Thursday, 22 June 2017


To Scurryfunge is an old English verb, meaning to rush around cleaning when company is on their way. The North Wales Bouldering Guide is imminent, and guess what? some of my playthings have made the cut. This got me thinking about the fun I've had, and whether I'd left any low hanging fruit. I was keen to revisit Moose's wall, an ex BOTM, and one of my first major makeover efforts back in 2011 (trying to bring it back to its 90's glory).

I visited this spring and gave it a prune and scrub, the abseil sapling is now a study young tree, and I soon cleaned up the plumb lines of The Biggun 6B! and Something, Something Darkside 7a!. The other lines to the right are rather extravegantly over grown, and I haven't excavated them yet (even back then I hadn't bothered digging out the crack to the left of the Biggun).

This days actual climbing was somewhat hampered by the previous nights pilates session. My upper body was operating tiptop, however I had rather a lot of difficulty connecting it to my lower half. Technical finger jams are rather unforgiving on popping feet....

Returning in June and Summer has sprung. Father's Day allowed a return visit, and I found the bracken to be flourishing. I experimented with a rolling road of bouldering pads, that did the trick.

I also borrowed a little yankee knowhow to protect against technical finger play..

Any finger jams that depend more on the middle two fingers tend to spread the load in part on the other wrigglers. Its only the outer two that have to suffer alone sometimes.

Armed with determination and tape, I got up The Biggun once more. Its a totally satisfying exercise, versed in a variety of jamming techniques and well worth seeking out. Hers a vid of how it went:

Following this success I had a go at linking the start of Something Something Darkside into The Biggun. The midges descended as I made it across the new ground, and beans deserted me as The Biggun loomed. More unfinished business.

With rain forecast, I chanced my arm last night with an adventure with Ben to finish things off. Despite high humidity and looming midge storms we bravely set off on my old Lower Clegir Circuit.

Starting with Z Boys Arete 6A+! (also in the new guide I understand)

A balancey trixsome affair, hampered by midges. However, both ascended and we hoped to escape down to Moose's wall, which may get the breeze off the lake.

The midges Abade..

Despite these little drill sergeants, the link was made. The Name "Something Big" felt Apt and it felt  6B+/C! ish. it was only a couple of moves more in the end, but a more intense start made the Biggun's crux more explicit. The Video is worth watching for Ben's Midge Dance as he spotted:

Ben had a go, but after I abseiled onto his head, the midges had us in retreat. I persuaded him that the Crack House (the next station of the circuit) would be in the breeze and midge free, so we set off once more.

I forgot about the Flourishing Bracken...

Foolishly I forgot to take any photo's of our antics once the bushwhacking ceased, however, here's my good self accidentally photographing myself  there this spring.

And here is a 7 year old photo of myself climbing Shed Party which back then I gave 6B+. One of the highlights of this visit was trying to repeat it, with hazy knowledge of what I'd actually done, and a conviction that the hands had to stay on the Arete (unlike in the photo). I managed this by the skin of my teeth, and it probably wasn't 6B+. It was good though, and as the crack house isn't in the new guide as far as I'm aware, I guess this is the new line of Shed Party.

Walking out via Ben's impressive swathe of destruction.

All in all I'm rather happy, and I hope you'll enjoy visiting these little tributaries of the New Bouldering guide. Remember; there's treasure everywhere.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Somewhat Monsieur Mangetout

So Here I am, ostensibly a boulderer, looking for bouldering projects, abet often highball ones. Alright I also like a bit of adventure, a bit of wild trad, some thrutch and totter.

... But a Sport Climber?

For the first time since the Beast in Me, I've got the drill out. It was supposed to be a highball project, but I soon decided that the difficulty at height that it presented was too much like Yves Klein.

So the little highball project became a little bolty proj. A little plaything.

Actually its a Monster.

Its only 6-7 meters, but it overhangs by just under a meter and only has about 3 horizontal crimps on it. I placed two bolts for runners, and a lower off bolt. It was around this point I realised It was pointlessly hard. I mean, surely a project is something you can play on, enjoy, and get done in a reasonable time frame?
I've had two sessions on it now, I filmed the first, waste of time that was. I ended up chopping a few stills out (below) and ditching the footage. I wasn't climbing, I was clawing. 
Second visit was on a windy day as midge season is upon us. Unfortunately the bay is sheltered, and the midges descended like 1000 Tom Randall's demanding "One More Rep!"
Driven by these micro drill sergeants I grappled once more. Surely its too hard? I should give it away... But everyone needs a challenge.
Rather than drown under the immensity of eating a Cessna 150 Airplane, I endeavored to break the scale of the task into bite size pieces:
It seems..
7A+ to 7B to the first bolt
7A+ to 7B to the second bolt
7A+ to 7B to the lower off

Ok that didn't help.
Individual body positions in each section.
first is 9, I've held one so Far
Second is 11, I've held three so Far
Third is 15, I've held nine so Far

Total Hand Moves is 17
I've managed:
0 in first section
1 in Second section
4 in third section

Something to work on then Once the Midges subside.
I feel rather like a prisoner of war who's stolen a Spoon
All quite Fun
Project: "Swamp Thing" is on

Midgy bitesies