Friday, 25 November 2011

Giveaway Project of the Month - November

This rather beautiful and knife edge bow arĂȘte was a chanced upon whilst having a upper dinorwig scramble day. I squirrelled it away as a project for myself for when a moment presented itself.
However, enjoying as I am some freedom from pursuing projects, I am free to clear some clutter from my head space.
Its on the same level as pitch 4 of Big Thursday. I originally thought trad, considering its position. But a sport route in this position with this approach appeals to my sense of perversity. and avoids the top out.

Go enjoy

Monday, 21 November 2011

Red Right Hand

Got out with Wolf this Saturday, a quick hit on the slate was called for as I had to be home before sundown..

My shoulder had been playing up from a particularly brutal boulder setting day at the Beacon, and I was a bit nervous how I would fare. However, after seconding the first route I deemed it serviceable enough for now.

We'd hit Railtrack and it was in the sun, and despite a few avoidable wet streaks it was in pretty good nick. I'd not been down here since the ack ack of new router's and so the guidebook came out. Red throated diver seemed to have changed with all the footholds through the crux being plenty roomy- not what I'd remembered at all. That's popularity for a friable slate venue I guess, a fair bit softer anyway.

Crazy Train was as good as I'd heard, and despite a few razors left, a pleasant experience.

We had a wander round, and ended up on the Rognon catching the last of the sun. This meant I could clean up a niggle in my mind and lead a variation of Abbatoir Blues I'd top roped some time before. The Red Right Hand Variation traverses right when the 2nd bolt is just below your knees to gain the red groove, which is taken to the top. I climbed up to the 3rd bolt first, for added security, probably giving an overall E2 6a, those with more to prove can clip the 3rd bolt later from the groove to get the E4 tick. The groove is soft and wood like, a hold did detach near the top, so the name does seem apt.

We used the Australian to escape back to the car. However the access bolt at the base of MIL arete has been vanished, and Wolf belayed me up off a braced stance (he's a strong boy). I hadn't noticed this and proceeded to get him to tie me off on his plate so I could stand on the edge and haul up the bags... Boys outing indeed.

I was late and had to face the wrath of Sam, and also both Haston sisters. Fear did occur. However, I got off lightly with babysitting while Sam had a girls night out.

Happy Days

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Bonza's Blocked

After seeing a thread on UKC Regarding Lost world and access to Bonza crack I took a trip up to see what the fuss was about, See exactly how blocked / shored up it was etc.

Here's the tunnel

What I found inside...
Basically it aint how I left it last time I was here! a slight collape from the roof before the tunnel mouth means although light still comes through and a wriggler could wriggle, they'd likely be squashed like a bug. Here's a shot I took before the fall from outside:
And here is yesterday:
You'll notice the outer skin is unchanged, however the floor of the tunnel is definitely raisedand the block on the left behind the outer skin has dropped down. I'd guess that although you could abseil in to start it, while the move may be the same, the stability of the outer skin might be questionable on a macro scale.

Coincidently, a diagonal fault on the wall between Harold Void and the ladders has got a couple of inches wider too. If there is a big freeze this winter I expect there will be some geology in action!

Unlike most Guidebooks, Llanberis Slate suffers not only from New router's putting it out of date, but the actions of the quarry itself. (Nant Peris quarry lost 90% of its routes to rockfall while the guide was at the printers)

Unaccustomed as I am to Public Speaking..

Went Well last night, although the fact that the kids got me up at 6 this morning meant I wasn't as erudite as I would have liked to be. Also people were asking some very interesting questions that I'd wished I could have spent more time on, however, I over ran as it was.
Looking back there was a different slide show I could have done, that would have answered people in a more satisfying way.
I thought I'd have another stab on here at some of the questions asked.

-Climbing loose and scary stuff again and again, what drives you back?
A route consists of a line through space. Quality lies in the aesthetics of the feature, the experience of movement, and the overall effect of the process. For me the quality of the journey of the is a culmination of these things, and is found in the questing rather than always in the finished product. An outward journey can be mirrored by an inner one.

-Aren't you afraid of killing yourself?
Without risk adventure is meaning less, but to get meaning out you have to survive. So minimising risk is key. My personal strategies are three fold:
Immerse yourself in the language of the environment. Learn the character and moods of the rock, converse and insinuate into its flow. This required regular contact, and for a time I was fluent in slate choss, but like any skill, lack of practice causes rustiness, hence recent failure.
Secondly, Listen to the inner voice. I'm a Christian and I believe that we're given enough freedom to take risks and enough advice to prevent calamity. As a dad, I also know what having a risk-taking kid is like, and I don't want to take any of this for granted. Times and seasons and all that.
Thirdly, always have an exit strategy, always see the avenues of retreat, and see that failure is always valuable.

Friday, 4 November 2011

For One Night Only....

I'm Headlining!

Its the launch evening for Llanberis Slate; the Ground Up guide I've given myself to for the last n years.
It should be a fun night with climbing superstar and co author Pete Robins, and champion of accessible slate Colin Goodey both giving stellar presentations. Martin Crook may be beaming in from Kalymnos too..
Those of you who have suffered my LLAMFF talks in the past may recognise a few slides, but hopefully there will be some new abuse from the audience...

So 11th of September 730pm at the Caban, Brynrefail. Come along and please refrain from throwing stuff 'cos I'll cry.