Filming with Hot Aches

7th Aug 2015

Interview Diff Ab Stencil

A few weeks ago, I went over to N Wales to join The Hot Aches crew who are making a film about Natalie Berry and her transition from comp climber to trad climber. It was good to catch up with Nat, last time I’d seen her she was a young girl looking awesome in comps. I was just finishing my comp career and she seemed like hers was going through the roof!

Image below: Natalie and Paul Diffley preparing their gear up at Pretty Girls...

So I knew she had the physical potential to climb trad but would the head be able to cope? In the small weather window we had, Nat proved that her head was good and she easily head-pointed ‘Pretty Girls Make Graves’ E6 at Cwm Glas Bach. This was my first day there and the weather turned out lovely in the evening but it wasn’t to stay like this...

It was such a shame that the weather didn’t play ball as we were psyched but it just wasn’t to be.

Image below: Unique and inticing slate.

We had one wet day wandering around the slate quarries getting a few shots here and there. One highlight was seeing this awesome stencil somebody has put on the entrance to California, my photo doesn’t do this artwork justice. (See image bottom left). Towards the end of this day, we did have a little sun, so I managed to get a route in I’d never done before, which was a bonus. It was a cool E4 5c flake line called ‘Manatese’

At that point I’d hardly done any trad myself for a few years, so it was nice to get back on the sharp end and see how things were feeling...not too bad...

Image left: Diff in position to film Nat on the E6.

As the rain continued, we got some indoor stuff done like interviews etc. The nice people at Plas Y Brenin let us use their gym, which was a good back drop. I was particularly keen on the wobble-board as a foot stool! Image right

I hope Nat manages to go out and get more routes done but it seems like if you live in Edinburgh, ‘popping out’ for a few routes, just isn’t really an option. So it’s going to be hard to keep any momentum going, especially with a full time job and keep that ‘trad’ head working. We’ll just have to see what she gets up to, I guess when the film comes out, it will reveal all.

I’ve been to N Wales twice this year and both times the weather has been, shall we say, trying! Oh well, it doesn’t appear that summer has really got going even though there have been a few nice days here and there. You just had to be on the crag when they happened! 

Image below: a regular wet day activity in Pete's Eats. How many laptops can one group of people have?!

Off to Devon and Gower in a few days, come on sun, I’m willing you to make an appearance!

Image below: A lovely evening in The Pass, it didn't last!