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Back to basics

23 Jun 2008

Once again another classic route that I'm beginning to think missed my radar the first time round: Christmas Curry (with the Micah finish), HS at Tremadog.  I just can't remember if I've done it before.  If there's one benefit to this weekly commute to Wales, its that I'm rediscovering Wales and seeing it through other people's virgin eyes.  Last week I led up Christmas Curry, fixed a line and jumared next to Jamie and Dom as they led up it.  Seeing their thrill of completing such a route is, I guess, the reason teaching climbing is so rewarding.  Used to climbing in Yorkshire on single pitch crags, this day at Tremadog, was their first experience of multi-pitch climbing.

Dom, Jamie and Fergus

Personally, every time I return to Sheffield from Wales at the moment I end up in a pile, huddled over my computer and struggling to focus my mind on pushing myself above wires.  So I've settled for clipping a few (there are only about 4 in each route) bolts in Cheedale.  I can recommend a small, but perfectly formed 7c called Lightweight.

"Scramble when you're ready"

10 Jun 2008

Its been a busy time since my last post, but then I'm always busy.  Some things never change.  I started off with a return to trad with a few rusty edges, one of the main ones being how to follow British trad route descriptions.  Maybe we just like to be quirky and it just adds something to the experience, I'm not sure.  Nic and I did the The Grooves (E1) on Cyrn Las, Llanberis Pass.  Why the book doesn't just say follow the main groove, I don't know.  Classic and traditional route though - very good fun.

I managed to dust off Our Father (E4) at Stoney Middleton, a skeleton from many years ago but this time I stuck the reach at the top.  Its good to know you've improved a bit over the years.  Lucy Creamer and I headed to High Tor, always a favorite, but I've yet to catch it there on a cool day - its so stupidly hot there in the sun.  We did Nightmare of Brown Donkeys (E3) when we meant to do Laurin (my fault), but the other one is crap anyway by the looks of things.  However Decadence, a traversy E4 at the right hand end of the crag, is seriously worth a visit.  Here is Lucy on the second pitch.

Lucy Decadence E4 High Tor

Meanwhile, in between fiddling in wires, I've been trying to do bits of work and of course, as you do, rescuing my rucksack.  In fact last Friday was my first successful rescue of someone (or rather something) falling off on a traverse.  It must have been a funny sight as I set up a series of runners, my belay and then tugged off my new rucksack, poor thing.  Anyway mission accomplished, up she came with my successful hoisting system.  Rather worryingly Nic is particularly keen to be an injured rucksack too, so he'll be the next victim.  He is being very supportive of all my strange goings on at the moment.

Especially supportive when it comes to scrambling.  People have literally been laughing in my face at the suggestion of going scrambling.  To be honest, a year ago i might have done the same, but on Sunday I did my best scramble yet and really people just don't know what they're missing.  As Jonny Dawes commented on Saturday night 'gosh aren't you being modern', maybe he's right.  Is scrambling the next big thing?  Chasm Face, Glyder Fach.  Do it, you won't be disappointed.  As Nic and I squirmed through the mountain, literally, making lots of huffing and puffing noises, I'm sure we were the envy of all the rock climbers on the front of the face.