Thursday, 26 June 2008

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

On the beach!

Well in line with all this summer apathy and bumming about I do believe it all has started to effect my blog a little bit! So I shall endeavor to fight the sin of sloth by actually keeping this blasted thing up to date! Went to Three Tors yesterday and had lets say 
not the most productive
of day in terms of climbing. Did scout crack easily easily and then seconded olly up An easy easy HVS! and then much to my folly tried my second e1 superdirect (5c) and boy did i fuck it up big time. got to the crux and just got dumbfounded feet all over the place a real real mess. Had to lower off in the end. My consolation however lay in top roping it which after one attempt got it clean, so it IS within my ability to climb and maybe if it was a sports route I wouldn't have made such a fuss, it just shows that I have to get my trad head screwed on if I want to do these hard climbs, however im still physically strong enough (even after a month of lounging around playing SSX Tricky!) to do these route, I just have to sort it out in my head!

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Another day another hangover

Of which mine is a stonking massive one at that so I'm going to keep this  short and sweet. Went to the crag yesterday, cleaned the mud with a spade, got very very wet in the rain, came home, went round a mates, lost at strip poker, slept on the sofa. End of.  video

Thursday, 19 June 2008

What a Day!

Before...


After..


After a day of rain we have returned back to Jolly's Crag (for that shall be its name) to continue with our cleaning efforts, and what a day it was! Today was primarily about getting rid of the greenery in between the overhang and the face I was cleaning on our last visit; bloody hell was there a lot of it! Olly and I were working much closer abs lines today, a testament to how much we had already cleaned! (although a bit dangerous with the amount of rockfall crashing down to the crag floor) My first concern was the enormous tree covering half the face, which took absolutely ages to cut through with a hypervalue saw, although it was satisfying watching it crash when it finally went. Olly meanwhile, was having endless fun pulling off considerable amount of loose rock that initially made me duck like crazy each time a big one went wooshing by.

  video
We both managed to hit the grass slopes at exactly the same time, and boy were they an epic and a half to sort out. The grass was relatively easy if endless in quantity, all one had to was  grab big clumps and pull. However the endless amount of soil underneath is proving to be a bit of a problem and more than likely will require the likes of a spade and trowel before the rock can be unearthed properly. 

video

I have to say that overall we have significantly improved the aesthetic look of the entire crag, which has really started to take shape and many many lines are now unfolding that look incredibly fun to try, and to lead. Hopefully the rate of progress will  continue and fingers crossed we can get some lines up before our trip to the alps.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Bolting Project Begins!

And so after a short leave of absence - down in Sevenoaks seeing my girlfriend Emily off, on her 3 months working holiday in Greece :( - I am back in Wales and back to action! Returning to Porth once more, Olly and I began our traipse through the undergrowth to get back to crag we had spotted in our previous post. Once we finally managed to find the blasted crag we set about constructing the two abs needed to get both of us cleaning. I chose the main face, starting on the central crack splitting the otherwise vertical walls, whilst Olly proceeded to get stuck right into the formidable looking overhang. With rusted and rotten fence stakes as the only anchors, this ab was proving to be one of the dodgier abseils I have ever constructed. But it all held fine and cleaning began.

video

What a long and laborious task it is, cleaning cleaning cleaning and with no immediate reward until the bolts actually arrive! The face I was working on was pretty dirty ( So much so that I think I will call the crack line 'Dusty, Dusty' if I manage the first ascent) But at least I had a much better time than me ol' chum Ol who was taking down cupboard sized chunks of rock, peeling back layer after layer of friable crap and still not finding anything solid! - All the while eye the tremendous overhang block that looked a little bit precarious. Overall we got three routes semi clean though by no means perfect and have come to the conclusion that the overhang is not worth really bothering with! Not much more can be said about today except that using a shunt makes ascending a line really, really easy whilst a Gri-Gri does not! I am looking forwarding to when all this 'rock gardening' (to quote my absent girlfriend) is over with and we can get down to using some good old fashioned heavy machinery!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The Problems!

And here is the finished results! 

Crag – Charlie Unicorn!!
1. Aled’s Drinking Problem V0 - F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
2. Lois’s O/S Map V0 - F. A Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
3. Gareth is Off Route V0 - F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
4. Hannah’s Fall V0 – F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
5. Becca’s Mars Bar V0+ – F. A Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
6. Olly No.1 V0+ F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08 (Top out and carefully walk down slab)
7. Ollie No.2 V0- F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08
8. Sally’s Smile V0 F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08
9. Paddy’s Hair V0 F.A Jamie Maddison 09/06/08

Crag – Mike Charlie

1. The Naked Minibus V0 F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08 (Sit Start)
2. Oh that Poor Minibus V0- F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08 (Sit Start)
3. Long haired Hippy V0 F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08
4. Hurricane Handjob V2 F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08
5. Bitch Face Louise V0 F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08 (Finish up just past break)
6. Jamie is a Crack Climber V0+ F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08 (Don’t top out!)
7. Crispin is on Drugs V0 F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08 (Finish at the first break)
8. Jason is Welsh V1 - F. A. Jamie Maddison 09/06/08 (Finish at the top break before the bulge)
9. Crumbly Rubbish V0 F.A Oliver Birrell 09/06/08 (Dangerous and crumbly)

Monday, 9 June 2008

Bouldering Galore!

As so despite the searing hot sunshine today Olly and I braved the hideously hot elements to further explore the surrounding areas around our bolting project, this time on the other side of the valley. Having found out that the venue is indeed completely accessible from train it has put this area of the valleys very high on our list of possible areas to develop. Unfortunately this side of the valley does not seem to have as much potential for bolting as the other side, the rock being of a more friable and shattered nature. However, it seems an incredibly good place to develop as a bouldering venue instead! There are three separate crags that we visited today, the first one had numerous easy problems and one relatively strenuous sloper problem, of which Olly nicked the first ascent grrr ;) Overall we sent 9 problems at this crag, but with a bit more effort and cleaning another 20 could easily be put up! The next quarry was not particularly a bouldering venue but instead had seems like quite a few bolted routes could be sent (including a delicious looking slab that lead to a fist jammy overhang :) The quarry's seclusion, modest size and good lines has put this crag quite high on our future bolting project (which will start next week I swear!) The last quarry was more like first, having countless bouldering lines bnut little potential for bolting. It must be said that I enjoyed this venue the most! The lines were of merit , once they were clean! Again between us, another 9 lines were put up in this section, although I'm sure countless more will be added if we return. I am currently in the process of writing up the the documentation of the names and first ascents completed today, I'll updated the blog again as soon as I've thought of some names! (oh and please anybody who reads this blog apart from Olly get Coldplay's new album as it rocks my socks big time!) Ciao J xxx

Friday, 6 June 2008

New Routing Shenanigans

No real climbing today I'm afraid, however some excellent adventures looking for new crags! And Crags we have found, woo! Three of them, high up on the hill side of  ****** (its a secret!) The two we viewed had excellent opportunities for some new routage. The first quarry, which I will codename 'Free Wales' so far looks like it will yield the most potential, being nearly 25 metres high and nearly as big as the Gap in length! Already the crew have picked out so many natural lines, that would easily go down with a good bolting session. The major problem with this crag is that upon closer inspection a Kestrel went a bit skitz at us; apparently she is nesting, Damn and blast! The other quarry, 'The Cunning Ugly Monkey' quarry was not as good, but still would yield a staggering amount of lines if it was developed, and it doesn't have a Kestrel! I think this area may be the one we finally develop! However this is still dependent on the whim of the land owner who through the grape vine sounds like a bit of a dick, hopefully we can have a chat and he might be okay about it, I certainly hope so! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Third Generation Gap!

And so back once more into the breach dear friends, How I love this crag! This time Olly and I had a go at approaching the Gap by train which it turns out is completely doable and has put me in serious jeopardy of actually never leaving that place.  The walk in was pleasant, taking around 30 minutes with excellent views of the endless number of identical Welsh valleys. It was nice to (dare I say it) take a bit of a walk in the country side for once, though less nice for Olly who suffered an attack of 'oooo  Im a big nancy and my body's scared of pollen' hayfever! I must say the pace today was of the much more leisurely variety, partly to do with the fact that I couldn't physically move my arms in the morning, but also because we were short a single and had to go clipping on two doubles, a process which I can conclusively say I now loath to the core. The first route we attempted was Generation Gap now a fully bolted 5+ up the overhangs, and bloody hell was it a pump-fest, just what I needed to warm my poor tired arms. Then with a degree of bullying Olly had a real dogging on the hard 'Land of the Dinosaurs' (6b) But he got up in the end! Having seen all that there wasn't a way in hell I was going to lead it in my subpar condition with crappy ropes and thus I chose to wimp out and go the way of the top-rope, which through an 18m arm destroying sprint managed to get it all clean. However I was so close to falling numerous times, I think stopping to clip gear would have ensured either a rest at every clip or a massive fall somewhere along the line. Overall the route was good and I might try for the lead when I'm feeling somewhat stronger. After a bit of lunch (not very good lunch) another leisurely stroll ensure up to the top quarry all the while debating the finer points of life, girls and club politics, well as much debating that could occur between frequent discharges of my hayfever stricken friend. At the top two 5+ went down, Newton's Apple and Mortar Life, one a slab, the other a face; they were of a a sound quality, except for the standard of bolting which it has to be said is a bit wank.  And so what more can be said? Another one of those days that will fade into the background of the memory, secure in the knowledge that at least for a while everything was just a little bit simpler, and a little more jovial than the mediocrity of 21st century life. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

The Return of The Gap

And what a return it was! This trip just reinforced my conclusion that I have completely and utterly fallen in love with this Crag! All the routes are superb! Encore! Magnifique! And I actually got to climb with Olly today for the first time on a club trip since July! First port of call today was Bluster (6a+) which I failed on last time I was there; today was a bit luckier and I got the entire route clean! The same with it's sister route Fluster (6a+) completely clean! Woo! Then on to my mini project which turns out to be the 6b, Dai Horrea not as I previously thought Turd Strangler. This route was really really fun to work out the sequence of moves and then completely throw them out of the window for a Dyno that worked a hell of a lot better! This was then quickly followed by the most unstylish of rock overs I think I've ever done! After a dogging session of this and then watching Olly ascend the route with a bit more ease than myself (and placing the quickies in!) I got it clean on second attempt (third attempt in total), awesome! another 6b tick (yes thats right Im a filthy grade chaser, at least until my wheel of values swings round again) Olly had  go at Kabuto Mushi and after that Olly Lois, Sally and I had a romp up to the upper quarry to check the bolting there; it didn't really look as appealing and in the end just watched the sun go down and then had a tramp about looking for new crags. All in all another awesomo day! Guess what? I'm going back tommorow!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Quickie at Taff's Well

Well I'm back down in Wales again, unfortunately it also means back down to Welsh weather which is notoriously dubious! Once again back at Taffs well due to complete lack of adequate transport to get us any where else! Two routes in around two hours, but this time on the actual flowstone, which, I am surprised to say I don't find as terrible as I first imagined. The first route was relatively straight forward 5+ with a tricky(ish) crux at the top. The second route however might (emphasis on might due to shitty nature of the SWMC's guide for Taffs well!) be Gwesty Cymru 7" Mix which was a 6b. Certainly the moves felt 6bish however the spacing between bolts grew bigger and bigger up to 2 and 1/2 meters between clips and by the third clip it was a bit too bold for me and I backed off. Shame! Olly however managed to get it right the way through to the end with only one rest, a pretty good effort! Hopefully the whether will clear up soon and I can launch back into climbing in better places than the smog infested taff's well!