My psyched-for trad project got a dusting of someone else's bolts
My back, or more specifically my pelvis is still killing me periodically
My elbows have flared up at inopportune moments
My Work life has got unhelpfully stressful
I'm Feeling Weak
I have some cool boulder projects where I am making progress
My Tribe is going to be joined by my first daughter (4th child)
I'm making progress on my journey towards Development coach
Sam and I had our first mini-break away from the kids in 6 years
I'm getting regular free physio (thanks NHS)
Our house is having a bit of a posh make over.
So there we go.
As a result of all the mess in Twll Mawr, and with Little Miss Dicken due in September, I've sacked off the trad for this year. That's not to say I might have the odd jolly, but I've given away my projects, and will be leaving Twll Mawr alone for a bit. The fact is that with the imminent arrival of Little Miss, I'm bordering on contentment, at least my perspectives have been altered.
I am also trying to get some consensus on ethics for Twll Mawr, and will be raising it at the next BMC Cymru meeting. My views on Twll Mawr, specifically the Back wall, have be documented on this blog many times (eg here and here). I'm aware that the new sport routes have proved popular, and I know pretty much all the ascentionists of the trad routes personally, and could probably get them all into a quite small room. However, the climbing is unique and special, and historically routed in the ethics and mindset of climbing in North Wales.
Currently the Back Wall looks something like this:
Cue the scrappy topo..
1 Taith Mawr (2008) Trad
2 Long in the Twll/ the North will rise Again (March 2015) Sport
3 Tân y Ddraig (4th May 2015) Sport
4 Hamadryad (1971) Trad
5 Desolation of Smaug (April 2014) Sport
6 Antiquarian Direct (September 2014) Trad
7 Twll Love (September 2014) Trad
8 The Baron (1st May 2015) Trad
9 The Razors Edge (1971) Trad
10 The True Finish (1989) Trad
11 Bushmaster (1982) Trad
12 Scorpion (1981) Trad
A= Retro bolted belay first used for True finish
B = Retro bolted belay first used for Twll Love
When Smaug appeared, I was concerned that it might effect existing routes, and to some extent it did, although not so much as to harm their character. I was also saddened that it removed some of the risk for subsequent new routes, and that it was in an area that was pushed heavily into in a ground up ethic. The result was Antiquarian Direct, and Twll Love.
It must be said, however, that the reduction of risk may have prevented catastrophe on the 2nd pitch of Twll Love (or prevented an awesome display of onsighting and my hardest route to date, we'll never know).
Smaug also opened the bottle. I chatted to the first ascentionist at the time about what it meant for the future, and expressed my opinion that all right of smaug should be left of future trad. At the time I thought this view was shared. When the Long Twll team starting their bolting mission, They sent me many long emails, agonising over how existing trad routes could be avoided, and encouragingly, also how potential trad lines could be given space too. On the whole this worked too.
But the lure of the longest sport route in the UK was obviously too much.
Maybe also the lure of the arete too, many people had tried to get to it via traditional means over the years, with True Finish coming closest.
Enough maudlin mumbling, if all those existing trad line weren't enough to tempt you, here's an unadulterated version to spot the blanks, and the actual lines I scribbled over..
I've deliberately kept these picture files big so you can search around, The lines on the back wall are all strong, but hidden by perspective tricks. This is the best angle I'e found so far to reveal them. There's a strong line on the right that Mr brown got within half a pitch of the top, for instance...
Get up something