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New video

30 Apr 2008

Its a tricky time at the moment.  I've been planning my MIA days for the next 3 months, getting blown off the Kentmere Horseshoe in the Lakes and I'm unable to shake off the gritstone bouldering bone, when really its time for routes.  Yesterday morning I found myself at Stanage on my own at 9am in glorious sunshine.  However my body won't do what my mind is telling it to.  I'm swapping between projects and now I'm doubting whether either one will actually go down.  First its rainy and cold and now its warm and wet and managing my multiple tasks isn't easy.  I'm really holding out that motivation wins overall.  We'll have to see.  Anyway I felt the need to wallow in past glories so here is a video of Cubbys Lip, which I did early this year.  Its a million miles from a 'cool' bouldering vid but I guess it sums me up: keen, obsessed and a bit stupid.

No sign of Spring in Snowdonia

16 Apr 2008

Janet with Cwm Idwal in the background 

I thought my tulips were taking a while but Spring flowers in North Wales are a long way off.  When Janet and I travelled down to Snowdonia on Sunday night we confused some snow for an interestingly shaped cloud.  I realised I've been trapped in my world of what conditions are like at Stanage and have been oblivious to the wonderland out there in the wilds.

The aim of the trip was for me to begin my scramble practice in preparation for the MIA assessment.  The night before in the pub we were put off by locals' advice that ice axes and crampons would be needed on our chief objective Bristly Ridge.  So we scuttled off south of Snowdon to Nantlle Ridge on Monday.  This is named as a grade one scramble in the book and is in fact an incredible ridge traverse taking in rocky obstacles and perfectly curved grassy banks overlooking the sea and Snowdon's lesser seen rear view.  18km later we arrived back at the car having saved a lamb stuck on the wrong side of a fence and full of colour schemes taken from nature to apply to our houses.

Tuesday we headed for Ogwen and tackled Milestone Buttress Approach, where my rope weaved around flakes and through slings and Janet followed the traversing challenges.  My rope seemed rather slippy with the neat coils around my fingers regularly losing their shape.  Janet's knees wobbled slightly on one difficult step but we successfully reached the top.  At least Janet said she felt safe despite my sloppy ropework.  I'm not sure what Janet made of my suggestion to descend via the wet and uninviting Milestone Gully but I've got be able to deal with down as well as up.  Janet actually had little choice in the matter.  Of course she enjoyed it really, I think.