Wednesday, 20 April 2011


So it looks like summer is here, spending all the evenings drinking gin and juice in the garden and all day in the hammock. Climbing has taken the back seat for the last week or so, not really due to the heat or gin but as it is the easter holidays so have been spending time with the family. The last term was very long so both my daughter (May, 5 on Sunday) and my wife (Kath, works running a pre school) are both well deserving of a chilled time. We are off to the South Lakeland zoo for May's birthday so that will be fun.

After a few years spending most of my climbing time bouldering (to fit in with child care) I have been working on getting back to my teenage stamina levels, this has been pretty hard work. I no longer have the option of going to Spain or Pembroke for months at a time so instead have been doing plenty of evenings on my training board - climbing round in circles - I don't really suffer from lack of motivation but it can be hard during the winter to put the work in in a cold garage on your own. It has been nice to get out a little recently and feel like the work has lead to some noticable improvements.

One of the highlights of the early part of the year was a new little link up I did in the cave.

The line starts up the classic 8A/+ Bonnie and continues to the top of the crag. I had a brief play climbing 'ground up' but it was feeling a little too high so returned with Pete Robins to check it out from the safety of a van roof:

Once we had ferreted around the holds it felt like it would go so we returned a week later and armed with a long ladder and a drill we placed a couple of bolts. Pete has placed a fair few bolts in the last couple of years whilst undergoing the transformation from hardcore trad climbing loon to honed skinny sport climbing machine but it was a first for me, I was kinda excited but also felt a bit naughty. Up to this point I had removed around 10 bolts from various places around the uk and thought I may well never place one. It has to be said it is very easy to do.

The ascent itself felt almost anticlimatic after all the drilling excitment. There is a short video of the ascent you can watch here:

There is still some unfinished buisiness with the obvious lower start which I am keen for but with both Pete and Neil Dyer (apparently 'looking good') both interested in the same line it could develop into a fun little race!

Been busy the last few days organising a fundraser slide show, more details to come...

Ben Bransby

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