Sunday, 22 January 2012

Praying to the Weather Gods

As usual the weather pretty much dictates everything! Over the last week or so its gone from clag and mingingness, to glorious sunshine, to ming again. But in that time funsies were had!

During the first week of ming, I managed to get out walking and scrambling everyday and also had a good root around in the hills for aircraft wrecks, of which there is a list here. Some I found others had apparently been cleared in the 80's something I found after spending time looking for them...D'oh.

With the weather promising to pick up dramatically over the weekend, eager Friday night plans were hatched and rehashed according to who was free and who had remembered that they had work. So finally I ended up at the bottom of Yellow walls on South stack with someone to climb with. It all looked promising! And it was! For a change! We did 2 brilliant routes The Savage and Creeping Leema. The exposure on both is unbelievable, with a drop of 100ft from the heels of your feet to the sea straight down, the hanging slabs on these routes made them and both had very apt names in my opinion. There is a photo on the link above of the pitch 2 crux of CL where a lurch leftwards results in you hanging off a jug feet dangling in space with the sea crashing a good way below you. Brilliant route!

The evening wasn't too shabby either, with a mates birthday and buffet curry organised a good night was had, culminating in a Greek Taverna playing reggae music.....they assure me this is normal in Bangor, aye.

Hungover bouldering the next day was enjoyed by few but the bitter temps at the Cromlech made it all to easy to slink off back to the Cott....only after flashing a V5 might I add. Getting back home and feeling ashamded at being so lazy I headed off to Tryfan to do the Wrinkled slab, a decent SCG3/Mod route up the west face leading to the summit. Was a tad icey and frozen on the ascent and descent, but was worth it as no one else was around (something that's pretty rare on a clear day) and felt satisfied with my weekend for the first time in a while.

Back to the ming weather now though. Hopefully a weekend in Scotland and some more paddling will do the trick and keep my levels of motivation up! Im sure they will!

Some pictures for your perusal.
Rhoscolyn with weather how it should be!

Carnedd Dafydd aircraft wreck from 1944 

Sunset off Tryfan on an icy evening scrambling 

Duncan mid-way down off Snowdon during our pleasant 2hour jaunt

Monday, 9 January 2012

All I Wanted for Christmas was Winter....Fuck you Santa.

Taking a trainee instructors role in North Wales I hoped that the last two years snow fall and freezing temperatures would continue and give me at least a couple of Welsh winter routes in the bag by the time I headed home for Christmas. But alas it wasn’t to be with driving rain and high winds characterising our winter through December. So planning ahead I got myself and a friend organised for a trip up north to Scotland for some education on becoming squalor proof following on from last winters trips.

It wasn’t to be however with the early Scottish conditions disappearing with sky rocketing temperatures across Scotland and as only 2 days possible climbing would be gained I stay home and did battle with the shite weather, mostly by drinking and seeing old friends.

Managing to get only 4 days out climbing in 3 weeks if fucking shocking especially as they were all rock days- no ice to speak of! Unheard of for me- particularly in the last few years. Its pretty depressing really and the only thin making me not top myself is…. Laziness probably because this ‘winter’ is actually looking that bad!

Driving back north to the Cott today I was surprised at how down I was feeling, Ive had a few phases of being very down just before Christmas but that was to do with feeling useless and lost mostly. And I guess it’s the same now, if I cant go climbing and often go for days without seeing friends or speaking to anyone but myself what the fuck am I doing here. Im here to work my balls off and get as much personal and leader experience as I can over the next few months. So my New years resolution is to firstly GO BIG or GO HOME! And secondly to treat this opportunity as I did when I first got to North Wales and do everything I possibly can to have fun and go to bed at the end of everyday tired from exertion not essay writing.

Boom. So Happy New Year everyone and hopefully the next posts you read will be of adventures come what my regarding the bollocks British Weather. Either that or ill divulge some of my Christmas antics involving golf.

For now enjoy some pictures from the festive period and a video a friend made of our trip to Frankenjura in the summer.

On Khartoum (E2 5a - but could have been F9a for all it mattered as none of the rock where i am in this picture was stuck to anything else, it was like trying to swim up overhanging weetabix....not ideal)

Ian abseiling into Ogmore for his first fun times experience

Rob on a F6a+ at Portland (Consumme)

Frankenjura from Michael Bamford on Vimeo.