The wet season

Every UK climber knows that pre-Christmas, is the wet season.

Well realistically every season can be the ‘wet season’, and I certainly remember Autumn/ Winter times that were wetter than this one, but having said that it’s still pretty wet.

Carefully balancing university commitments and climbing goals, this Autumn/ Winter has been one of indoor training and little climbing – but quality days taken dvantage of when they did come through.

For Stefan and I, returning to live in Nottingham with no car and a final year of university to contend with – was a bit of a shocker. No more casual evening cragging, no more walking distance boulders and as a result, a lot less opportunity to get out and get stuff done.

However, as foretold by the ancients and written in the holy book of the weekend warrior – you have to make the good days count.

When a clear, cold saturday morning rolls around, we’re up at 5, on the train for 6, and at the crag for 7/8am, loosing skin and wasting chalk on every piece of dry rock available. It’s been an interesting change of pace, and it certainly pays off to learn how to save yourself for the right conditions, the right day, and then give it 100% in your window of opportunity.

Here’s to a cold dry winter in 2015!

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Another unsuccessful trip to Burbage.

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Unimpressed by wet crags.

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The definitive 5.11 – Burbage South’s answer to Seperate Reality?

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Another night spent speculating the many choices of poor footholds on Deliverance (7B).

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Christmas spirit at Sheffield Train Station.

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“Stefan climbs the North face of Santa” – Graham Higgins

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Frictitious Fellows get back on the Grit.

It’d been a long and difficult year (with some minor relapses) but for the most part, we’d managed to stay entirely Grit-free. We’d spent the year having long days out in the mountains, edging in the slate quarries, clippin’ bolts by the seaside and heaving our guts out in America. What a year, what could possibly be missing?

No climber can resist the call of the slopey mistress.

God it’s good to be back.

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Back at Millstone for some high friction jams!

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Stefan pouting at the camera – Delectable Direct, Lawrencefield.

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Cherry fiddling in wires – Suspense, Lawrencefield

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Stefan trying The Storm (V8+) – Plantation

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Cherry falling off of The Storm (V8+), Plantation.

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Stefan flashing The Steep Traverse (V5) – Plantation

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Stefan on the tricky foot traverse of Deliverance (V8+), Plantation.

Brushing Deliverance

The Frictitious Fellows brushing Deliverance – in a vague attempt to accumulate more friction.

Triple D send bro!

“Sweet Triple D send Bro!” – ‘Ghetto Blaster’ Joe, Yosemite local

Below, we’ve put together a few of the little bits of video we managed to capture in Triple Direct.
In all honesty we hoped to capture alot more, but with only 1 working camera between the two of us and with rather more things on mind than taking pictures, we’ve really only skimmed the surface of the highlights (or lowlights) of what takes place on a big wall.

So find below, a short video that does no justice to what felt like the longest five days of our lives! (so far)

Right on.

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Captain Kirk and the One Day Enterprise

“Do you want to do leaning tower in a day?” was the question. An enthusiastic “yeah that would be cool!” was the reply.

That was all that constituted the brief exchange that, at 5 am the next morning, saw me perched on a narrow ledge in Yosemite Valley, belaying a head torch bobbing steadily higher and higher. On the past two walls that lamp would have been attached to Andy Cherry, but this time and quite unexpectedly, it was a Petzl Nao, fixed to the head of the man himself, Andy Kirkpatrick.

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The initial excitement of being offered the chance to climb with him gave way to nervousness that we might not be up to it, be too slow or just generally piss him off. By the second belay I feared this was exactly what was happening. We’d spectacularly cats-cradled the haul and lead lines together causing Captain Kirk to look down and questioningly state that he couldn’t move. Hasty apologies followed as AC and I scrambled to tidy up the mess, suggesting a multitude of solutions AC eventually told me to shut up and belay and he’d sort it. Soon enough we were well on our way, Andy K cruising through the first six pitches while we jugged and cleaned in his wake savouring the experience and, having finally worked out the climbing-as-a-three-system, quickly forgot the embarrassment of the tangle.

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While Cherry fired pitch seven – another steep roof on lots of flexing pegs – I sat and belayed in the sun. With AK as a thoroughly entertaining belay companion Cherry’s pitch flew by and Andy was soon smiling gleefully as he lowered me out into space for another airy and rather bouncy free hanging jug. After my pitch of a steep crack and another roof I mantled out the top bivvy ledge in the late afternoon sun, called that the lines were fixed and pulled out a cliff bar. Above me was the last pitch, below was the steepest wall in North America and in front was Yosemite Valley. I munched on the bar and felt awash with a warm glow.

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Cherry’s lower-out jibbers and the sound of rope scraping over a sharp edge brought me back to the moment, quickly redirecting the haul line to something less ruinous I waited for Andy and Andy to appear over their respective edges. We spent little time on the actual summit – it’s more of a ridge than a summit – and the ominously approaching thunderstorm made us all a bit keen to get down. 8 raps down a precariously loose gully popped us out at our previous night bivvy spot. Another half an hour and we were back in the car on south side drive gunning for the pizza deck.

Beyond our wildest expectations for the trip, we’d done a wall in under 12 hours with one of the people who’d originally inspired us to go to Valley. He even bought the pizza. What a dude.

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Climbing, particularily Big Wall Climbing, is a game of trust. We get by placing trust in our friends, our partners, our own strengths and occasionally – rusty pegs. Will that cam hold? Will they fall? Can I hold that? Can they do this?

It wasn’t hard for us to place trust in Andy. We’d read his books, followed his articles and been to his talks. We saw an opportunity to climb a bigwall with one of our heroes and we took it.
For Andy it was very different – he was climbing with strangers! Novices no doubt; perhaps idiots? For starters they sure as hell didn’t know how to untangle a rope. Andy took a leap of faith, and he placed trust in us. He wanted to get to the top of the leaning tower too, and when he handed us the reigns at pitch 6 he trusted us to get there.

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Less than an hour later, (definitely an aid climbing speed record for me) when my two climbing partners emerged at the top of pitch 7, both breathing heavily and exclaiming “f**cking hell that was steep!”, I felt as though I could stay on this wall forever, with these friends, playing this game.

Andy taught us more than just a few little Aid climbing and rope untangling lessons – he gave us confidence. He’d said “yeah, we can do it!” and together we had. He’d taught us that the crazy ideas are sometimes the best ideas.

We returned to the valley floor feeling stronger and more confident than ever despite the hunger and the fatigue. This trip was almost at an end but it seems like our Bigwalling adventures have just begun.

Where next? What next? And how many cans of coke will we need?

Smoke and Monkey Calls.

“Yeah yeah, we’ll take a load of water, a load of food and we’ll just climb nice and slow and bivy on the big ledges. It’ll be really chilled out!”

This was the Plan. A ‘chilled out’ ascent of the Washington Column with plenty of extra water, 5 easy pitches a day and big comfy bivy ledges along the way. In all fairness, the pitches were quite easy, there weren’t many of them, and the bivy ledges are absolutely luxurious – and scenic as hell! But you can never really ‘cruise’ up a big wall. It’s never gunna be relaxing, and it’s always going to be hard work!

In classic style we started the approach in the midday heat, moaned a bit, and then whipped up the first 3 pitches to get to the dinner ledge. ‘Great bivy for 6’ or, an absolute bivy mansion for 2! Stefan then lead and fixed the next two pitches in the inexplicably sudden and wild Yosemite valley wind, and we rapped down for a 3 course meal carefully prepared on the appropriately named ledge – each course with added grit (This time, a can of tea with powdered milk served as a sophisticated aperitif as surveyed the valley below).

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All this coincided well with a fairly substantial, 8000acre forest fire, which an ill-mannered bolt of lightning had started over the back of half dome. The Yosemite skies were punctuated with helicopters chopping to and from the fire, dumping fire crews and water. People were evacuated from half dome as the valley filled with thick smoke, and the air started to feel thin.

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Tea on the Dinner Ledge

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Cams, Cams, and more Cams!

When we woke up in the morning on the dinner ledge, we couldn’t see half dome, or glacier point. In fact, the smoke was so thick we could barely see anything about the valley, so we decided to crack right on and jug up to pitch 6. I’d barely started the Pitch when we heard monkey calls from just below us – Wall Monkeys!

Hooting, shouting, and rock music crept closer and closer until Joe and Dave – two eccentric and incredibly PSYCHED wall monkeys hit our belay. We were more than happy to let them past, pulling through on our gear. Joe – a gangly figure with long black hair and dressed almost entirely in tie-dye – fired through Pitch 6 and met me at the belay, swung two lockers of his harness, pulled through 20 metres of slack, tied off, shouted down to Dave, fist bumped me and then immediately began the thin crack above, clipping no gear with a 20 metre loop hanging underneath him. He seemed be falling upwards through his aiders, barely staying on the wall as he danced and sang along to the Jimmy Hendrix playing though the ghetto blaster clipped to his harness. About 5 minutes later, Dave jugged up to me, introduced himself, high fived me and then jugged right through.

These guys were pretty inspirational, not just in their speed and efficiency but in their total psyche for being on the wall, they were loving it! Music blasting, monkey calls at every belay. Being surrounded by smoke, helicopters and rock music made for a pretty awesome morning – “its like something out of a Vietnam war film!” – as we led neatly through the next few pitches – until pitch 8. Joe had given us a heads-up “dude the awesome hand crack is awesome, but the chimney kinda blows hard”. The topo gave us a heads-up too “Loose 5.8 chimney”.
It’s a 5.8 chimney, how hard can it be?

Not looking too impressed by the 5.8 Chimney

Andrew still maintains that this is the hardest thing he’s ever lead in Yosemite. Dragging a Yosemite rack and two ropes up the glossy chimney, backed with loose sandy blocks and offering little in the hope of solid protection was indeed as hard as it could be. This was just another one of Yosemite’s little ‘lessons’ for UK climbers. Unless you actively seek out loose, slick chimneys in the UK, and wriggle up them carrying everything you own – you may be surprised by how awkward and terrifying a pitch of 5.8 can be!

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This led quickly to the ‘Sandy cheese gully of death’ and then eventually what must be the best bivy so far, the Column summit. A full 360 view of Yosemite valley and all its famous rock formations, and a really cool cairn shaped like a little man. Someone had even stashed some extra water for us. We lay down and listened to a little 90’s rock (inspired by Joe and Dave) and more tinned peaches.

The Column was definitely a lot more accommodating than El Cap, but was not without its difficulties. The two are pretty dissimilar, and Washington column was quite a different experience, with a lot more chilling out, a lot more rock and roll, and a lot more sand.

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2nd Wall! STOKED!

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Heat, Hydration and Offset nuts on Triple Direct, El Capitan.

September in Yosemite seems to be hot, and dry. REALLY hot and dry.

Having booked into Camp 4 for just 3 nights, we had effectively forced ourselves to be on a ‘beginner wall’ such as Washington column, or at least doing something by the 4th night. A few words of advice from fellow British climbers, a chat with the Camp 4 ‘Wall Monkeys’ and an awe inspiring meadow sesh brought us a somewhat predictable decision – to get straight on it.

So come Thursday morning, we fixed the first 3 pitches of Triple Direct, a 29 pitch 5.9 C2 that runs parallel to the nose and joins it at around half height  for some classic steep features such as the great roof and the changing corners. Our reasons for choosing this over the nose as our first wall – despite the harder compulsory free-climbing and greater number of C2 pitches – were based on some recommendations from the YOSAR wall monkeys. Triple direct still scales the full height of El Cap, but misses some of the more fiddly starting pitches on the nose, avoids the queuing and traffic that can burden the lower half of the nose and provides you with a great big comfy ledge for your first night on the wall. A nice trade-off for a couple of slightly harder pitches, how hard can 5.9 really be anyways?

After a quick lift in the boot of a chevy with some friends we’d made in Camp 4, we began jugging our fixed lines on Friday morning around 7am, and proceeded to climb through C1 and C2 cracks, 5.9 face climbing, and around the awkward chimney crack of the Half Dollar, eventually arriving at the aptly named ‘Mammoth Terraces’ at pitch 10 just before dark. Cans of Stagg Chilli on the stove, music through the speakers, and a chilled out night already a 3rd of the way up El Cap. We were more than a little tired but super-psyched.

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Early on day 1

The next day was much harder. Longer, harder pitches followed straight off the mammoth terraces, the wall became more and more intimidating, climbing slowed down and hauling was difficult with muscles aching from the previous day. A lot of the free climbing was dispensed with as we were both just too tired from the previous days efforts. This was perhaps the common theme of El Cap, as it challenges you every day to keep trying hard, no matter how tired you are, and how hard you tried yesterday. Only 5 pitches higher as the sun began to sink behind the valley walls, Stefan shouted up “we’re going to have to get the ledge out at the next belay I think!” This was quickly followed by a few disheartening discoveries. – the next belay was a completely hanging stance – there was a knot in the middle of the haul line – The Portaledge hadn’t been checked before it was last packed away, and was tangled in a spectacular fashion.

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Ledge life, Mammoth Terraces

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Stefan traversing into the Nose on day three

Panic followed. But maybe this is the most important lesson you can learn from a Big Wall – panic gets you nowhere. When disaster strikes – knotted ropes, stuck haul bags, dropped gear, injured climbers etc , you have to keep calm, and recall on the skills you’ve learnt and the experiences you’ve had to overcome the problem and keep on climbing,

The Alarm went off at 5:30am and we woke up hanging in the portaledge, above pitch 15. We had 7 pitches to do that day, the first 4 traversing into the nose to join it under the great roof, and the rest leading us up to camp 5, an ‘okay bivvy for 2’. Despite feeling very tired now, the traverse pitches led smoothly and soon we’d led up under the great roof. It’s an incredible feature, and as you clip across the fixed tat under the roof and look down to see little marked out edges that some climbers use to free climb the pitch, you can’t help but think – “you f*cking heroes”.

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THE GREAT ROOF!

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Andy on The Pancake Flake

Arriving at the camp 5 ledge shortly before dark, we were relieved to have fulfilled our quota of pitches for the day, leaving us just 8 pitches from the top. We were not relieved however to see both the small size and sloping nature of the camp 5 bivvy ledge. With the sun already setting, we decided to forego the portaledge faffing and instead crack out some tinned pineapple slices and some gangster rap, and settle down for a night of continuously shuffling away from the edge that we were sliding towards. A great game indeed.

On the morning of Day 4, we could look up to see the lip of El Capitan. Spirits were pretty high, and by this point the nature of the climbing and the exposure of the wall have stopped being quite so intimidating.

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Getting stuck into changing corners, day 4

As you begin to understand El Capitan’s granite, and come to terms with the 1000 metres of air underneath you the – the climbing opens itself up a little, and we were allowed to climb quickly and steadily through the next few pitches, enjoying the steepness rather than fearing it.

Pitch 28, Nearly There

Pitch 28, Nearly There

Clipping from bolt to bolt through the roofs on the final bolt ladder certainly does feel heroic, and topping out in a perfect Yosemite Sunset was maybe the biggest treat we could have imagined. We dragged gear from the last belay to the El Cap tree, stood up on flat ground, took off our helmets and harnesses and cracked open a can of coke. Job done.

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Topout sunset

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Topout Psyche

We were covered in dirt, soaked in sweat, a fair few kilos lighter and quite badly dehydrated – but we’d done it. The Months of training and preparing had all paid off, the 100’s of pounds of big wall gear had all been invaluable in use, and the somewhat back-breaking effort we’d put into getting up the wall had indeed – gotten us up the wall.

The next day, after descending the eastern ledges with no water in the blazing sun, we burst into the El Cap picnic area, and begged a group of Russian tourists for water, they were rather intrigued and plied us with all the water melon and drinks we could get through our severely chapped lips.

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Scabbing water and food from Russian tourists

Returning to the valley, we both agreed we’d truly never been so tired. Your first big wall really breaks you down and takes all the effort you have to give, and then takes more. But through the sweat, smashed knuckles and lack of water it was worth it. We even got a high fives, bear hugs and a “Good Job!” from the YOSAR guys at El Cap bridge.

As we dumped our bags onto the El Cap Shuttle on Tuesday afternoon and stood infront of the air conditioning, the heavily moustached bus driver tipped his sunglasses and said “Did you get ‘er done?”.

It felt pretty surreal to say “Yeah, we did”. We’ve climbed El Capitan.

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Back in the Meadow

Valley Touchdown!

From Cherry’s mums house (all the greatest expeditions begin in the living room of someones mums house) to Birmingham New Street station, through to London Gatwick, flight to Dublin, transfer to San Fransisco, straight onto the Bay Area Rapid Transport system to Richmond, Amtrak train to Merced, a 3 hour nap on the living room floor of some Iranian mechanical engineers we met in a car park, and the 6am YARTS bus straight to the kiosk of the Legendary Camp 4.

It’s safe to say, we winged that one a little bit.

Walking through Yosemite valley is like walking through a Disney film, with blue skies, woodpeckers and squirrels surrounding you, and the constant reminder that if you leave a single crumb of food unattended for even a second, a Stealth-ninja-bear will swoop down and rip all your belongings to shreds.

Wired as we were, we jumped on the Yosemite Shuttle bus down to El Cap bridge, to go and have our retinas split open by the enormity of the Big Stone.

Allow me state the obvious for just a moment: It is BIG. It’s smooth, perfect granite that’s less intimidating and more majestic. Pictures of El Capitan are impressive but having it looming above you, warping perspective as you walk up to its base is totally mind blowing – and really warrants a little sit down to get over it.

Last minute cramming

If Big walling were an exam, then we’ve pretty much just sat done the equivalent of sitting up in a panic in the library the night before, downing energy drinks and writing the answers on our hands.

That’s not to say that we haven’t done plenty of practice in the last 6 months, but there’s something about the idea of your first big-wall trip looming over you as the flight dates get closer and closer – that creates a real sense of urgency.

Where else but the quarries again – this time returning to the the eerie, humming crater of Twll Mawr. It’s a big and quite intimidating place, continuously steep and littered with the noise of falling rock. Sharp, jagged slate flakes and edges, rotting slabs, and the familiar booms of Ian Lloyd Jones cleaning another new route with a sledgehammer.
We were here to do as many pitches as we could across the weekend, in true bigwall style. The main focus was on block leading and change-overs at Belay stations. Quote Leo Houlding “Avoid the clusterf*ck lads”.

I’d love to say that this ‘drill’ all went smoothly, filling us with confidence and leaving us gagging to get to Yosemite and smash out routes. But that just wouldn’t be realistic.
In the real world, you rarely ‘Smash’ things first go. Bags get stuck, people get frustrated, clusterf*cks remain unavoidable, things get dropped and ropes get cut. But amongst the many failures, lessons are learnt – lessons I’d much rather be learning now than 100 metres up El Capitan!

We’re still psyched out of our trees of course. That’s the funny thing about failure in climbing – it calls for a two-part reaction. For the first part, you can sulk as much as you like, blame the weather, or the rock, or your partner. But the latter part always follows, a renewed psyche to try harder, push further, and hold on longer. It’s a wonderful feeling, turning up for round 2, staring your nemesis in the eye and thinking ‘Not this time…’

We returned to Twll Mawr early the next morning, and continued our Big-wall drills, continued to deal with the clusterf*ck, and kept on keeping on.

Even if it takes us a week to get up anything in Yosemite, we’ll get up there in the end.

Yosemite Training – Part 3 from StefanandCherry on Vimeo.

The Summer time, when the weather is fine.

So it would seem that after being plagued through the Autumn and Winter with an atmosphere that was 90% water, the proper Summer has arrived, and its absolutely cleared the slate (no pun intended).

The days have been long, dry and warm – and so every day we’ve been out climbing, jamming, swinging and camming. It’s full  on Summer Trad season and time to spend as many hours as possible on rock getting confident, and getting psyched for Yosemite Valley.

 

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North Wales and DMM have been a central theme in all of our preparation and training. Without the places, the people, the advice, and the support we absolutely would not be able to go!

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DMM Dragon cams cams cams. This isn’t even half of them.

 

Like some sort of climbing equinox, DMM have given us a very generous amount of gear just in time with the good weather. Which means not only did we have the chance to climb and train, but we had the means aswell! Hugely psyched now, it seems like the dice are rolling in our favour in these months leading up to Yosemite.

Stefan:

Spring and early summer started really really well for me, getting out loads with Edmund in the week and once a month going to the Peak or Llanberis for six day sessions, returning ruined and with a satisfying feeling of getting loads done. We had an excellent midge infested trip to Malham, where I had a respectable tally of five 7a’s, two onsight, as well as getting agonizingly close on a 7b. Along with some great days at Millstone, the roaches and regular three star Pembroke routes everything was going great…

On Time For Tea, really fun route!

Time For Tea, really good fun!

 

That was until I wrote off my car driving home from work about a month ago. I stood in the road, dripping blood from my left hand, rang home and felt like a prize idiot. Apart from some glass in my hand and some painfully bruised ribs I was relatively unscathed.

 

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Crashed Clio

Trying very hard to take some positives from the crash I told myself, at least wouldn’t have to buy fuel anymore and I’d get fitter from having to ride everywhere.

I decided to end my  placement early and I am now spending August working for Henry Castle of Climb Pembroke, running climbing and abseiling sessions on the beach in Tenby.

In a way, its been nice to have a month off. It’s very rare I get so injured that i have to properly take time off, Which pisses off Andy (who gets injured all the time) no end!  But spending time researching other trips, reading up on the routes we’re thinking of and trawling through the new ‘Yosemite Big Walls’ guide  has got me itching to just get out there and get on it!

..and I’m a lot fitter than when I had a car, as well as getting pretty handy at baking things..

 

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Cherry:

I’ve been in a blind panic for about 3 weeks now.

Ever since Paul, my manager said “5 weeks till you go now!”, I’ve been hurling myself at every route I wanted to try and every crag I wanted to visit this year. But its just not enough time! I haven’t climbed on cloggy, I haven’t fallen off the rainbow, and I’m starting to think I’ll never actually do Spong. 

 

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Mad Dogs of the West

 

If I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll ever get through even half of my North Wales wishlist – it’s just a  by-product of living here! You go out with one route in mind, and you come home with two more.

 

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Aid climbing Somewhere between the corner of PainKiller and the newly Established ‘Black Gates’.

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Back down underneath the Painkiller after ripping a 00 cam out!

 

I’ve managed to squeeze in a fair bit: Shouting in surprise at the top of Cracked Up, shaking with nerves on the onsight of Dinorwic Unconquerable, getting well and truly stuck inside Fear of Infection, getting pumped every 10 seconds on The Strand, unloading my entire rack into Cenotaph Corner, wearing all the clothing I own on Dinas Mot, ripping ancient protection out of Weasels Rip my Flesh, sinking FAR too much time into the Cromlech Roadside boulders, and Parisellas cave, throwing myself headfirst off a whole host of the routes far too hard and scary for a punter to be throwing himself on in the first place!

As the time closes between now and Y-DAY, I’m going to keep plugging away, revelling in the unique heaven of North Wales summer, ticking off and falling off my training routes. But when the day comes, I’ll be mighty sad to lose the magic place! 

North Wales… I’ll be back for ye.

 

Bloody chilly on the mot

Bloody chilly on the Mot

Being ripped by Weasels!

Cherry header

Climbing is a sport that’s incredibly mentally involved.  That’s not to say of course that other sports aren’t – but climbing can sometimes require you to make some very risky decisions, very quickly and quite often throws you towards the consequences of your actions, at an acceleration of 9.8m/s squared.

I stood sprawled across the rock, in balance but in trouble, a few metres above the last peg. I looked right and struggled to make out a sequence, I looked left and struggled the same. I’ll go left. Will I? yeah I’ll go left. I’m so close to that thread anyways.

I opened my eyes about 3 seconds later. “Yeah I’m fine – my whole body is buzzing!”.
Where am I though? I can smell grass.
“I think you snapped that peg cherry, look here it is”

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A fair example that these old rusty pegs can’t always be trusted

 

Ah yes that was it. I had been a few metres above the last peg on Weasels Rip My Flesh (E4 6a) and had opted to take the short and reasonably safe-looking fall onto it. Evidently it hadn’t gone as planned, and I’d shortly joined Darren back on the ground. I sat up and check my head, arms, legs – all fine! Just a little bit bruised.

I must admit that taking a  ground fall like that dashed my confidence a fair bit. Since taking a month break for a knee injury, I’d been really psyched to jump straight onto the many trad routes I’d been putting off this year, equipped with stronger fingers and more experience. But here I was, right at the beginning of my ‘summer tick-fest’ sat at the bottom of one of those routes with a broken peg in my hand and few holes in my jeans. It can really stifle your confidence if you’re knocked off your horse early on. It would have been nice to come back firing on all cylinders, but I seemed to have stalled at the first junction.

At times like this, it is best to exercise a little bit of perspective. This is one route, on one day, at one crag. If you let your failures chip away at you, they will steal from your future experiences. I was lucky to be able to walk away from this one unscathed, and be given the opportunity to get back on the horse. Climbers cannot always expect that their training will bring them directly to their goals. Training is just one of the cards you must hold in your hand!

 

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Cherry eyeing up the upper section of the classic slate crack – The Dinorwig Unconquerable (E3 5c)

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Thankful for the gracious overlap in the Dragons camming ranges, many cams were still ‘shuffled’ up to fill this perfect splitter!

For me, getting back on the horse was conquering The Dinorwig Unconquerable. I won’t bang on about it as much as I definitely could, but I will say that the thin jams above skiddy cams gave a memorable crack lesson. I was incredibly happy to onsight this (although I did have a little bit of an idea having belayed James on it) and tick another big name off my Big British crack list. BRING ON THE GLASSY GRANITE!

 

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