Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Craig y Longridge -Quack!

Happy New Years! This is my new years goody, although its not the best video in the world it nevertheless took a long time to actually edit, every minute equating to an hour of editing! Once again, click on the vimeo icon itself to se it in its high definition glory.

I wish you all the best for the new year!
Love Jamie x

Craig y Longridge - Quack! from Jamie Maddison on Vimeo.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Back Up North Once More!

Yep that right, Im back up north at me dads for New Years. It also means I have a chance of getting some real climbing (well bouldering as I left my ropes back in Cardiff) done this holiday no freezing ice and snow nor any crappy bridge climbing! I already had a play at Craig Y Longridge this afternoon although the freezing weather meant the visit was pretty short!  After a brief warm up I jumped back on my project the Ascent of Man which is apparently a V2 (English 5c), something I don't believe for one second! Since my dad moved here I've been working Jacob's Ladder on and off ; it is used to get to the start of Ascent and only meant to be V0, but I still can't get it! Although at least with this latest session I've actually figured out how to do the next move, something which stumped me the two other times I've been here! I'll be heading back down soon, armed with my new video camera to show you all how bloody frustrating this route actually is!

Incidentally, from a bit of background research on 
I found out that the route I sent half a year back that I initially thought was Seven A (V3) then had doubts whether it was actually Wobblebottom (V2) was in fact Seven A all along! How come I can do font 6a, or V3 at one end of the this crag and not be able to do V0 at the other! 

It makes no sense!

Friday, 26 December 2008

Boxing Day Bridging, In HiDef!

(To view in High Definition double click on the movie and it should take you to the Vimeo video page where you can select to watch it in HD, It is definitely worth it!)

Boxing Day Bridging from Jamie Maddison on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


So we set off to Scotland! Once more to climb those snow filled corries. To battle bravely with the elements that will so persistently try and dick us in the A. 
What a silly trip it was to be!

Mat eagerly looks out of the window whilst Olly dreams of perfect conditions, or maybe the first idea of Rape has twinkled into in his subconscious.

Lois on the other-hand passes the time by pretending to be Gollum for the amusement of the rest of the Bus. 

Meanwhile Mat practices his modeling. 

Even after many, many, hours on the bus, Lucy is still brimming with enthusiasm! 
Crazy girl!

The first walk-in! And there's snow, lots and lots of snow!  
Never-mind getting up at 05:00 just to be here.

But thats not to say the conditions are good, in fact they are wank, wankyity wank wank. Thigh deep snow banks slow progress, the rock has now ice just a smattering of powder. 
Its rubbish!

"well that was fun" 
Drinking hots chocolate in the Ski lodge Cafe 
Contemplating the 'interesting' day we had just had up on the hill.

So what do we do instead? 
Go to Loch Ness.
Sarah loves it!

In fact we all do...

...Even jess, and she's a little slow. 

Owens not slow, he believes in Nessie.

But Sarah can't find him. 

So Nikki jumps in
Hoping her Albino legs will lure the monster out of hiding. 

Giving up the search, we all go jumping!

But Flash is the best.

Oh wait the weather is wank... again. 
Lets go for a walk says Lois, 
Lucy seems surprised...

... When we find waterfalls.

"Oh wait, what is that over there?!" 

Trees, wet trees. Thrilling. 

130mph gust close the roads
CUMC is forced to spend even more time in close proximity to one another! 
I think we went a bit mad.

Can anybody see mark's mustache? 

'Randy can't see no mooostache. He don't kindly to strangers'

'So watch uurrself or you'll have to meet my friend Earl...'

...and the rest of the Gang. 

Alright one last climb. My third route of the trip.

Another one?


Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Climbing was Easy.

This video below is the work of my journalism module About Photographs inspired and supervised by digital story teller Daniel Meadows. In this module one had to find a participant you have never met before and tell a interesting story in their life to the backdrop of old photographs taken by the participant. My participant (found on UKC) was called Rob Ward an old school climber currently living in LLandaff. Over a series of interviews I learned much about his climbing career and his life in a period of intense climbing he undertook in years 1970-74. There was so much that could have been said about him it was unbelievable; the difficulties lay in firstly cutting a story together into just over two minutes long, and secondly making the story interesting and understandable to non-climbing viewers. 

As the story began to take shape, it took on a bigger, more introspective role. Transcending the story about Rob returning to the alps (thirty four years after he first set out), to become a narration of the attitudes and spirits of climbers themselves. It analyzed how different the world of climbing has become in 30 odd years; how everything about the sport has changed and how Rob and I have climbed in two different world. In spite of this, one can identify the same spirit, the same yearning and the same passion in both Rob and I, regardless of the vast wastes of time that separate us. Ultimately the film tries to encapsulate the indefatigable essence of climbing, that which doesn't change with the times and fads. It tries to understand  why  we took up this passion that has consumed our lives. Whether it has been successfully or not, I leave to your judgment.

Climbing was easy.
The years before-
-I knew. 
back then.

Is it easy now?
or hard.
Do I feel the same-
-as they once did?

Do I act the same?
The Ghosts-
A World apart from Me.

Memories of actions-
-once done.

I don't remember. 

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Quarry XI, Mount Pleasant

The club had a meander into the valleys today, up to Mount Pleasant to have a look at the new crag that the South Wales Bolt Fund have been equipping. It certainly is interesting. Upon arrival through the woodland one is greeted by a huge grassy (and pristine) amphitheatre which stretches away a full 30, separated by two tiers. It is obvious that the routes have seen little traffic and are still largely off the radar as a good venue due to recentness of the development. Consquently, there are swathes of the place that are covered in supsect holds and the climber has to be quite wary (unless you 're mat of course) on what they are cranking on. The routes were generally quite good and relatively easy, making the venue ideal for those wanting to progress onto leading outside. The upper tier is generally slabby in nature and it is a real pleasure to climb on, searching for hidden but always super positive holds. Heather and I climbed together today, making fast progress through the entirety of the upper tier with 7 onsights apiece on 5 - 6a routes. The only route we had a bit of trouble on was Monkey Stole My Face (6a+... apparently), which had a super crux on it that thwarted all those that climbed it. I eventually aided through and found the rest of the route a doddle, around 5ish in grade. Heather was a bit more determined than I and after a few rests got the section without aiding. Good Work! On the injury side, mat managed to touch the floor from the third bolt when a hold popped (silly billy), I sliced my finger in two cranking of a crimp and Jack managed to pull down a kitchen sink sized boulder straight down onto his shoulder (poetically written!) So yeah injuries galore! I think the place just needs a bit more traffic- which I'm sure it'll get - before it becomes another awesome venue!

 I have taken a little bit more movie footage of the crag, once more with my trusty camera phone! So hopefully this will show a little better the true nature of the crag.

For records sake I'll also record the other climbs done, as they have not yet been put on UKC and I can't be bothered to write them up on the site yet! 
32. Project (5)
Rhondda Tan (5) 
Steroid Vest (6a) (excellent! **) 
Back to Black (6a)
Johnny Bionic (6a)
Slabadabadoo (5+)
Fisting The Night Away (5+)
Monkey Stole My Face (6a+/6b) 

Monday, 1 December 2008

North Wales

What a weekend! I have just got back from one of the best weekend away I have had with the club in a long, long time! The drive up was long and for the most part boring, that was until we came round a corner to be confront by a head on crash between two cars that had happened just moments ago. Luckily nobody was injured, but one of the cars proceeded to go up in flames! By the time the fire brigade had arrived the whole car was a inferno that took several minutes to put out. We kept on edging back and back down the road though, split between wanting to have a better look and not wanting to have the thing explode in our faces; as it turns out (rather disappointingly I might add) burning cars don't explode; stupid films giving the wrong impression! They just burn, very very well. A few hours later and we were at the hut, which is very nice and swanky with alpine style beds for us all to sleep on. I don't remember much about this night, except trying out lots and lots of different climbing problems on the beams and beds. This all stopped when I jumped from the bed to the beam and flip landing square on my back! Ouch! 

The next day half of us got a lie in as we were going to the Inter-Wales competition, whilst the others got up at the crack of dawn to go winter climbing. The lie in was truly nice seeing as I've been getting up rather early these past few weeks to do work. Then after a quick walk to the shop in the beautiful crisp winter morning that was North Wales, we all bundled into the minibus and set off for the climbing wall. I was definitely jealous of all the people doing scotland training though, the whether was brilliant!  All around us, we were surrounded by these beautiful snow capped mountains; I just wanted to go and run up them and try and find some winter climbing to be had! But we were to be stuck in the competition for most of day and so turned out minds to winning this comp. I did pretty goddamn awful in this competition t has to be said, scoring a measly 75 out of 250. I knew I did bad, I could feel that I wasn't in the right mind set, every attempt of a problem something went wrong, mainly because I was rushing it in my head. Too aggressive, too tense, I didn't let the sequences flow, just threw myself angrily at the wall.  But never-mind, at least our teams did well! Heather winning 3rd place in the women's competition and our first team coming 4th overall. 

That night, after a few hours messing around at the hut, we went to the bouldering comp party at a local pub with a hog roast!... That cost four pounds (not on your life). Olly, Tom and I also got called cheeky for drinking our last cans of foster outside the pub. Naughty, Naughty! The pub overall was fun; it turned out that I had broken a Bangor student's wrist whilst playing rugby against him in Font, woops! He seemed quite alright about it... luckily! Though his friend said he was mightily pissed off at the time, having to drive one handed to the hospital to get it checked out! And then I managed to accidently punch a girl in the face whilst imitating an over the head Ice-axe placement. (*cringes*) But apart from my bouts of clumsiness the rest of the night passed quite amicably. Oh and Johnny Dawes was in the pub!

The next day we woke up earlier. After a lot of faffing, arguing and cleaning we left the hut and headed for our last day of climbing. One bus went to the slate quarries for a crimpy day of fun, whilst the other minibus went into the mountains. Half went up a grade one scramble, whilst the others went up a grade three. I, equipped with marks size-to-small boots, went up the grade three and it was truly stunning! I even managed to use the ice axe a bit at the end in a Scottish II (ish) gully. But you can see a lot of this in the movie below so I won't endeavor to explain in any  more detail. 

After this gully, we summited the smaller subsidiary high point (we couldn't be bothered to walk to the summit) and then made our way down a boring ridge line that seemed to go on forever! An hour later we arrived back at the road, I grabbed a cup of tea and waited for everyone else to turn up, which they all did in due time. Then we hopped onto the bus and made our way back to Cardiff. It took a long time and it turns out my big toenail had gone black from the pressure in mark's boots and was extremely painful for the rest of the journey! 

And that was pretty much it! You will have to excuse the boring way that I have written this account, I feel I should be doing real work at this current moment, not some arty messing around with a blog! So I have written quickly what best I have recalled from this trip; hopefully if I have more time in the week I can develop something a bit more interesting for you all to read! I hope you have enjoyed it anyway! Hopefully see you all (well CUMC at least) at the pub tonight! 


Extreme Peaks...

I've finally been published! I am now a proper journalist, woo! Well alright not really. To most of people who read this blog this is probably old news seeing as I was running round telling and texting everyone last week about it, however I have also been very stressed with my dissertation and haven't found the time to post up on the blog at all until today and so all you onliners might not of heard anything at all about it!

So for those of you who haven't heard, I was published in the latest edition of Cardiff University's flagship supplement Quench, which I have included in a scanned form of the article for you to have a read. Dedicated readers of my blog (cough* Ryan *cough) will have already ready read it as it was published several months back on this sight. But it is worth having another look as there description of me and the Facile we were on is hilarious!

Right now to write lots and lots about North Wales! Remember guys, Live life on the Edge, Jamie Madsison sure does! 

I can't seem to get it to appear as a thumbnail so please just follow this link to see the article:

Saturday, 22 November 2008

5 HVS's in A Day! Only at Trebanog.

Today was a good day, despite the inclement weather and the small numbers. Once again we went to Trebanog, (if anybody can think of a different trad crag that has an easy number of trad lines and is in the Valleys be my guest!) and it was surprisingly dry! With only a little bit of seepage to spoil the otherwise pristine walls (I exaggerate). The first route I tried was a solo of Jaffa Buttress HVS 5a, which Olly had soloed last time he came to the crag. Damn him and his lanky arms, I got halfway up it on solo and could see exactly what he had done, with long arms one could reach from the good side pull straight to the top out. But I couldn't reach that far! And so after calling for someone to put me on belay (I had tied the ropes to my harness prior to the solo) I placed an 'meh' size two and ran through two shit intermediate pulls until I could reach the top which was sopping wet! Definitely and 'ergh I'm going to fall' moment then! Anna then seconded me up it.

Once anna had finished the route she went off to the help the freshers with a bit of an explanation about belays at the top. I on the other hand ran down to the bottom to have a look at the next climb I wanted to do whcih was called 20 B & H And A Packet Of Rizlas Please, HVS 5a which was an interesting onsight route. Basically it was a run-up a vertical wall to a lip which bulged into a slab above it with an easyish finish. The crux was going over the lip, but the main problem was hanging around on the crimps under the bulge trying to place gear that just wasn't there. Whilst all the prospective belayers were elsewhere I got bored and started up climbing, trying to place gear and then reversing the moves back to the floor; Tiring stuff! And then I ran up my Wild Country size 4 cam to what I thought would be an adequate placement (it wasn't) and went to place it only to find the bloody thing had broken! The pulley for the trigger had snapped on one side, and it was my favorite cam! argh! Mercifully it didn't break whilst placed in the rock as I would never had got the fucker back otherwise!

Once the belayers came back, this time Duncan, I prepared for the lead of what I thought was going to be a hard HVS. It wasn't. Well it was... sort of. It a very difficult one to judge as I half headpointed it. I think it probably does warrant the HVS grade, but only just. It was a good fun route though, with the exception of Mick's Little Viper the best HVS at the crag. Duncan at this point lead another HVS round the corner called Playing Away and the girls were trying a severe next to Jaffa Buttress. Bored with waiting about, I tried my hand on the ivy covered Howell's Arete Right HVS 5c, a 6 metre solo above the brambles. I onsighted it but only just, as the top of the arete was covered with bracken and there was some very scared, very ungraceful thrutching on my part trying to grab a tree that hopefully wouldn't come out in my hand and hurl me back onto the brambles and broken glass below! Then for some reason I did the HVS solo Howell's Arete HVS 5a on the other side of the arete. This one was smaller, but also wetter!

I played on the E2 6c, but couldn't move off the mono side pull so gave up. It has the same tech grade as Indian Face though so I don't feel too bad. Then as the last route of the day I on-sighted Penultimate HVS 4c which was technically easy but a bit bold, a cam at just below half height and a shit nut that popped just above it. the holds were also quite friable and I thought some of them were going to peel straight off when I weighted them!

5 routes concluded, I lay back on the bouldering mat I had been lugging to the bottom of all these routes (just incase I fell!) and watched the others do there first leads of their life with a nice sunset over the the wind turbines, how lovely. Then I realized we were in Trebanog and it was fucking freezing so went home.
The End

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bouldering Training.

Unfortunately this week, my literature review of my dissertation has been overruling all my available free time and so there has been precious little to report on climbing-wise I'm afraid. I really wish to go back to my bouldering crag! And its been good weather! But alas all I have managed to do this week is manage two sessions at the indoor wall. In light of my poor performance in the Bouldering competition last friday I have been attempting to increase my strength on overhanging walls. This has always been my greatest weakness in my climbing and for the past 2 years I have been avoiding training it quite insistently, sticking to vertical walls and slabs. But enough! These past two session I have not left the overhanging wall of the bouldering room, trying all the problems, the hard ones when fresh, and the easier ones when I'm absolutely fooked - but never leaving that section of the wall. Its a bit early to tell how much of effect its having on my climbing, but hopefully it can only improve it! I don't think I have ever felt so tired coming off the wall in these past two visits, it is absolutely arm -blowing stuff!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Club Bitch-Fight

Check the boards to find out the fun I've been up to. fun.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Friday, 14 November 2008

Johnny Dawes, Crag Cleaning. Bouldering and Singing

Wow this is going to be an absolutely huge post as there has been a hell of a lot of things going on over the past week! The first major event, apart from our monday committee meeting which is always a bundle of joy wrapped up in the blanket of kisses, was the Johnny Dawes (yes thats right!)  lecture on Wednesday. And thank Marx it was a success! I met Johnny in the union shop a couple of hours before our lecture was due to kick off, so we went for a drink in the Taff. To say he is an interesting character is the understatement of the century! But it was so so so weird to see him now; I have this vivid image scorched into my head, of a youthful Johnny straight from finishing the Quarryman in 1986, but of course he has changed, he is after all just a man, however much his legend still fires across my brain. The lecture went well, despite the sound system not working until 5 minutes before the lecture was meant to begin! Johnny was everything I truly expected him to be, he had some very very weird and wacky stories to tell, for some reason largely revolving around bees. 

And then, he came back to our house!!!!!!!!!!! Thats right, the Legend who conquered Indian Face slept in Olly's Bed, made us dinner and got beaten by me (yes I beat him!!!) at Mario Karts. It was a truly special day! 

Jumping forward to Friday: I spent the this morning cleaning my new bouldering crag, having got up at 8 especially so I could run down to play on it. And it is certainly progressing rather well, all the ivy has been torn down and now the crag is in the daylight once more, reclaimed from from the undergrowth. Due to heavy rain over the past couple of days all the line were wet so I only managed to send one problem which runs right to left underneath my two other problems Arriva and Loner:

Jamfooted - V1+ - F.A Jamie Maddison 14/11/2008

Please see the video for a bit more enlightenment on my days at the crag (unfortunately I forgot to record my first ascent of Jamfooted and so rushed back to do it on Camera, only to find I couldn't repeat it!) 

Lastly it was the Boulders second competition which I didn't do brilliantly at, (Again!) with a meager score of 73. Pah! 

Well thats all I've got to say for the moment! Though just watched skins and it makes me want to learn how to sing, because I really want to learn! It the one thing I'm really annoyed at myself for not being able to do and it the one thing I wish I could learn, any suggestions to this random outburst? 

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

I want to go climbing!

And so when I should have been thinking in this:

All I could think about was this:

I'm going back soon, either tomorrow , or thursday so keep posted!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Abercynon - New Boulder Problems!

Work Sucks. It truly does. And so to save myself from such boredom I ran away into the valleys to have an adventure and an exploration. Shame the weather was so rubbish! Luckily, the crag I discovered was well worth the rain.  Hidden away amongst the trees, the venue is all but impossible to see from the road (I'm keeping the exact whereabouts hush-hush for the minute). But as you approach, suddenly all the bracken and shrubbery drop away and the climber finds themselves in a little boxed quarry cut out from the surrounding hillside. Around 5 metres tall, it provides very highball problems; a welcome change from the small boulders usually found around South Wales. It does however, need a very very good cleaning before most of the lines can be sent. I managed to send two extremely good lines today - despite the rain - on the smaller section of the crag, these are detailed below. Hopefully I will return soon, armed with a brush, some shears and good weather to start trying the remaining lines that are in abundance there! 

1.) Arriva - V2: (sit start) On the arete of the furthest left boulder (Topos to follow), use a series of jugs to pull over the overhang and onto the slightly greener finish.   F.A Jamie Maddison 06/11/2008

Jamie on the first ascent of Arriva 06/11/2008

2.) Loner: v3/4 - (sit start) A desperately awkward problem. From sitting, go over the widest point of the roof, utilizing a stomach scraping thrutch to reach a sustainable position and then an easy finish. F.A Jamie Maddison 06/11/2008

A rubbish video showing an early attempt at Loner 

A Future Problem? 

Monday, 3 November 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

I got the yellow traverse!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Sandstone and the faults of the English grading system.

This is just a theoretical piece concerning how soft sandstone is graded currently in the English grading system in regard to my possible trip to High Rocks (Tunbridge Wells) this weekend. The problem with soft sandstone is that it is well on impossible to place any meaningful gear in the rock, thus disposing every route to the two extremes of top-roping or soloing. The Climbing Club has recently made, quite bravely, an attempt to move away from the traditional climber elitism by describing the sandstone routes purely by an English tech grade. 

This has created the discourse that routes on sandstone are always open to top-roping above soloing; by disregarding the adjective grade (VS, HVS, E1 etc) the routes become mere technical feats, the style of the ascent becomes unimportant. On the positive side, this grading has helped bring the climbs of the snobbish elite acceptably into the realm of your average climber who can just 'have a go' without worrying he is going to die at every route of the quarry. The obvious drawback of this, is that all the routes are top-ropes! All the joy and fear of the lead are quelled and the crag basically becomes an open-air indoor wall. 

The Sandstone Outcrops of the Forest of Dean guide has tried to avoid this lack of seriousness, by not only giving these solos technical grades, but also an E grade which is largely based around the height of the route, where the crux is and how far the climber is likely to deck from. Personally, I think this is a better system as it allows space for the top-ropers to do there thing, but also gives credit where credits due, to the climbers who actually have the balls to solo these routes.

 There are still some remaining ethical problems. E grades are given for the onsight grade of the climb; but the ethic of such solos ensures that most routes will be headpointed first. Should headpointed routes be given an onsight grade? This is a debate that is already raging around the climbing world at the moment, with many arguments flairing between different camps. Personally, I am inclined to agree with Neil Gresham article; ethical style should not be brought into route descriptions. There are enough problems already without imposing ethical perfections onto the vast majority of unassuming climbers. It will always be obvious that an E8 onsight carrys as much standing as a E9 headpoint.

 Instead a hybrid system should be adopted, keeping the E grade but getting rid of the English tech and replacing it with the much better French grading combined with a letter symbolizing the nature of the route. It would look like thus: E2 (6b - R). I feel this should ideally be adopted for all future guidebooks as it provides a much more comprehensive description of what the climber is in for. In reality its not a big or urgent change I feel- having very little bearing on my level of climbing- but in the end it can only enrich our collective climbing experiences.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Back at the Wall

First off apologies for how boring my blog has been in recent days, I have been incredibly busy with all sorts of seemingly minors bit and bobs that all add up and completely swamp all the free time I have to write on here! But I had such a climbing session tonight that I felt I had to get myself in gear and start writing a bit more! And so, on with the story... It was an amazing night! Initially though, I thought it was going to be a rubbish one as it seemed nobody was free to climb but lanky John came to the rescue and so started a night of hard, hard climbing! We dispatched a 5 and 6a with ease and then moved on to the new slab leading areas. The two 6b on here are easy! Least for 6bs. Encouraged by this, I went on to destroy myself on three 7as; one  I could almost do, one I got to the third clip on, and the last 7a I could barely make the first clip. But It was really encouraging as they all seemed possible for a not-to-distant future me! We finished the night on an overhanging, stubborn 6c; it was bastard hard! Then some bouldering on the 6c traverse, I fell on the last hold! The last hold! ahhhhhhhhhhhh! There is something like 25 different moves on that stupid traverse and I did them all linked, got past the crux right at the end still going strong and one move before the red carpet of the bouldering room and I pump out, ahhhhhhhhhhh! So annoyed. It will go though, just wait till thursday. 

Friday, 24 October 2008

A failed first ascent(?) attempt. The Gap

This week saw a few mates and I head down to the Gap for a hand at some outdoor sports climbing, for once! I'm not entirely sure what to make of the whole experience. After constantly training indoors and really feeling my technique and endurance progress by leaps and bounds, I just assumed progress outdoors would fall into place naturally as well.  I turned out to be a bit wrong. The first route I did was Marlin on the Wall (6a+) and it was knackering, all the technique was fine and I felt quite strong but still the route chewed me up a little bit more than I was expecting for a 6a! Next on the list was Land of the Dinosaurs (6b), which much to my dismay wouldn't even let me past the second clip due to flash pump! To not get disheartened Tom and I went on a bit of a new routing look out; over the hill of the Gap and found the buttress shown in the below video. Not sure whether this truly is a new route or is Eagle (VS 4c)  at Abercynon High Buttress, which is described in the guidebook as being somewhere in this area. I am inclined to think we found a new route; purely because I tried the moves on the buttress on top rope and it involved a pumpy 5 metre (French) 6a solo before any gear could be found, which for my experience, I wouldn't classify as a VS. I wanted to go for the lead, really wanted to, but the holds were snappy and a flake burst in my hands on first attempt, leading to a metre fall straight onto Tom! Combined with rock fall from the top rope, whizzing past our heads, we decided 'not today!'. Armed with a bouldering mat and some spare time I would really like to go back and do the first ascent. Soon! 

Many apologies for the quality of the film footage as it truly is rubbish!

Valkyrie: A Photo Essay

Monday, 20 October 2008

Hoody Designs

Every year Cardiff University Mountaineering Club open up the floor for one of our members to create a graphic design to go on the back of our hoodies for that year; here is my attempt! It is a blatant parody of Dave McLeod's E11 design, using a figure falling around some clever word art. Instead of Rhaspody, the climb is Mansuko in Pembrokeshire and the figure falling is my friend Mark. The word art is taken from funny quotes by club members that have been recorded on The last line is a very 'climber' joke, as McLeod's art says word for word the same phrase except he's referring to an e11 not an e2 (how very sad non-climbers must think that!)  I really like it, and will be making up a T-shirt with it on, even if it doesn't make it onto the hoodies!

Thursday, 16 October 2008


The heights that I so wish to climb:
And the lines that I find so sublime,
but damn!
For the moment, its all in my mind!
That right-
My silly body cannot cope,
This stupid cold in all its scope.
And so I'm here, on the bed,
nursing my poor and aching head;
Till this illness goes away
And I can go once more and play!


Monday, 13 October 2008

Boulders Photography

As all you regular readers of my blog should know, Hannah and I recently did a photo shoot for Boulders Indoor Wall. I thought you would all like to see the final result that Rob was kind enough to pass onto us, so here they are below! 

(Probably best to note that all the photos shown above remain the property of Boulders Indoor Wall and should not be replicated or used without their express permission and consent)

As you can see Hannah has become the new face for Boulders, whereas poor ol' me is left in the background :( Nevermind, it wasn't like I needed my ego boosting any more anyway! I am looking forward to seeing some of the film footage they shot of us though. Especially the shots of me cutting loose on the big overhang- that will be a funny site! Will keep you posted if the footage does turn up! Overall, I am impressed with the photos though and glad we had a chance to model for them! A fitting memory to another fun day had at our local indoor wall. 

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Three Cliffs Bay - The Gower

Another day, another fresher trip. The weather was nice and sunny. The routes were easy. Nothing really of note can be said about today. Maybe I've just had enough of freshers trips... Or sea cliffs! I did however, manage to throw up a really interesting little bouldering problem, traversing through the cave just round the corner from Scavenger. It involved a brilliant long bridging crux right in the middle of the cave, amongst the muck and seepage; trying desperately not to slip off the slimy, rounded holds. It was a gorgeous problem: esoteric through and through. Thats about all I've got to say for today; having climbed pretty much every day this week I'm going to make sure this post (at least) is short, sweet and to the point. Ciao x

Filthy Radiance - V3 - * -A right to left traverse through the cave just round the corner from Scavenger; the crux being at the deepest, darkest and slimiest point of the cave. Gorgeously esoteric and definitely worth a try if ever in the Three Cliffs Area.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Three Tors - The trip that actually worked, against all expectations!

Uploaded by Bunchuk

(The photo of me on Scout Crack was taken by Ian, and the photo of Ian seconding Scout Crack was courtesy of Olly.)