Wednesday, 23 September 2020

I.N.S.P.R.E. 2020

Back in 2016, I ran a series of blog posts called I.N.S.P.R.E. This stood for Its Not Shit, Please Repeat Everybody. It was a lot of fun at the time, however, as Seren was only just coming up to 1 year old, inevitably I had more choice gems than I could get round to visiting (or indeed, revisiting). 
One such under rated masterpiece was Pinnochio Crack. I first became aware of this obscure Paul Pritchard route when Rob Greenwood, who was working in Joe Brown's at the time, directed me to its entry In the Llanberis guide:
Rob knew my love of offwidths, and it was intriguing to see one listed thus. A 3m route, eng6b difficulty. This was around 2010, and the twins had just been born. Most of my adventures around this time were very constrained by time and it was very hard to align the stars enough to bag an offwidth partner for the 60 min window I may have been able to secure tomorrow morning (you get the idea). Spending probably too much time on Widefetish; an American offwidth site, I came across a pusher set up for soloing offwidth chimneys. Basically a big cam linked to your harness with some via ferrata type shock absorption In between. 
I got inventing... 



My safety assured, I set off to the meadow of Ithel. This, it turns out was above Ben's bunk house, halfway to Nant Peris. 

The middle crack is Pinocchio, with little foos being to the right. The lefthand crack is blind and bottomed and desperate. 

Full of enthusiasm and confidence, I climbed aboard the ravens nest, chucked in some cams and got swimming... 
My next adventure arose shortly, when I flumffed out the crack, and found myself suspended in space, swinging by a sadly out of reach monster cam.. 

The crack turned out to be 45° overhanging.

Obviously, this was one to come back to with an actual belayer, and some more information. Although Pinocchio crack wasn't listed in the fa history section, little foos was, and it was a George Smith, Paul Pritchard effort. I sought out George for more info. 
Apparently Pinocchio was an unkind nickname of Paul's, interesting that even he had his doubters. Pritch had found the crag and enlisted George for the jolly. Little foos was named after foos at shale City (this immediately put me off it), both led pinnochio. Might be E3 might be E5, definitely 7m not 3.
Food for thought. 



Fast forward to this year, and heaven forbid, North Wales has another offwidth addict. Eben has been ticking things off here, paid a pilgrimage to Vedawoo, and even survived my sandbagging on Striapach at fairhead. Perfect partner for Pinocchio.

The brave adventurers approach our target. 

Approaching our target also involved a steep grass scramble via boggy ledges. We wisely racked up at the gully floor.. 

Another view with Pinnochio standing proud. 

I was first up to mount the now prestigious raven's nest. The crack was narrower than I remembered but the cam #6 slotted nicely (with a bit of wiggling) to protect the overhanging bit. 

What didn't slot in nicely was me! 

Unfortunately a couple of months off with my ankle had diminished my offwidth powers somewhat, and my t-rex hang up led me to discount a key hold near the back of the crack (nearly all the jamming on Pinocchio is lower body). Back down to the gully for refreshments, then it was Ebens turn. He also had a plop onto the rope, but a bit of dangling and ferreting around gained him the hold at the back!



At this point the rabbit kicked in and he was driven to the top by basic life preservation. Or at least a love of intact legs. 

Great great route, which we are both keen for a second round of cleaner ascents. The belay at the top is a thread, so the kit list is;
A #5, #6, a rock 4 & #. 5 for securing the belayer. 

Our bodies have cleaned it. Enjoy! 


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