn't done many routes like this before, quite unique for North Wales. I had done all the moves so was happy. I have already dubbed the route Three Degrees of Levitation (a pun on Sharmas 9a dynofest in Ceuse). Grading it will be very tricky as its incredibly morpho. Time to come back with the drill and try some redpoints. The longer i live round here the more projects i seem to acquire, need to start ticking a few of them now.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Reality Check

Well i'm going sport climbing in Spain in a few weeks so i've been trying to get on a rope a bit recently. I've had a couple of sessions on an old Orme route project which i first tried getting on for 10 years ago. It is a very nice bit of rock, if a bit sharp and gnarly. Its strange when the last time you climbed on a rope you were relatively fit, after a winter of bouldering for some reason i thought maybe i had retained some of this fitness. I headed up to Normans Wisdom with Jack ratt and jumped on Normans Wisdom 6c+ (never done it before). The crux turned out to be short lived but techy bad holds and feet (just my bag!). Anyway i got through the crux to some decent holds and then my arms just melted. To add insult to injury i had climbed it terrible, no flow and very nervously. Despite it being early in the season it was still a shock to get shutdown on 6c+. On the positive side the only way is up! I still think i might be able to sprint redpoint some shortish stuff at Margalef. Will have to leave the big numbers to the other two though.
Haven't had a tick this year yet, would be nice to get soemthing tricky done!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Crucial Breakthrough

I've always pottered around on Crucial Times. Its not the best or nicest problem in the cave but i think it has something about it. For one it is one of the first hard problems in Wales, very old skool. For me to tick the 'original' 3 classic 8a's would be very cool (Diesel Power. Manchester Dogs, Crucial). All hard and all very different. Crucial has always seemed the toughest of the 3, i could conceive of doing the other 2 but couldn't even find a way of doing Crucial. Usually the Cave succombs to some weak mans beta but not this problem it seemed, no decent kneebars and very little faggotory. That mono is also rather painful. Chris's original sequence has only been repeated once by Mick Adams, a brutal go again slap to the finger jug off the mono. Floppy pisses it, its his party piece. I still reckon this problem has had less than 10 ascents which is not very many considering how many beasts visit. Yesterday i felt shit on my redpoint projects so i had another few hours on it. I had found a sneaky upside down heel under the roof that had made the move to the jug feel more feasible. Using the wettest hold in the cave for my right and the wide pinch on the lip with my left and a tweaked foot position i managed the move, the heel stuck too. I then managed to work out a way of getting into the position, Pete liked my beta and got close. He would have done it if he hadn't had 5 goes on The Incredible Bulk. Dyer was jumping through off the pinch with finger still in the mono. Anyway i've still got one more move to do but it felt close, i'm sure i can do it. Here is Chris doing it the original way and trying to link into Trigger Cut (this is known as East Coker).

Friday, 19 March 2010

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Well the good weather is upon us and the beasts are out there ticking. I have been deadhanging in my London hotel but alas no ticks. A quick scan of the climbing sites has got me psyched. MAny good things happening. In particular Dan Walker skipping 8b+ by crushing Malham classic Unjustified. Very good, makes me want to climb through the roof at Malham (but probably more at 8b). Maybe i should try Idefix or something. Keen! Me old Muccer Nigella flashed Marrylebone Jelly at Caley and Sparky Mark crushed a long held Ambition, Cider Soak (defo going there this year). Yes its nearly the weekend, i'm going climbing, yippee!!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

RARE Beast Sighting

Made a rare sighting of beast Neil Dyer yesterday at the Cave. When i spotted him i knew it was the start of his beasting season. He's hardly climbed for four months but still did TC 2nd go easily. What a guy! I felt good making progress on my project. I think with working away, my chances of getting much fitness for Spain are looking a bit bleak. I'm sure however i can increase my strength. I can feel the gains from the deadhanging already, so good for you! Was pretty poor at the Mill today though i have set a cool hard sustained circuit, would be nice to link it before i go.
Finally what about Ondra, 9b in the house. Is it wrong to love a young boy? I think not.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Steve McCave

Mcclure was in the Cave yesterday, whenever i see Steve in there something shocking happens. The way he did Trigger Cut the first time dismayed he and everyone else greatly. Last time it took him ten goes to do Clever beaver, by the end of the sesh he'd done Pilgrim. I always get the impression that Steve treats bouldering as a bit of fun training. Every time he comes to the cave i have to remind him of what he's done in there. Yesterday i told him the beta on Trigger Cut again, this time he did it the standard way, then he worked the moves on Halfway. Then he walked down to the start of Rockatrocity and climbed out continuing into Trigger Cut, he fell on TC but jeez it really was inspiring watching a world class climber at work. He actually matched on the last pocket of Rockatrocity, then watching him on the Halfway pocket you would have thought that it was a jug, adjusting on it and just hanging there with one arm. When i left i told him to make sure he told someone if he finished it because it hadn't been climbed before.

I left feeling like an out of shape Rik Waller:

I had a rubbish sesh in the Mill, really have lost a lot of strength then went home to resurrect the old deadhang regime. It felt good to have the old ache back in the fingers!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Time to Get Serious

Next month i'm having my first holiday in a year, i'm off to Spain, Margalef to be precise for two weeks. After freezing my tits off in the Cave all winter trying to stay psyched i can't tell you how nice it'll be to be warm and cranking at new crags. Initially i thought the trip would just be a good way to start the season, kick start the route fitness, get used to be back on the rope etc... I thought to myself, go with no expectations and come back a bit fitter. Today however i was thinking about Jerry and it dawned on me he would never go on a trip with that attitude. I've got 5 weeks, even with work that is long enough to get into some kind of decent shape. Its great having something to train for, it really focuses the mind! Anyway it would be nice to climb well early in the route year so i think i'll put some bloody effort in and see if i can't get myself some nice ticks aswell as some fitness. I had one day at Margalef last year, i liked the style and its not all super long so that should help my cause. Have only been to the Laboratorie sector so there is much to see. Will defo have another play on Darwin Dixit though i suspect it will be a bit much for so early in the season. Also looking forward to being warm, i will try my uptmost not to complain about sweating my tits off its a tad on the warm side. EXCITED! Here is some Margalef footage courtesy of all round waddage Dave Mccleod and world rock jock Sharma:

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Went to Benllech on Anglesey yesterday with the Mule. We had checked this place out before the problems had been done but didn't have the vision. We got to the Main Event block to find disgustingly greasy holds! My heart wasn't in it but Mule pressed on and dropped the last move, a good effort considering the conditions. Defo a tricky problem
Dyers V9 looked the living end.

On another note the bird ban has now commenced on the Diamond, see you there in August folks!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Drink Driving 2nd ascent footage

First Route of the Year

Seem to be just treading water at the moment. Am back at work so its time to get some cash really. Its hard to train properly when your staying in B an B's! I know i'll get my chance to crush this year. I've got a stone to lose and strength to gain, just got to time it right. Still fairly keen for the cave, main tick in there for me is Broken Heart/Trigger Cut. Would be really nice to get the first ascent of this but i know others have tried it so its not guaranteed. Did a route yesterday, a 7a at Lower Empire, was nice to climb with the sun on my back. Big up to Nigel whose been climbing well in font!