Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ain't Nothin But a G Thang

February's Boulder of the Month dropped into my life like a Mentos into a bottle of Coke. I'd been looking for an A-frame boulder choke to get my offwidth on ever since I'd found Happy feet at Feidr Fw almost a decade ago. Now not only had G found one, but he'd made it public, open even. Frantic texts confirmed it was still unclimbed, although Martin Crook had slithered West to East in a child's wetsuit to create "The Chubby Behemoth". It was the journey East to West; rising through the flare, That had both G and I excited.

Two days later Messrs Crook, Smith and Loxton rolled into the wall and the jostling began, My expressed interest was met by wry grins and sucking of teeth. George was keen to compare it to the hallowed 90's desperates of technicality and strain, and Bet me a Quid I wouldn't do it.

I started stretching.

Crook was keen for the crack and Invited Action Pic Legend Glen Robbins along for the ride. Wednesday (15th March, I've been waiting for Glenn's pics) was decided on as it may not rain... (This is Wales).

I gave up stretching, what would 3 days of stretching do?

See? Glenn Robins is so good he can even make me look purty. All pics are his, ask him before you rob them.

Wednesday came and the sun shone. Martin was dismissive of the need for wellies for the approach, and trusting his experience I left them in the car. 5 minutes later, I was bouncing between diminutive pebbles bobbing in the muck, wobbling islands of cleanliness. Mental note, if this was going to be a siege, bring wellies.

Tucked away in the scree below Craig y Gesail the boulder poked into view, Tighter and deeper than I'd imagined from the pics, Damn wide angled lens. Crawling through I saw what my have stopped Big G, as the clearance was a bit on the low side. fortunately my torso was an altogether shorter package, and he could dig it out after I've snatched it right?

With a quid at stake, I set about brushing and analyzing, visualizing and scheming. I knew it was going to be an awkward invert, and although I had some ideas how to pivot for the exit, I saw I was going to have to fight.

First go got me into the invert, and shortly onto my head. A swift talk to myself, and a leaf through the mental toolbox of cloven hoof technique saw me set off of take two. Man I shuffled hard! trying to pull the slopers into a chicken wing I felt both Quads cramp and snarl. Head plant no. 2.

It was a pretty attractive area. Ideal for lingering in and licking wounds. Martin and Glenn were perfect to shoot the breeze with, and in between shooting said breeze, I mused on the exit. Encouraged by Martin, I hand standed into my highpoint to play with some pivot ideas. Dropping one hoof I lunged for the arete, and almost got it too, before my shoe crept off my heel and I plopped out once more.

Well it was a good spot for a siege, but I knew it was possible... Rest. Breeze must be shot.

Quid's a quid, Lets Do it.

Randy Roof is easier than Georges Crack, and Comparable or maybe a touch harder than Big Bad Bari. Its named after my recent inspiration from Randy Leavitt; Offwidth legend and recently kicking some serious butt crack on Instagram. Cruising wide aged 55 or so. Still time for me then...

Turns out The flurry of chalk attracted other would be contenders. While hardly a trade route it pleased me to find this link to Mid Wales' Wad Mike Allday bagging the second ascent, and demonstrates how strong  he is by facing the other way...

I'm a Happy Bunny.

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