Thursday, 27 October 2011

Thursday's Lesson

Failure is a powerful stimulus. Retreat teaches humility, and rescue allows a second chance at not dying.
Things I've learned:

  1. I may not be the choss hound I once was.

  2. I can still make reasonable decisions.

  3. When the crack smells of fish, its time to back off.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hats On!

And its had a wash.

Winter is 3 weeks early

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The Curse for a New Router

Is Contentment
Those of you waiting for an update on The Beast..
It may not be forthcoming this winter, as Wales is doing its thing, and it abides in the shade sporting a heather and bilberry headdress.
However, its not forgotten and it certainly would be a suitable coda for the present.

Bouldering, on the other hand, is another receptacle of seafood entirely, and Elidir is not far from my thoughts..

Friday, 21 October 2011

An Alternative List

After much digesting of the new Llanberis Slate guide, I'm on the cusp of some form of enlightenment:

  1. I have been far too busy looking for unclimbed rock when the climbed bits are quite good

  2. I may have a diferent view on what makes a good slate experience...

Traditional views on what makes a good slate route:

  1. Strong line

  2. Memorable moves

  3. Reliable protection

  4. Trustworthy rock

  5. Wanting to climb that route again

In my quests and foray's into the slate realm I've been drawn to a slightly skewed criteria:

  1. Memorable setting

  2. Magnetic line

  3. Guarenteed adventure

  4. An intimate psychological experience

  5. A Good Name

Therefore, here is my alternative slate list:

  1. Act Naturally (p77) Still my favorite VS.

  2. See you Bruce (p81) My first E3 lead (back when it only had 2 bolts).

  3. Big Thursday (p56) Inspected but not started yet (still toying with a solo like Buffer).

  4. The Serpent Vein (p97) A memorable belay duty.

  5. Dali Mirror (p102) Sandbag-tastic.

  6. California Arete (p119) best experienced in solitude.

  7. Fruit of the Gloom (p122) an equal balance of desire and revulsion.

  8. Taith Mawr (p172) (trumpet blowing alert) a proud moment.

  9. Bushmaster with the Scorpion finish (p172) all that is good about Joe Brown routes.

  10. Josy Puss (p181) the line! the line! (still lacking courage).

  11. Rainbow of Recalcitrance (p203) one day..

  12. Come inside (p225) again, a good solo experience.

  13. Liquid Armbar (p290) (trumpet blowing alert) distilled sweat in a jewel of an arena

  14. Bring me the head of Don Quixote (p299) (trumpet blowing alert) I didn't give it stars in the guide as it's specialist enjoyment, but a stout adventure in another surreal hole.

  15. Giddy Variations on a Theme (p304) less a line, more a desire.

Five left to do

A Host of Stars..

As the last post of geekery seemed favourably received, I thought I'd allow my self some more.
(that and the rain, and the fact I haven't climbed outside yet this month)
Three Star Routes by their areas!

Bus stop

  1. Fool's Gold

  2. Forsinain Motspur

  3. Geordie Warcry

  4. Scarlet Runner


  1. Looning the Tube

  2. Big Thursday

  3. Wish You were Here

  4. G'day Arete

  5. The Serpent vein


Holy Holy Holy


  1. California Arete

  2. Wedlock Holiday

  3. Spider Pants

  4. Central Sadness

  5. The Big Sur

  6. Waves of Inspiration

  7. Stairway to Silence


  1. Seamstress

  2. Seams the Same

  3. The Medium

  4. Heading the Shot

Never Never land

  1. Never Never Land

  2. Short Stories

Monkey Bar area


Twll Mawr

  1. Coeur de lion

  2. Blockhead

  3. The Quarryman (****)

  4. The Fire Escape

  5. The Wonderful world of Walt Disney

Lost World

  1. The Wall Within

  2. Dinorwig Unconquerable

Colossus Wall

  1. Shazalzabon

  2. Jack of Shadows

  3. Light and Darkness

  4. Big Wall Party

  5. Major Headstress

  6. Ride the Wild Surf

  7. Great Balls of Fire

  8. Colossus

Rainbow Slab

  1. Pull My Daisy

  2. Chewing the Cwd

  3. Released From Treatment

  4. Naked Before the Beast

  5. Rainbow of Recalcitrance

  6. Bungles Arete

  7. Poetry in Pink

  8. The Very Big and the Very Small

  9. Raped by Affection

  10. Cystitis by Proxy

  11. Splitstream

  12. Stiff Syd's Cap

  13. Prick up Ureas

  14. Cwms the Dogfish

Rainbow Walls

  1. Vermin on the Ridiculous

  2. Chitra

  3. The Untouchables

  4. The Mau Mau

  5. SilverShadow

  6. True Clip

  7. German School Girls

  8. Spong (is good for you)

  9. L'allumette

  10. Manatese

  11. The Dark Half

  12. Heatseeker


  1. Dawes of Perception

  2. Bobby's Groove

  3. Soap on a Rope

  4. Dope on a Rope

  5. Bathtime

  6. Gin Palace

  7. Comes the Dervish

  8. Flashdance

  9. Flashdance/Belldance

Glyn Rhonwy

The Bone People

This list includes:

  1. Only 2 routes younger than 15 years old

  2. Only 14 routes of E3/f7a or below

  3. Only 1 route with real objective danger

  4. Only 10 routes I've done (4 more I've failed at)

  5. 31 routes I really should do (without a risk of death, or requiring a hero transplant)

Looks like I'd better get cracking..

Monday, 17 October 2011


I'm right chuffed with the new guide. It seems like a lifetime ago that a pint in the Gallt y Glyn brought me into the Ground up fold. Not only is it a thing of beauty, it gives me an opertunity to be extremly nerdy. Yes I'm a geek and like nothing more than some qualitative analysis of random trivia; in this case the Star ratings on the new guide.
Star ratings are initially arbitrarity applied be the authors (Pete, Simon and I) in relation to some control specimen (in this case the Dervish ***). this subjective round of applause is then glanced at by a crack cadre of nitpickers (the proof reading/ soundboarding team) who may dissagree / notice them.
So how to present my findings? Tables! (wrong data for graphs)
Ok lists, I'm not blog literate enough.
Basically I was wanting to see who saw and delivered the good routes, whose quests were of quality rather than cack.
Up first the Top ten of Slateheads with routes of three stars (or more)

Rank ][ Slate Head ][ No. of *** Routes
1 J Dawes 10
2 D Towse / J Redhead 8
3 P Williams 7
4 G Smith 5
4 N Harms 5
6 S Haston 4
7 C Phillips 3
7 M Crook 3
7 P Pritchard 3
7 J Sylvester 3

As you can see I've put Towse and Redhead together, as in the quarries they were joined at the hip anyway....

The next list is a biggy; The top 20 starred slate heads based on total stars awarded.
After the quantity of stars I've added in brackets this figure divided by the total no. of routes in the quarries that they've sired - a sort of average star rating....

Rank ][ Slatehead ][ Total no. of Stars (average star rating)
1 J Dawes 42 (2)
2 I Lloyd Jones 41 (0.64)
3 N Harms 39 (1.63)
4 D Towse / J Redhead 36 (2.77)
5 S Haston 35 (1.17)
5 P Pritchard 35 (1.59)
7 P Williams 28 (2)
8 M Crook 26 (1.3)
9 G Smith 25 (1.47)
10 M Raine 22 (1.38)
11 C Dale 20 (1.18)
12 C Phillips 18 (0.43)
13 C Parkin 16 (1.07)
14 C Davies 14 (0.82)
14 J Ratcliffe 14 (1.75)
16 B Wayman 13 (1.08)
16 P Hawkins 13 (1.08)
18 R Drury 12 (1.2)
18 J Sylvester 12 (2)
18 M Dicken 12 (0.5)

Rankings in italics are tied. Please note that all data collection and proccessing was fueled either by insomnia or coffee, so may contain some errors.

Make of it what you will....

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Things that have made my Day

Taking two of my boys out for a ride through the slate quarries, and not only was it full of people clutching the new guide..

Tim and Nick were on Hamadryad. First time I've ever seen someone on the back wall of Twll mawr who wasn't tied to me on a rope...

Seems like they were having Fun, and the Bastard Bush of Twll Mawr was living up to its name. No real seapage on the back wall at the mo' so its all up for grabs.

Giveaway Project of the Month - October

Yipee! Llanberis slate has now been in the shops (although the first batch may have sold out by now - awaiting the slow boat from China) So expect the next few Giveaway's to be slate centric (not much change there) With Page References!

This slightly naff picture is looking at the bottom of Braich, namely the East wall and Vilcabamba (pages 96-97)
The Fin of rock that boasts Where Green ants Dream and is skirted around to gain Buffer in a Crackhouse is seporate from the adjoining level. various spills of slate debris, probably even from working times have dropped in the gap, forming a roof of sorts.
This giveaway is a through trip; I attempted it on several occasions as a single man of limited ties, and each attempt was thwarted by a drastic need for fresh underwear.
All my attempts were from the Buffer side, as the "Floor" of the chamber is higher at this end, thus removing the need to ascend on matter of unknown actuality.
"Floor" is a poor descriptor; more of a mezzanine or catwalk. The protracted tinkling under your feet soon actuates active bridging and allows some further entrance. It was the point where this elevator shuffling requires descent that I chose to retreat for more fragrant delicates.

One for a keen explorer

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Giveaway Project of the Month - Belated September

Had mega busy week setting for the beginning of this Winter's Bouldering Aggregate for the Beacon, So a bit behind despite wandering round with the pic on my stick for the last couple of weeks...

Ho Hum, Behold Craig Ddaear Drwg:
The rocks in front are a minor distraction, but there's highballs a plenty with a host of arĂȘtes to test yourself on. Some terracing required.

To Find; Drive up the Clegir road from Llanberis and park in the second square cut bay on the right after Filmset. Follow the public footpath for 10m to a left fork, follow this for similar distance over the hill and try not to fall down Craig Ddaear Drwg.