A week back in the UK was not enough. In between visiting family and work meetings I managed to squeeze in two and a half days in North Wales for some climbing.
My focus was to tick a line at Craig Dorys that I had my eye on, as well as do a couple of classic routes, and to add in some catching up with as many of my friends as possible in the evenings. It was a success all round.
The first day Maddie, Ian and I all headed to Craig Dorys and Maddie and I set about the new line, The Bigger Bang (UKC Report). Ian was, unfortunately, slightly worse for wear after the previous nights excesses at Crazy Rob’s house. Luckily for me I went to bed after 7 pints, so I was okay. Ian left early to go to a reggae night and Maddie and I carried on climbing.
I got to test my (as yet unpatented) ‘tent pegs and chain’ abseil anchor. Maddie was well psyched…
The route went okay, with a bit of cheating in the form of a bit of preplaced gear. Why not. Craig Dorys eh. You can get away with murder down there!
Anyway, after my go, which I enjoyed immensely, Maddie had a shot and after a bit of upping and downing and umming and aahing, she tied on and gave it a proper go and fell off on the last hard move on to some small RPs.
Evening came, and we were knackered, so we opted to head back to Llanberis for a curry. Unfortunately the car had broken down, so Rob the champion came and picked us up (what a legend) and the farmer’s brother was duly called and said he could get us a new water pump and sort us out the following day.
Car abandoned, curry eaten, forecast checked. It wasn’t looking good for the next day.
As forecast, the next day was wet, but we headed to Pigeon’s Cave on the Orme, and thrashed around on overhanging greasy limestone. Chris tried his project which looked really good, but very hard. And Pete tried The Crack Project, which also looked nails. I flashed Koo for a ‘warm up’ and then proceeded to fall off the last move of Koo Koo about three times in a row and gave up as it started properly pissing it down. Nice!
Anyway, that was all a bit damp, but good to see a bit of Ormes psyche from the team.
The next day we nipped back down the Lleyn to get my mum’s car from the farmer, and we headed to Vatican Zawn.
Being on a tight time schedule, we only had time for one route per team, and Maddie and I decided to do the classic E3 Path to Rome. It’s a great route and one I have done many times before, but as this was Maddie’s first trip to the Lleyn, it was a ‘must do’ for her.
Rob and crew did some sort of variatio on another E3 that had some ‘terrain’ at the top. Rob pulled off a block and then danced around on the remaining house of cards for a bit, before finally committing to a 4b move and topping out through the hanging gardens of Babylon to glory.
And then it was back to France, all too soon. Oh well. Sport climbing it is then!
I have one more project left in North Wales that I would like to do, and I think it will wait until next spring now. We shall see. Next on the horizon is a trip to Ceuse and then maybe some alpine north faces.
Cheers to all in Llanberis who made the visit special, including: Wraith, JBG, Young Ollie, Crazy Rob, Mandi, Alex, Pete, James and everyone else. The village seemed super psyched!
Smash it in guys!