As far as trad climbing goes North Wales is the land of milk and honey. What better venue then for perhaps the greatest single gathering of rock stars on the face of the planet. Friends from far and wide hitched, hiked and stumbled to the epicentre of British rock climbing for a long weekend under the flimsy pretence of birthday celebrations for yours truly. Unfortunately Chris Sharma couldn’t make it, though he did send a lovely fruit basket, and Jonny G was coring into the centre of the earth for some fresh rock to crush so he was busy too. The usual crowd (Robbo, Rach, Tom, Dan, Helen) turned up at George and Sam’s place in Bangor at various points over the weekend…..their house is your typical shithole but is certainly not lacking in character.
I’ve not got any photos from the trip by the way so, with it in mind that i myself can’t read without the aid of some pics, i’ll restrict this little entry to just some short pulses of info.
Friday: Went to Holyhead Mountain with Robbo, too much wind and not enough of a rack meant we missed out on the full Gogarth experience, which was a ball ache as that place ROCKS. Had a late start cos we were lazy so only managed about 4 routes. Robbo went a-classic-tickin’ with some solid onsights of King Bee Crack (uber-HVS) and Breaking the Barrier (E1), whilst i managed to gurn my way up Bran Flake (PUUUUUUMMPY E2) and give it boar on Snakebite Wall (E4 – used to get E5 but….THERE’S. JUST. NO. WAY. IT. IS). Got pissed back at G’s.
Saturday: Group sesh on the Cromlech after another late start (damn alcohol!!) and managed to squeeze in the classic Cemetery Gates (the easiet E1 you’ll do) with extra style points going to Mr B Robinson for his lovely homemade harness – quite how he managed 2 weeks multi-pitching in the Alps without one i’ll never really know (swami belt for El Cap??). Dropped Robbo and the dame back at the train station then boosted for an evening sesh at North Stack Promontory where i managed to get a quick choo-choo on The Long Run (E5 – a kind of wierd flash as i’d 2nd’d it a few months before but a different way….if that makes sense??), before trying to 2nd the Ullrich in the dark after his pretty much moonlit onsight of Wreath of Deadly Nigthshade (E6/7)…..THIIIIINNN. That lad’s going places.
Sunday: Piss wet through….EVERYWHERE. Went down the Indy Wall for about 6 hours. Happy times. Sacked it to Llandudno for a night at the theatre. Had a watch of ‘Inglourious Basterds’ that is some funny shit! HIGHLY recommended for some ace acting. Quite dark though!!
Monday (yesterday…obviously): ANOTHER late start, weather was PERFECT. Toyed with the idea of Gogarth but settled for the lazier option of slate. Hooked up with Sam at Vivian and had a healthy days’ climbing, managed my first hardcore onsight…..Flashdance (E5 – quality hooking) before Sammy did the business on Comes the Dervish (E3 – one of my all time favourites). Shick + a = ding! Really awesome day, always a pleasure climbing with young Samwise. He’s a positive mo-fo. Ice cream from the best ice cream parlour in the UK and a pint of tea, then off home…sporting a gaffered wing mirror after some little schemey let his/her fat-fuck-probably-pregnant-teenage-cunt-of-a-girl/boyfriend lean on it to snapping point (at least that’s what i assume happened).
Done. That’s probably it for my outdoor climbing until the States (in just 4 and a half weeks….via Australia) though it’d be good to squeeze another short trip in up in Wales….got a list as long as a piece of string chock full of routes to get scared on. Climbing’s fun again!!