Friday, 5 March 2010

Junkyards and Barrels

First up this week is the hidden bloc at Rhiwlas, previously JK had climbed a 7a+ slab here on Carreg y Gath, (means Cat Rock or something similar) CJD and I had been told of this line by Matt Smith of the Pebble (on Utopia) fame. Drunk in The Vaynol Arms he told us there was a fingery slap on a boulder within half a mile. He then refused to tell us anymore, people love doing this, I think its because they know we will then troll round the countryside looking at scrappy bits of rock forever unsure if it is A, a classic or B, a wind up, or C shit.

This time it seemed to be true and we spent a few days pocking round stream beds and old quarry's in surrounding fields. In the end we gave up and decided to try and ask him again. A few months later this time in the Fricsan we got some directions out of him for a beer and went to see it on the way to the pub one summer evening last year. We found it and instantly planned to return with mats and shoes to do it estimating the grade at 7b ish. Then we forgot about it.

About a month ago I found an old list of projects and thought it would be a nice afternoon out to go and finish it off. Only problem was I had agreed not to visit without Chris in return for his agreement not to go without me. This meant reminding CJD, so I decided to wait for a bit. Unfortunately he was reminded by a report on North Wales bouldering, and admitted to thinking about snaking me and going alone. In the interest of fairness we set a day and went to crush...

After a few wrong turns and a deliberate attempt to steal an advantage through spiking my cigarette we made it to the crag and got spanked on the JK slab. (we did have very thin skin though... honest) Setting up mats under the problem we started one on one off, the first move is a harsh pull on a right hand spike and left hand splayed crimp thing, far more his style then mine. Fortunately for me it also required a heel toe and toe scum, far more my style than his. After some goes we started to catch the first hold and fell off the top move a big slappy lock to a jug, made awkward by the lack of footholds. Thinking I was being a punter and not wanting to waste a go working the top sequence I carried on doing the first move and failing, by this point CJD was eyeing up a different sequence at the top. In the end we stopped being fools and both did the top out. Summoning up a competitive urge to beat CJD I scrapped up it by the skin of my teeth, as soon as the FA was gone Chris decided he had had enough and packed it in. We had been out for a big day in the pass the day before and skin was thin and energy was in short supply, it felt nails that day, a solid 7c+, I am guessing that was because we were screwed though and its probably more like 7c.

The Barrel what a venue, everything on it is class. I managed to climb the Groove this week, part of my go back to problems I did years ago and try to do them again scheme. It was 2001 the first and only time I had done this. Ollie put in a strong shout for the strongest punter award by footlessing the crux in the old eliminate style of not using the big edge above the slopers and failing to climb the problem. I also had a session on Breathe at the Cromlech, finding it hard but I think I can do it with a radical sequence change. Yesterday was definitely the best conditions I have ever had in the Pass.

It seems that my grading maybe even worse than I thought, Katz has put in a retro claim for Dolly Rocker saying he campused it at about 7c/+, before he defected to Yorkshire. I think I will buy Simon a few beers at the LLAMF party this weekend to strengthen my claim!

This Weeks skin report time for a rest day...

1 comment:

  1. Katz / Retro-claim? Retro-claim / Katz?

    Sorry, you've lost me there. I thought those two were mutually exclusive? Surely he would have written this up aeons ago?

    I bid you good day!

    The Purple Helmet x