Climbing Walls that I’ve seen…!

1st May 2010

Tremadog last week was absolutely lovely. We had perfect weather not too hot and no cold breeze like the week before. Alex and I bumped into nice people, climbed good routes and generally had a fun time.

The first day was a bit hit and miss, due to some very dodgy route descriptions in the old guide we were using. Instead of getting on an E3 called Erebus (on Pant Ifan), we ended up on a classic severe called Poor Man’s Peuteray. No doubt a lovely route but quite obviously not hard enough. But we had followed the description to the letter and ended up there, hmmm, frustrating. Fortunately, Alex managed to leave that guide on a tree half way up the crag at the end of the day- so I was forced to fork out for the new (2000!!) guide, I’m so stingy at times, ha ha. Anyway, we had managed to find the E3 ourselves later on but felt vindicated when we looked in the new guide and discovered the description to get to Erebus was completely different from the old one. It had also had a tech grade upgrade from 5c to 6a, which made me feel a bit better, as I had found it quite tricky.

Anyway, the next day was great and involved less faff. We climbed quite a few routes I hadn’t done before, the best being a three pitch E3 6a called Venom. We both really enjoyed it and I especially revelled in the first groove pitch, which was very technical and absorbing. Each pitch after that was different and good quality.

The highlight for me though, was watching Miss Hughes go swimming in a lake in the evening in her bikini! She’s mad that girl and even though she was shivering with cold she stayed in for about 20 mins. I was shivering with all my clothes on just watching her. I’m sure it’s very beneficial for you but I’m such a wimp these days when it comes to the cold, especially water. Maybe I did too much kayaking in the North Sea when I was younger and used up all my withstanding the cold powers, hmm, maybe I’m just a wimp.

Since Tremadog I’ve hardly been able to climb, well, I haven’t climbed at all. I’ve been on the road coaching the BMC Rock Essentials master classes. Katherine and I have had a fun time meeting new people and seeing different walls around the South. The Barn (near Tavistock) and Boulders (Cardiff) provided some real characters and much jollity. You know who you are, thanks guys, you made our jobs easier and entertaining. The distances were fairly long but next week and the North should be a little more amenable. We’ll be visiting Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Liverpool; If you’re booked on, we look forward to seeing you.

I got a routes session in at the Foundry yesterday. The weather was a bit hit and miss, so indoors was a guaranteed workout. The plan had been for Northumberland this bank holiday but due to the dismal forecast we’ve knocked it on the head and will be heading to the Lakes instead. Not sure the forecast is any better (in fact it’s hailing today!) but Tim and I want to get away and a few friends will come too. I have hardly climbed in the Lakes, so it’ll be nice to go to some different venues.

The van DIY has come to a standstill, not sure when we’ll get a chance to do more work on it. We are both very busy from now on; maybe we’ll be able to catch a day here and there. I can’t wait till it’s finished!!

I have a meeting in London in a week or so time and I may have some exciting news to tell afterwards- again, I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great Bank Holiday y’all…