Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Backshot Direct

Made another first ascent the other week I think sure no one else has done it so im claiming it.
Its the direct finish to Backshot at the cromlech boulders standard V6 but with a funky high foot and a comiting move, you start as for Backshot but after the first slap you go right hand high to a small bottle cap hold from here take the right foot super high and slap up with the right hand again to a reasonable flat edge and then an easy finish up the boulder.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Dawn Arete

Reaching the halfpad 
So This is the one I have been waiting to post about, and its long over due.

The Dawn Arete
What can I say longer than expected but finally sent, so I bolted this project in November 2012 when a good friend told me it would be a perfect project. The winter weather kicked in though and I had to wait until late February until I could look at it, at first it was desperate and I could barely do each move of the two cruxes. After I had eventually worked all the moves which took around two long sessions I then headed back to make the lead. But It spat me off repeatedly and on one occasion broke my ankle. So after a great deal of healing time and a vast amount of hard bouldering I figured It was time to go back and try again. I re-worked the moves on it still finding it hard but much easier than it was 5 months ago, so after my re-acquaintance with the route I Started my attempts on the lead and made good progress falling on the last hard move as it were I then headed back and today on my third try of the day managed to send the route. I had around 7 sessions on this route and maybe around 10 good lead attempts over that time, Grade wise im not sure its only a short route of 12m with what feels like a long  f7B boulder problem so I guess its around the 8a mark but for me the grade of this route doesn't matter its an amazing and intense route which put me through my paces and i'm glad I can say that the first ascent is mine.

More about the route- Well you start by scrambling up to the first bolt where a committing step left gains the Arete and the second bolt which has an insitue draw due to the high bolt. from here a frustrating sequence where a toe hook will come in use full allows a big span right to a sidepull. Have a quick shake here and clip the third bolt from here a huge thugy rockover allows you to press your knee against the arete creating an opposition against the right sidepull you then reach up to a four finger halfpad edge. Matching this was the usual point of failure, from here you slap to the arete get your feet high and press up to the good sidepull. Clip the fourth draw here and and make the final arete slap with the right allowing the use of balance and friction to press up under the steepness to a final sidepull and a tricky move round the arete to the anchors.      

British Weather

Cones and Currents
Well I think that our summer may be over but it was good while it lasted, so as we do in Britain when the weather is good we head out to the crags and boulders to test our self's and this is what I have attempted to do over the last few months. So I kicked off my Trad season which has been very brief this year with a re-intro to Trad on Foil (E3 6a) We then headed of to Cloggy to get on Great Wall (E4 6a) while it was dry. After this I had a flying Visit to Nesscliff where I quickly climbed Cones and Currents (E5 6b) and Trouble in Toytown (E5 6b). I then Worked the moves for Marlene Direct but was out of time for the lead so when I next visit its going down.

I Had a quick weekend at Stanage, even if it was scorching and managed to onsight a load of E3's but was reluctant to try hard due to the weather. I did however take the ride on Tea for Two (E4 6a) damn hard to get that foot high, also found the move on Tippler Direct desperate only just getting the onsight. Did the Unconquerable challenge with nearly 30mins to spare all onsight, and thats about if for my Trad this year so far.

Sending Tea for Two
However I have been spending a vast amount of time bouldering and managed a load of cool ticks, Starting with Turmoil and The Roof crack both around V7 I then did Ultimate retro party which I think deserves 3 stars (f7B) and the direct finish (F7B+). I also made a quick repeat of Bagshot a hard V6 just to the right of URP. Then it was time to head back to the roof crack area where I quickly repeated Sleep-Rock (f7B) and Sleep Light (f7B+) both in a session. I had another flying visit to Nesscliff on my own where I quickly climbed Northumberland Wonderland V7 Probably one of the best of its grade? And Pete's Route V6.
Well thats it so far this year but once the Temps drop hopefully we can get some hard sends on the go.

The Asp

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A few FA's

Ok so I have been punting around trying to find motivation for my self. Im stuck at the moment mostly
bouldering as a lack of partners gives me no alternative, I have been spending a lot of time in the Pass just crabbing around but I was bored with the cromlech boulders and fancied a change so I headed back to Tanygrisiau to try a few lines. I started the morning with a quick warm up on Tempest a cool Font 7A and Y Chwydd 6B+. I then headed up to Geoff's Roof and almost managed a flash but went second try, then I made quick flashes of Lee Cooper, Ryan's Groove and Punch and Judy. I noticed a short but cool sequence between lee cooper and ryan's groove so I tryed the moves / move as its only rely one hard move. After a few attempts i managed the route and named it Festering Hell Font 6C after that i climbed round the corner and found a cool roofy boulder which hadn't been climbed so i brushed the holds and found a sequence. I then proceeded to climb the line of my first proper attempt to give Warrior Within Font 7A.

I have also been wondering around the Rhinogau and found some cool projects on the nice grit up there.
I have a short video of me climbing Revenge of the Fallen FA Font 7A+, its a cool steep arete which start's on a large pinch you then slap to a sloping crimper and get a kneebar which allows you to reach and cripm a pebble hold with your right you then make a huge slap for the top cutting loose and holding the hideous swing  
from the sloping top, this move had me flying of into space far to many times good fun though.

Saturday, 27 April 2013


Headed out to Tanygrisiau today to try a boulder I had noticed  a while back.
It climbs this small arch of rock with some cool moves went at around V6 so not to bad just needed a quick clean and was good to go so figured the moves and sent it. Looks like there is more potential in the area so I think I will be heading back up there regularly.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Cromlech Bouldering

Quick update on my recent bouldering in Llanberis, went up to have a go on Jerrys Roof ended up With a Flash of the Edge problem sitting start V6 Then I did Johnnys problem V6 and managed to flash the sit start V7 not to bad if i do say so going to have to go back now to try Jerrys Roof good job I have a new van tho so I dont have to drive there and back the same day can just use it to kip in.

The Verdon Gorge

Well just back from a mega trip to the Verdon. Almost perfect except for my ankle.
What a cool place though, my mate Bruce phone's me and talks me into a trip to the Verdon. Not that I needed much convincing. So we are all planed and the date is set then i take a deck the day before we go buggering my ankle. On we go any way not wanting to miss out and i had already booked the time of work.
All I can say is that its an amazing place for climbing and the scenery, we hit up loads of routes and had a great time. I managed to Onsight 7a which is no big grade but with only 1 working foot i don't think its to bad I also managed to climb what felt like the worlds hardest 7b probably 7c after a quick top rope lead clean first go so happy with that. We hit a load of the classics up including La Demande a must do such good fun apart from the chimney if you are carrying shoes and a camera and a rucksack between your legs then its no fun cause you get stuck for half an hour and have to heave your way out on a rope lol still amaziing tho.

Last Day in Verdon
Healing From Maurice the camp site owner

Bruce just been swimming in the Gorge

Ouch My Ankle

Well what can I say, ouch indeed.
Here's the run down Briefly pulling hard, fall, deck. Lol
So im up on my project just put the draws back on and all set up climb the easy bit to the first draw and clip in. I then pull on and straight into the first crux this goes fine and im clipping the 3rd draw ready for second crux which is a hard rockover up for a nice pad crimp so im pulling hard trying to gain the height when my hand pings and I fall. Next think im still falling and then smashing into the ground, Ouch WTF im shouting at my belayer whilst trying to fathom how I hit the floor.

What happened well we all no that assisted braking belays usually catch you and that's it, well this time it didn't and my unfortunate girlfriend ended up dropping me on the deck. Its not her fault but i was still pissed at her but as I now know all to well they are only assisted and not bomb proof so when the rope zipped through and she panicked no wonder i decked but O well just a very painful ankle the day before i go to the verdon as well !!! Never mind hope it heals soon.

Hylldrem even Bigger Link

Trying the Font 8A eliminate at the Hylldrem
Ok so my last post was on the Bouldering at the Hylldrem, but its so fun there i need to post again. Now I may be sad but it is good there you can make the most crazy links up down all over. So I did one big link there but the obvious challenge was to join the 3 traverses into one huge link. So i set to work linking the sections and moves until I could do the whole thing, It then took me probably 6 goes to get it over 2 or 3 sessions there. Im not sure if it has been done before i dont think so but who knows, so it starts on the far left   and traverses right until you can get on the center right hand line you then head back left through a hard sequence until a rest from here you pull high to the top ramp and traverse this back right until the finishing holds of the far right problem. Its around 18m long so very route like but as a grade maybe hard V8 harder than rampless on the cromlech boulders also V8 but its hard to say so around the easy 8a mark i think would be better. any way heres the video hope you get some psyche and try this awsome line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvKoNGnEqd4

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Hylldrem Link

Well just a quick post on the bouldering area at the Hylldrem, I have had a few days here over the last few weeks and found it is an amazing place for long linkups. I did all the up problems and then started linking extensions for abit of training, but then i noticed an obvious link which happens to be quite hard so I had a few goes but never did the whole link then I tried it a few days later but only quickly. I headed up today with a few mates and managed the link on my second go. I said it was around Font 7A+ but i think its harder than rampless on the cromlech boulders so im still un decided but for now its better as a hard F7c because it is around 12m long so easier to give a route grade. Any way i have a video on vimeo https://vimeo.com/61424472

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Recent Events

Well I think its time for an update as its been a while now.
So I took a nice Break over Christmas Giving my self chance to recover and rest. I headed out to Spain in January not for climbing though just a holiday, although I did get a little climbing done. I found a cool Wall of limestone about 20m long and around 6m high, There were a few bolted lines on it but i decided a traverse of the wall would be more fun. So I set to work on it and after working all the moves out and finding a good sequence through the last hard crux i thought I would give it a shot but fell on the last Crux. I was tired tho and left it, then 2 days later i went back and dispatched it first go. It was a really nice line that traversed for around 10m and then finished up a 6c/+ route. I gave it a Personal 7b+ but it would probably be better at around easy Font 7A+. So then I came back from Spain and hit the climbing gym hard building on my power for around a month. This proved to be a great benefit as a project of mine from last year needed climbing before the end of Feb when the bird ban comes into play. So I put the last bolts in and Started to try the route, I had worked the sequence last year but was not strong enough to link the moves. So I pulled on and managed the first moves which aren't to hard but then you press this smear and reach up to a horrid sidepull sloper, you then need to move your left foot high and reach up to a undercut half pad two finger pocket which needs to be static or its need on impossible to hit. So i fell here a load of times and eventually managed to stick the pocket which i had never done before, then you make a  slap to a pinch and the last few tricky moves of the lower section. but i fell here and needed to work those moves before I could do it. Then i pulled on and made it through the lower section to the semi rest. from here the grade eases to around 6b but i was pretty pumped after so many trys and struggled to make it to the top. I named the route Fractured mind as it follows a large fracture up the center of the face and is almost impossible to read from the ground so its a real mind game to find a sequence. I said the route is around 7c as the first half is very hard but then easier for the second half. its an amazing line though and well worth the effort. Also a bonus i have it on video here       https://vimeo.com/59895039