Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Recent exploits and events, could even call it training!

Well, now the dust has settled after a heavy couple of days i thought i'd reflect back on the recent events and exploits of the 2 young guns of the expedition, John and Tom.

Tom and Hamish beneath Cloggy, Jubilee follows the left to right groove on the wall behind them
With snow on the ground in Bangor it was simply a sign from the winter gods that lectures should be missed and climbing should be the order of the day. Tom made his way down, in typical student fashion, and successfully hitched to North Wales from the Lakes on the Friday, and met with myself and a third, Hamish Dunn, for some weekend winter antics.

Tom starting up the crux pitch, we reckoned about VI, 6.

6.30am and the alarm was off and the day had begun. The days objective was Jubilee climb on the imposing cliffs of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, a 'grade 5' mixed masterpiece which gave us plenty of scope for lots of swearing and a large doss of faff. With Tom's early departure from the very first move (he moved both his axes at once, silly sod) the tone for the day was set. The first pitch went smoothly 2nd go, but then was the 'ard bit, a innocuous looking corner some 50m long, it was Tom's lead again. After a superb wack Tom returned to the belay from the crux and the honours went to Hamish, who, after some impressive power grunts and expletives, powered up the crack and onto the sanctuary of the belay. 2 pitches in 4 hours isn't bad going....?! With light fading it was time to abseil away and save the route for next time, we returned to the ground in high spirits and started to plod out (after 4/5hours of belay duty John's feet weren't much use so it was back to power walking). This lasted a good 5 Min's or so as we came across a rescue incident. After another 3 hours sat in the snow, we had 2 rescued casualties, 1 dead body, 3 knackered climbers, and 2 fucking cold feet! But we did at least get to ride in a chopper for free! Eventually got to bed at 1am or so.

Just after the casuality was lift to hospital.....knakcered!

Sunday was a day of rest and reflection, all three of us were pretty wiped out after Saturday's antics, minds were racing and everything ached. Not to mention on small uni room full of 3 guys wet kit!

The climbing snowman? Spindrift was pretty bad by the time i topped out!

By Monday is was definitely time for more full bodied abuse, so we plodded in to the Black Ladders, this time accompanied by rock-jock George Ulrich, even he couldn't resist the lures of welsh winter . Hamish and I made a B-line for the uber classic Western Gully (V,6), whilst Tom and George didn't want to wait, so raced up Icefall Gully Left-hand (IV,4) instead. Western Gully was superb, we include all the direct options (did this by accident, as we were following Steve Long and Chris Parkin!) and definately got good value for money. The honours went to Hamish who beasted up the harder pitches with minimal fuss, including the infamous crux slab, which was said to be in tech 7 condition!!! Not bad for a grade IV cold climb?! The car was reached just as it got dark, so not a wasted second, even managed to get Tom to his train on time....just.

Hamish on the direct finish to Western Gully (V,5)

By Tuesday the team had wittled down to just Hamish and I, after an alpine start (9.30am wake up) we headed to Idwal and ran up the Screen (IV, 4). A nice little route to end an awesome couple of days. Bring on the rest of the winter, just without the rescues please!
Cheers for now,

1 comment:

  1. I would just like to mention that this so called 'training' was in no way endorsed or supported by Sam or Miles. Specificaly 'training' and more genrally exercise is the work of the devil an should never be undertaken for any reason. FACT.