Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Cut Throat World of Esoteric Bouldering

Its a harsh reality that I dwell in an area where esoteric boulderists are rife. Throw a rock into any boggy, pebble-strewn hillside in North Wales and your bound to hit one, flagrantly prospecting....

So when I heard a rumour that Noel "The Doctor" Craine and Mark "Daisy" Lynden were running sorties into My current stomping Ground of Cwmfynnon, I was compelled to action!

Sort of...

Obviously there's treasure everywhere, and I have been known to brazenly fling the hard one fruits of my own prospecting to the masses like a bride with her bouquet. However I had found something special last winter and was keen to head the rustlers off at the pass.

Ben Ryle, my medium to long term partner in adventuring was recruited and we headed off today high into the bowels of Cwm Fynnon. High, because the boulders in question were at the same altitude (contour even) as the Mallory Boulder. Luckily Ben has his ML so I let him lead.
Height gained we quested inward

This turned out to not be the boulder we were looking for, However, it was quite close.

This is the Boulder!

We chose the left side slab as our warm up, It proved to be trixome and a little snappy under foot. much plopping off ensued. Ben Is just about to plummet in this pic...

I eventually bagged the summit. Here is the FA vid of "Pop 'til you Drop" 6A+ish

After that it was onto the main event. I Dragged Ben up because I really wanted to do this overhanging blue collar offwidth. It started at fists and flared to 7 inches. it was tall, and it was scary.
Here is the FA Vid:

There Will Be Blood 6Cish with a ! for Fear!

The widening of the crack coupled with the gentle overhang meant that I was whitey-ing in seconds. A climbing robot would have inverted early, stacked, and spun back round into a knee lock at  around 4m. I swam, laybacked, compressed and threw a calf lock in, all of which just convinced me I had to top out or face calamity. Fair to say it was emotional.

After that I had a bit of a lie down, and left Ben to bag the rest of the FA's

Here he is on Conventional Acrobatics 6B ish, complete with comedy tripod collapse:

And here I am bravely repeating it, despite still being pumped and jiggidy from There Will Be Blood. You can see the angle of the wall (and the offwidth) in this pic.

After this we popped down a level and Ben got his own Highball done in the form of this fairy pretty slab "The Slab That House Built" 6B! ish:

The name cam from the tunes pumping out his phone during the Attempt.

I was spent by this point, and only half heartedly attempted the slab. Retreat was called for, However, our path down took us past Big G's Running Jam, and I couldn't resist talking Ben into us having a play. Much fun ensued, as can only be had by tired hill walkers, physically spent battling scary boulders, attempting to jam horizontally over a bog:

I feel the need for a more conventional outing.. Just not yet.

(Anyone wishing to repeat these unconventional delights, quest up to the Mallory Boulder, then contour into the bowl of Cwmfynnon. After 250m they should be just above you.)

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