Smeg Monkey’s

Playing The Waiting Game F8a (Pic: Tommy Chammings)

It was Diamond season again and time for my annual trip to North Wales. The forecast was rubbish for cold, windy drizzle. The only good part although a strong wind was probably the best possible thing to dry out the Diamond grease. On Monday we got down to try Jon’s new route for last year The Waiting Game F8a. On first inspection this seemed ok and we expected a quick tick. However, redpointing proved difficult and into Tuesday afternoon we were still dropping the crux move. Even though the route is short it packs in nearly 30 moves. Every try we felt good up to the undercut move before hitting the PE wall head on. We managed to unlock a slightly better sequence with a heel out right but energy was spent for te day. Our initial plan to try the Brute and tick at least three routes now seemed a fantasy.

Diamond project gallows!

Rejected we headed to the slate on Wednesday for a rest day. After fueling up at Pete’s Eats we headed into Dinorwig area to see what was dry. Rain was forecast past lunchtime. We decided to try Mau Mau E4 6a in the end. I drew the short straw to lead it. I hadn’t done any trad in a couple of years so was immediately nervous. Nearly hour later I was off on the final crack. I hadn’t felt happy with the risk I’d taken. After topping it out I was left in the position deciding whether or not to finish it. After Stu had a try and stripped the gear for me I took a walk. Finally I decided to go for it. What better oppertunity did I have knowing all the moves, gear and it still hadn’t rained. Leading it went fine although I was still very nervous about the gear. Silly I know! By the final crack I was perfectly happy to fall but didn’t and it was done. On the way out it finally pissed it down around dinner time so we had gotten a good run at the weather.

Thursday was Diamond day again. On arrival we were disapointed to find conditions were the worst yet with beads of water dripping off the crag. However determination is a powerful thing. We each took turns drying out every hand and foothold and finally got it in a climbable state. I was happy with my sequence from last time and managed to get it first try at a push. Stu dispatched also. In the end that was sixth redpoint in three day a hard soft 8a! To finish I started working out Wall of Evening Light but was beaten by the smeg. The entire crag was taking water out the air as the temperature increased. I managed P1 at 7a+ at least but had to bail 3m later as it got hard and the tide was at our feet. Next year I need a full day on this!

Unfinished business for 2012!

On Friday we got down to Pigeon’s Cave to try Stiff Upper Lip 7c+/8a with our towels and chalk. It was very damp but not wet. However bodies were broken and we didn’t managed to link very much off it. I tried Cat Amoungt the Pigeon’s F7c as well but this had a tricky boulder problem out left I couldn’t see myself doing. We resigned ourselves to African Headcharge F7a+ and String of Perls F6b+! to finish the trip.

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