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