Monday, 27 December 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - December

As Usual, I giveaway a winter Project just as it all thaws..

Ho Hum.

Wall in the Hole quarry of the Glyn Rhonwy Quarries has some lovely damp and shadowy walls, a small llyn, and a water fall that feeds it. Get the hillside soggy enough prior to the next freeze, and ice entertainment will be yours. This pic was taken in its drier, wintery garb.

Merry Christmas

Hope one and all had a good xmas vibes. For me it was a chance to recharge and hang out with my family/ spoil the mini me's.


Traning has yet to start. Clearing the 400m track at work has been dispiriting enough and tends to generally beast me rather than the specific torture required.

and then like sisyphus Ihave to watch it start to snow again..

Normal honing will resume in the new year...

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Brewing next years Psyche

Despite Being properly excited over my new rather large family, the latter half of this year has been rubbish for my climbing motivation. This is not because of lack of time (see micro adventures) Rather, I've been plagued by injuries (wrist and sciatica) making me feel like an old man.

To combat this, I've decided to set myself a goal, announce it, and get training (more later)

This is Codename: The Beast in Me..

Suffice to say, Its going to be a rather hard offwidth to conquer. All the usual suspects know I've set it in my sights and, are graciously allowing me a good go (cheers G, Stevie and Tom).

So all I have to do is get strong, get it clean and grind to victory... Think Gin Palace on trad.

As to actually getting strong, I'm in the dilema of time management and having to isolate my busted bits.

There's also the fact that training hurts, at least for offwidths it does...

Currently thinking of serial micro sessions of beasting mini-supersets to failure; something like 3 push ups into 3 pull ups-in-pike and continue until puke.

Might take some refining..

If I settle for nothing now..

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - November

Bit of a funny one this month, as although I knew at some point I wanted to undergo something at this location, I'm not sure what..

Behold the Chasm of the Snowdon Lady Copper Mine!

This impressive hole is found above Ben's Bunkhouse near Nant Peris and has previously been explored by Mr Crook (and Prussiked out of again). I'm sure you have noted its lush colouration and aesthetic rock bridges, mainly a touch too damp for standard climbing, but an exemplary situation for an adventure!

I have theorised that a weighted line may secure protection from the architecture, providing for an unconventional ascent. Also, if this winter follows through on all its promises, a truly memorable winter "condition" line may be experienced.


Following a Tip off by Pete Robbins...

I discovered these steps
I look forward to discovering what lies beyond...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Things that make me happy

Firstly, This month saw me leading outside for the First time since May with some very special friends.

Last week I returned to micro adventures, I was granted an hour to investigate a rumour that some sponsored heroes were visiting scrag end..

Scrag end, with the posh Golgotha Buttress at the top

The Alien Space craft (see film one) and my vantage point for the scrag end photo

The view off the end of the craft

Space Web

Swag left by sponsored heroes and my hat (misplaced here in 2008)

I'm sure the usual channels with report the lads adventures, I was just happy to be back in scrag end. I might even come back with a rope someday...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Its Back.....

The hats out the box.

Winter is officially 2 days late.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - October

With the new slate guide getting its final fiddle, here's a little known wall..

This is the South wall of Twll Mawr; the one you throw stones down while toddling along the tourist path. The two routes in the bottom are 7c ish sport routes not in the current guide, and the two at the top are Wolfhound and Birdman, both in the existing guide.

The rest is unclimbed and mainly unexplored. the two down arrows mark bolted abb stations and the up arrow...

Well that's the gift, an awesome groove tucked out of the yob's stone fire, that may even go bolt free.

Tad shady tho'


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Breaking the Surface - Take Two

My Beloved wife allowed me some head space this weekend. Despite the rather strong winds I sped forth straight to the Marchlyn road. The scientific application of both feet allowed me to open the car door and I started my crawl to Craig Marchlyn Bach. Strong winds was a little bit of an understatement as you coud proably kite jump with a carrier bag that day. However, once in the lee of the llyn the wind dropped to a more managable bluster and I could enjoy my surroundings.
My Initial target for the day was a chimney I spotted high on the crag, pictured below.

Once again, Craine's law struck and it turned out to be 10ft high and full of unpleasantness. In the end, just to be out on the hill under cobalt blue skies was reward enough.

But later on, some new boulders made my aquaintence!
watch this space..
(Happy face)

Friday, 8 October 2010

Kicking Eeyore in the Bum

Ok. Somewhat grumpy in previous posts.

Currently seeing a physio who has been encouraging and optimistic even about some of me old war wounds. Have been encouraged to pull on a bit indoors and find where the pain ceiling is (about slopey V6) and told not to mope.

All is good, and Logan is 2 next week (and he's done his first new route at the Clegir boulders encouraged by satsuma's)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - September

Here is Pinnochio buttress above the meadow of Ithel

The middle crack is the aforementioned Pinnochio Crack, the Lefthand crack is unclimbed, steep and undercut (the wall is overhanging even tho this piccy disguises that).

these are 4m routes that require gear and thuggery.

Cruel world why do you mock me

No time. left arm failing due to stoopid sprained wrist messing with my life..

And G drops this

Ho Hum, next spring maybe.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Breaking the Surface

Got out this week for a 2.5 hr amble. Utter Bliss.

Life is very tricksome at the mo'. My Birthday passed in a rain shower without much adventure, and I've sprained my wrist. I took solace in my birthday money and went Book shopping:

Inspired by the latter purchase I circumnavigated the talus fields of Fronllwyd, looking for a boulder to consider. However I had forgotten Craine's 1st Law and each bloc observed was only suitable for gnomes.

This led to a summit push, a gentle stroll and a new fascination with Craig Marchlyn Bach. I may pursue this new interest with Mountaineering with some light scrambling. When, is however, a moot point.

Giveaway Project of the Month - August

Just about made it this month.. Life is some what full. Anyway this makes it easier to give stuff away as time is just getting a bit precious.

This Month we revisit the Crack House to offer the one that got away due to increased parental responsibilities. in the piccy of the crack house proper, we can see the jaws on the right of the entrance into the inner sanctum. The slabby side of this corridor is a nice enough V0- but its true potential is realised in an eliminate variation avoiding the aretes and starting rib. This gives a very techy thin slab probably about V4. I made inroads into the start and terraced the base, but time was against me and I've decided to let it pass on.

Please Enjoy!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Quick sesh

Go a couple of hours in occasional light drizzle and bagged this roof problem Gimme Shelter V5

Starts nice and dry right under the boulder on some flakes in the roof, and ends up mantling out at the end after some heel hookery. This pretty much draws my clegir development to a close.

Time to try some classics and find out how off my grading is...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Me Day (well, morning anyway)

The boys are now 11 days old, and Nain took Logan so I could take off for the morning and forsake my familial duties - Bliss.

Once again the crack house was my destination (soon to be fully public) and I went with Pantontino for an ego sesh; basically show and tell and some piccies. Did the last line I was keen to sire. This was Receding Hairline V4/5; a sitter on the right wall of Barred to the bone. It starts off an undercut and a flatty on the right wall and follows the general vicinity of the hairline crack (pretty obvious in the piccy). Apart from ruling out the jug high and deep inside barred, and a big foot block, It felt very non eliminate and Quite powerfull!

Very happy, I packed up the kit I'd stashed there and moved on to a new shed...

Watch this space

Monday, 5 July 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - July

I thought I'd get this in early this month as I have a spare twenty minutes and things are pretty busy since the twins arrived. I'm very happy and tired, but the adventures are going to be mainly parental.
So its going to be quality not quantity for a bit, and this is pure Quality!

The sunny seaside town of Benllech on Ynys Mon is home to a nice beach, some sport routes and this lovely cave....
South of hidden wall, this 40ft deep cave has a nicely flared horizontal chimney running through its entire roof at head height. The rear of the cave is fairly cramped and non descript, but a couple of yards towards the light a chockstone marks a sensible starting point. From here, jamming, back-and-footing, and general squirming will get you to the light and here...
For the highball topout. There is a couple of downsides to this amazing discovery (and why I didn't snap it up when I found it)
-Tidal; needs a fairly low tide.
-Holds damp; will require a good coastal breeze, and as the crack goes all the way, some dry days. a Towel might help too.
-Landing is bouldery; probably solved by 2 mats stacked on a leash and a spotter to drag it.
There we go. Please report back.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Time To Change Hats...

The twins are being encouraged to enter the world this week. With my family jumping in numbers to five, climbing is going to take a back seat for a bit. I popped out this evening for a preparatory play so that I wasn't jittering too much. I had such a good time that I thought I would share these areas with you. contact me if you want locations..

The Bunker

From left- 1st a through trip into the bunker itself, then the prow into the slab sds is The Wedge V3, slab into hanging crack, an arbitrary offwidth, next bloc is Huggy Bear V3 sds
The Crack House

A jumble of rather large boulders; the block in front is nice to lounge on and has a sds dyno on its right side The Rake V3 which launches off a phat side pull and a crimpy one for the top. Tucked behind this is the pit which holds:

Barred to the Bone V3
a sds offwidth that overhangs by about a foot. (the bottom of the pit is about 3ft by 5ft for scale)
This is inside the Crackhouse. an enclosure of boulders entered via the wide slot on the right of the main picture. It gives enumerable aretes, cracks, and slabs. These are mainly quite eliminate, although still follow strong lines (i.e. following a slab whilst ignoring its aretes etc). The best of these is the stand up Shed Party V4 which takes the central arete. this picture also gives a sense of scale to the boulders

Toebar V4 goes up the front of the prow from the chalked holds near the vertical pod to top out direct. its a sds which utilises toes cammed into the gap between the prow and the block below.

I finished happy at eleven when I could no longer see the holds ( I didn't pack a head torch to prevent me staying too long) I saw two glow worms on the way home!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Barred to the Bone, Lampyridae, and further Shed Theory

Got out for a boulder to the Crackhouse after work. However, as I finish at 10pm it was rather dusky. Still manage to thrutch myself up "Barred to the bone" a nice gently leaning V3ish offwidth, and fed the midges. The Crackhouse might be another shed addition as its quick to access and exit and has some phone reception. A mans shed is his temporary castle, but most of the time its mainly a refuge from real life. I seem to be collecting them. It was past dusk when I headed home and saw my first Welsh Glowworms!

Lampyris noctiluca

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Off to the Bunker

Found a new bouldering spot!
The Bunker is the new area of retreat after the shed, all still a bit hush hush, as I haven't yet fully plundered its potential. Nothing that hard here, a couple of V3's, some squeezes, but round the corner is the Crackhouse, and that is something special.

Have to enlist a co-conspiritor tho' as the monoliths are a bit bunched.

Watch this space

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Is this what Doylo calls Progress?

Went to the shed yesterday with the youth.
Draw lengths all seemed to be about right (tick)
Got on 1st Redpoint and climbed clean to just past the 3rd draw (tick)

Seepage was, however, a problem on the top bit. And I am too weak.

Can't seem to work out the easiest sequence on the top bit, as its all just variations on "can't do" and as such they are hard to differentiate between. I think I'm just going to have to get quite a bit stronger before I can really have another worthwhile redpoint, although just getting to the 4th draw would be probably worth a f7b ego tick on its own... so maybe in a bit I'll try that.

The youth had a sort of go at cleaning project red, but it needs a more workman like approach to bring it into nice climbing condition.

I also did the 1st boulder problem to grace the mini barrel, and buried my nice jumper under rubble securing the top out.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Shed Party

Today, my friend Fraser an I had a mornings climbing. The day started with the traditional mick taking of Ollie the Barista, then off to the atmospheric flanks of Mount Doom. Fraser is a dad of two micro climbers and has a non too shabby history himself, but fatherhood and injury have kept him on the couch lately.
Subtle cajooling got him tied on to lead the stroll that is the wriggler's first pitch. I got to lead the second in temperatures over 5 degree's which was a new and pleasant experience for me (I did the 1st ascent in winter to celebrate the birth of my son). Fraser floated up after me and we were able to take the tunnel to the shed. Always seems to take longer than you expect, especially for Fraser as he doesn't own wellies, and opted to take the cave chilled wading sections in teva's.
At the other end, Fraser once again found himself on the sharp end for "Way down in the Hole" another E1: with an extra wire for dad pro, he romped up the 1st pitch, allowing me to lead through to... the belay for the 2nd pitch (wait for the guide). He was half way up this testing arete before he cottoned on to the sleight of hand, but battled to the top with the minimum of brown trousers. I Guess he's now well and truly back in the saddle now.

After this, I stuck up the rope on the project for my first proper toppy. This is what I found out:
I can get to the third clip clean, and it is about V5.
I have a new sequence for the next section at a more amenable V6.
The Top bit is V6/7 but I am firming up a sequence.
I know what length Quickdraws I want on each bolt.
There are no real rests.
My fingers are a little way off.
My Power endurance is a long way off.
It is Feasable!!!

Must start dreaming up an appropriate training thingumy.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - May & June

Once again the end of the month has passed and i have failed in my responsibilities to provide you with new rock. Due to this, the next giveaway is 2 three star cert's, that to be honest, I'd rather keep...

However the whole reason I missed my deadline was due to the impending arrival of my zoo of monkeys, so I probably won't have time anyway.

Off to Mount Doom.

The White line is the amazing Wriggler, a classic E1 on the lofty heights of Cefn Du. Consisting of two contrasting pitches of enjoyable adventure; the first an easy dolerite ledge shuffle, the second is a bold and airy slate slab.

Project RED

A blunt 40ft fontesque arete. The rock is crysaline slate over an ingneous intrusion, solid once clean but not prone to traditional crimps. Can be top roped off the P1 belay of the wriggler.

Project BLUE

A blank expedition up a near vertical baldness, through an overlap into a very thin slab, joining the wriggler at its second bolt. The route could be top roped off this.

So there we go. Both would benefit from / require bolts. Both are mondo hard, but dripping in glory.

Might even clean them for you tommorrow...

Friday, 14 May 2010

Tales From the Shed

Had a free day yesterday, but no climbing partners, and no car for the morning, and had to be in work for 4pm..

But It Was Free!!!

The morning was spent next to the Bates motel, cuddling a lovely new boulder problem which should appear here eventually.

Once the Car was captured, I regained my shunt off of Reeves and hot footed it to the shed.

Oh Balls this projects hard...

The good news is I could probably get up to the third clip with current fitness.

The bad news is its probably then V7/8 to clip four, and then V6/7 to the lower off.

Today I ache.

Might have to get, well, better I suppose.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Visiting the Shed

Its the accepted cliche that when the father in a family requires some space he retreats to his shed to tinker on some project or other..

Well I have a quarry, and this is my project

I revisited the shed last week, got this out of mothballs, chalked it up and put the bolts in. This was no mean feat, however, as:

This quarry, although convienient for parking, is a little exciting to access.
You are required to climb to rig ropes from above.
It overhangs by 1.5m in 10m
I couldn't get to it before 9.30pm.

Much hilarity ensued, with one of the rather useful holds getting pulled off while trying to get in enough to bolt. Still I reckon its still within ( or close to) the realms of possibility with my current fitness.

All I need now is some helpful belayers to spare the odd couple of hours now and then as its too steep/dynamic to shunt!
(there are other available projects to tinker with in the shed by way of sweetener)

Friday, 23 April 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month - April

Due to my current Obsessing, I'd better giveaway wholesale, an unclimbed quarry I've just noseyed around.

Type this into Google maps


The Positives
totally untouched
Good quality rock
Interesting approach
undercut leaning flake line
overhanging peapod with pro
cute blunt arete/groove feature

The negatives
may harbour mosquitoes
some loose rock
ring fenced within a soon to be busy industrial estate.... Maybe

Things I have noticed

Whilst sussing the Moves on Jammerock

G Mawr can take a pretty good piccy.

boulder problems don't have to look great to climb great.

I haven't Properly jammed in a while..

Whilst having a constitutional at Mancer Quarry

They're improving the roads within Glyn Rhonwy.

Construction workers don't seem to have great peripheral vision.

My abandoned abb rope is gone from Liquid Armbar (Kids, Council or an attempted ascent?)

I'm still obsessing about potential new routes.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Joy of Self Sandbagging

Yesterday I was captured from my ordinary week and given the rarest of gifts, The opportunity to introduce new friends to some old ones..

Yep, we got to feed the Brutaliser..

On a rare excurison to England, Alex the Hoff and I took a jaunt to Brimham Rocks, home to a plethora of lovely wide cracks and this benign E3 in particular. Much fun was had, warming up on Desperation Crack, before seiging Bog Crack, and moving down here for a spot of yoyoing. There was not a little blood loss, Particularly from Lord Bertram, who became enamoured by Charming Crack and fed her small morsels of his own flesh. We then tried to feed the Brutaliser a small maiden, but she got spat out...

All In All, much fun was had, woes and cares were draped on the jaws of these noble beasts, and some small victory was shared.

However, the rock always wins, and we now all ache in fundamental ways. I think We'll be back.. (maybe when the Owl leaves Giggling crack?)

Thanks guys for taking me away!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Suncharm Ledge goes public

The news you've all been waiting for...

I.e. We've mopped up all the easy lines and its all yours.

SunCharm Ledge offers a crisp smooth quarried Dolerite Wall, with 4m of highball fun, and a heathery patch to plonk your pads

Calum M and I went down here on Saturday with a pad each and this 2pads + spotter set up Seemed to work really well

Its a traverse off left to get down, The Suncharmer being from a little higher, as can Rhinoplasty if you want too..

1. Flock of flying Butt Monkey's V1 tackles the flying arete on the left.

2. The Groove of Smooth V3 is the flying groove entered from the left

3. Maurice Chevalier V3 the central arete

4. Observation groove V0- the easy central corner

5. Sunshine Swing V4/5 The impressive right arete taken via left side and rock onto ledge to scamper off rather than top out

6. Rhinoplasty V5/6 the right arete taken head on to finish as for SS

7. The Suncharmer V3 the ltr girdle to the proper highball finish

Calum got 5 & 6, the rest yours truly

Just the blank right wall to go..

To Get to Suncharm Ledge:

1.Follow the tourist path from bus stop to Twll Mawr

2. Hop over the right fence, scamper to the hut and look over the edge

3. Take the obvious scramble down to Suncharm ledge.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month -March

Back in Gods own Country for this month and another Dyffrym Mymbyr boulder, follow the wire fence up for this one. and bring a team of Spotters as the landing is a bit slopey. (mat for scale)

happy landings...

Saturday, 6 March 2010

LLAMFF and life stuff

Did my talk "The Daddy club- How to have an epic and still be back for bathtime" to a small but receptive audience last night, Included this awsome slide that proves there's class bouldering in the quarries. Got to climb with a rope today tho' First time outside since October. I will admit itt made me a bit emotional, must be going soft, but there's a lot to be said for this climbing lark.
Must try harder

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Never Trust a Hippy part2

Finaly went back to clean this thing with some gear to keep me in. All was going good until I reached a 3m section of Doris. Not for a soon-to-be father of three. Maybe if someone else goes to town with this section It may clean up, but for me I'm off to examine the project list I gave to the aformentioned hippy, to see if there isn't another plum worthy of the name.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Giveaway Project of the Month- January and February

January has been rammed with work and organising the BMC Youth climbing series. Consequently we've reached February and no project was released from the vaults. To pay for this grave error this giveaway is a biggie.
Take note anyone going to host for the BMC International meet this year as these projects are in Haldrine Cove, a couple of minutes scramble from Bosigran, and both are single pitch, so quick to capture.

First on the wave cut platform at the back of the cove is both an overhanging arete, and a corner crack groove thing, both appear Low to Mid Extreme. There is also a blank wall of matchstick edges, and a paddable base.

Secondly the bay on the far side of the wave cut platform is a line I coveted for years, but have not had the chance to seize. The right wall of the bay is a particularly wave polished bulging sweep of prime cornish granite. Bisecting this is a sweeping hand crack, bottomed out in places by a typical bosigran "coal seam". This would provide a stiff challenge in jamming and an aesthetic jewel in anyones crown.

There. Given away a prized posession, I'll try not to forget March's gift...

Friday, 15 January 2010

New Year, New Adventure

Well I seem to have succesfully avoided being tempted out onto the ice for another year, Shame really as the memories of my last ordeal of hypothermic masochism seemed to have all but faded now in the stream of enthusiastic babble my friends are spouting, maybe next year...

I also have news of more mini hosey's on the way so the ultimate adventure seems to be growing somewhat, I'll have to refine and improve the fast and light "expresso" adventure so watch this space.

I've also submitted my title for LLAMFF this year:

The Daddy Club - How to have an epic and still be back for Bathtime
The Adventure of fatherhood, and trying to balance extreme enthusiasm for esoteric adventure with emptying the nappy bin.

I'm feeling in need of more material so anybody want to experiece some lovely adventure, do get in touch..