Friday, 7 June 2013

A bit of this and a bit of that - By Jen Wilby

Podey's footprints following an epic run along the beach

"Every day may not be a good day, but there is something good in every day"

There are many jokes about the English Weather, however the the weekend of my 30th Birthday celebrations proved to be no joke when North Wales turned into a lake! Slight exaggeration, but close enough.
I'd had the idyllic plan of climbing in the pass and showing those who had never been before the amazing problems in the Pass, with evenings of eating outside and camping and generally having some fun - how wrong I was.

Arriving late on Thursday night the weather was OK until we were about and hour away from the Pass, when the heavens opened. Deciding it wouldn't be the best idea to stay in the field of the campsite, we stayed in the lay by - hoping the weather would pass.
By Friday morning nothing had changed so we headed to the coast, which was basking in the sun. With so many good problems up in the valley's I was disappointed to be at Parisellas Cave, however it was good fun with everyone being in the same area, the banter and abuse soon began to flow. I managed possibly the hardest V4 in the world and one of the V6 traverses, however I was more than happy to have some banter & grab some rays!

Taking over the cave

Basking in the sun whilst we could
Freddie trying one of the long traverses

Chris on Clever Beaver
After we had all had enough abuse, we headed back into the Pass, no change! So an evening was spent supplying the Vaynol Arms with their monthly takings I suspect. However, the weather had started to settle so I was optimistic.

The rain and wind arrived about 7am again, so it was back to the cave for a second time. That evening we headed to the Pizza place just outside of the village of Llamberis. They do amazing pizzas for a good price and I'd definitely recommend it. With no change by Sunday we headed to the local climbing wall to stay dry and to decide what our next move was to be. It was time to accept that hoping wasn't enough and decided to drive south and do some bolt clipping on Portland. So it was with regret that we started to make the drive South.

I have to admit I wasn't looking forward to tying in, as I haven't done more than about 6 moves since Oct 2012, I excepted a serious amount of pump & pain! So it was a nice surprise to leave 10 routes later with a 7a & 7a+ flash...might start getting excited for routes next year!

It took me a few days to get over that weekend and despite the weather it was good fun due to the good company. A huge thank you to those who made the drive!

With the rest week before Wales & the forced rest post Wales, I had a couple of weeks doing not a lot. So when the weather turned and the Bank Holiday weekend arrived, it was back in the van on the M6 up to North Wales. This time it was the right decision - the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky!
Lazy morning by the van
 We headed to the Ogwen Valley due to a lie in and the lack of parking spaces in the Pass (Trad Climbers and walkers are really early risers!). We headed to the Milestone Buttress Boulders as we hadn't been before and there were some cool moves:

Jez's Arete V4

Trusting the heel on Jez's Arete V4
Start of Pit Start V5

Hardest moves done coming out of the pit

Crimpy Crimpy on Pit Start

About to top out on Pit Start V5
We then headed to a sweet little crag at Caseg Fraith. I'd ticked most of the crag a couple of years back but repeated the following:

Caseg Fraith Arete V3 ... stunning line!

About to top out of Caseg Fraith Arete

Skunk X - powerful start

Matching the sloper on Skunk X
With an early start the next day we managed to get the last parking spot in the Pass, at 9am!!! We headed up to the King of Drunks area. A problem I couldn't get my butt of the floor a couple of years back due to it being to powerful - lets just say my hopes were slim to none but thought I might as well give it a go as we were there. I warmed up on the puzzling "The Groove" V4, which was desperate! Then spent some time figuring out my beta for KOD with it resulting in some very odd heel hooking. The problem went fine and I was pleased to have made some progress on stuff that not my style :)

Sit start to KOD V6

My hip was very sore the next day

On to the jugs

Making my way to the crimps before the jug at the top

First crimp before the top

With a dodgy shoulder (again) I didn't want to push it, so I stopped climbing on a high and decided to let my climbing partner carry on climbing with a permanent spotter :) I did try some harder blocs but I was done.

We were psyched to get back up into the Pass on the Monday, so with the weather looking to turn by lunch time we got an early start. As soon as the van was packed the low cloud came in and that brought the rain, so it was off to Pete's Eats for a brew before the long drive home - not before letting Podey loose on the beach...
Yup - those are his paw prints all over - nutter.
Since that weekend, I've not been up to much. My shoulder has been very weak and unstable so I have been working towards getting that better and I've generally been De-motivated. I've got back into it this week working on being able to lift my own body weight and general conditioning to stop the injuries from occurring.

Since the weather has turned I've been torn between tying in or making the financial commitment to head to North Wales for outside climbing. This year I really want to focus on my bouldering and feel that routes will not benefit me in that area, but then I can't afford to head to N Wales each weekend, however then I feel guilty about training inside on such nice days. Decisions decisions...personally I think I am happy to make the sacrifices this year ready for Swissie in Sept - not sure my climbing partner agrees :)

Until Next Time

Happy Climbing x

The Stunning North Wales

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