Monday, July 27, 2009

Rain, Rain and more Rain

It has been a bit slow on the climbing outside front lately, but in between the rain showers we have been trying to get out and do stuff. Last weekend sat afternoon was spent at Raven Tor were I played on the route Rattle & Hump (F8a) , which I had tried years ago and could not do the crux, I thought maybe I could now, but it turns out I still can't although I did feel a lot closer. Deb had a play on Power Humps (font 7b+) again and got to the last move three times but quite have enough in her to finish it.
On the Sunday we went down to Rubicon and I had a play on The Sissy (f8a), has this stayed dry in the rain. This is a classic peak f8a , with small finger sharp holds, with the crux being a hideous match on a crimp. I managed to do all the move apart from the match. Not sure it is one for me though. Deb had a play on her project again (Hot Fun Closing f8a) and did some good cross links but the top holds were wet.
We even went up to Rubicon on Monday night after work to make the most of the good weather. Unfortunately Deb was not feeling to good buy the time we got but still had a few goes at her project. I managed to repeat Kudos (Font 7b) which I only can occasionally do and Bigger Splash direct (LH u’cut) (Font 7b+).
This weekend again saw us at Raven Tor this time I wanted to try Out of my Tree (f8a). After warming up i decided to give Weed Killer Traverse (Font 7a+) another go after I failed last time and after a few goes it was done. Check out the Video here. So then I moved on to Out of My Tree , again I had tried this a while back and was struggle with the crux. But first I had to try and repeat the boulder problem start (Font 7b). I managed to do this after half a dozen goes, now just the crux to work out. This involves locking off a finger jug in the left hand with one foot quite high and reaching up and over to a right hand small side pull which is above and left of you left hand, hold this step you left foot through to and small outside edge and then heel hook right foot next to your left hand, know hold the position had snatch your left hand to the good crimp a full arms length away easy. Well not so easy I couldn't quite latch the crimp, but I was getting there but was too tired now and time to go home. So out of the 3 f8a's I have tried I think this one is the one I will stick to trying for now.
Sunday saw us back a Rubicon again and after putting the rope up Hot Fun Closing and warming the weather started to get worse , the route was still dry but Deb had cooled off too much waiting for the rain to stop. she had one really good go trying to warm up again, but the then the rain came again and the route got wet. Good progress on the route , just a matter of being there in the right conditions now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Timmy at the Tor

Sunday we caught up with Tim and Leslie at Raven Tor in the Peak. Leslie was trying WeedKiller Traverse (Font 7a+/b). She got very close and should have done it climbing very smooth. I as usual struggle with the all the pockets and slots. Deb on the other quickly did after a couple of goes. Tim showed us all up by doing it footless in 7 moves.

Tim next moved on to try Stamina Humps (font 7c+) and after a fews try we got him on Video do the problem. Deb had a few goes on Powers Humps (Font 7b+) and just failed to latch the last but one hold.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Andy's 40th B'Day

Sunday was Andy's Walkers 40th birthday and all he wanted to do was do lead his new route at Llanymynech. We were all invited and the plan was to meet at the Quarry at 10am Saturday morning. I woke early that morning in anticipation of the day ahead, I had the responsiblity of getting his new route ready by putting all the hangers in place and making sure all the holds were clean. As I looked out of the window to see it had been raining all night and it still was! A quick phone call to Andy, as he was already near the quarry, he confirmed it had been raining but more to the point it had stopped there and looking ok, that was a relief.
We all meet on the car park and took the short walk into the quarry, it was dull and overcast and very humid, but route was dry. I quickly set too work getting ropes up and began to put the hangers in place ready for Andy. But first up was little Jack, after a quick practice on a tope rope, Jack lead the route just to the right of Andy's (Walker's Walk 6a+/b) clean easily, the bar had been set for the day.

Check out the Video here

Next up was Andy, a little under pressure from himself but confident. Off he went up the easy start too the first rest. After a quick shake out he took off , climbing confidently he got to the second brief rest. There was little bit of leg shake but he got that under control and made the long move to the jug and the last clip, just one more tricky move, this is were all times practicing the route would pay off. He's done it the lower off is clipped. Nice one Andy 1st Redpoint, cheers from every even an appearance for his hero Nick Dixon has he finished the last moves. Just in time the sun comes out.

Check out the Video here

Nick Dixon and myself quickly took the 2nd and 3rd Ascent to try and confirm the grade as 7a.

Next up was Joe with an old score to settle. Just before Joe went away traveling his was desperately trying to get is first 7a , he had done all the moves and on Slobberlob(7a+) but every time he tried to lead it he would end up falling off. So I went and put the clips in for him and had a quick top rope to refresh his memory and give it a could clean. Then went for his first redpoint, oh no he struggle to try and make the 4th clip and fails and takes a fall. Looks like this is going to be another mission. Another rest and then another go and he decides this time he will miss out the clip and he just misses catching the jug and he off again. Another rest and another go this time he fails on a lower move. That's it this time is going get done off he goes, misses the 4th clip lays one on for the jug catches it , clips the 5th clip one move and clips the lower off. Nice one , not bad for a first route in the 7's. Let the grade debate start as the many think this is 7b?

Check out the video here

While this was all going every else was enjoy themselves top roping rope and generally having fun. What a great day the weather held off and only to start raining as we packed up and walk back to the cars to off to the Birthday BBQ.

Cheers Andy for a good food and drink and great night and Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Getting Outside

Now the Weather is nice it is time to get outside climbing and put all you have learnt inside together into the real rock. But where do you go and how do you you go about it. Well hopefully the following information may help you do this. But remember Climbing can be dangerous so always be careful and take nothing for granted.


Nesscliffe Where to go

Living in Midlands you may think there is no local climbing, well may be there are no crags 10 minutes away but 45min to 1hr there certainly are. With Llanymynech and Llangollen highly recommended for novices






Distance/Time from Wolf Mountain

Llanymynech Shropshire X X
50m / 50mins
Nesscliffe Shropshire
X X 42m / 42mins
Pontesford Shropshire
45m / 45mins
Churnet Staffordshire
X X 40m / 53mins
Llangollen Wales X X
63m / 1hr 10



Nesscliffe See Nick Dixon’s Guide
Churnet seek local knowledge and peak bouldering guide



How to

The easiest way to get out climbing is to go bouldering (although be careful you can still injury yourself more so than doing routes). All you need is a pair of climbing boots, some chalk and it is nice to have a bouldering mat.

The next easiest do is sport climbing. This is were there are already bolts and lower off already in the climb for you to clip a quick draw into , just like a the wall.


If you are used to leading you can just go ahead and lead as normal. If not the use of a clip stick , Petzl Grigri and a rope you can self belay between the clip to lower off and thread this ready for top roping ( see this link How to Thread a Belay or BMC Info)

Then there’s traditional climbing where the leader places there own protection. Is is not easy and require lots of gear and lots of time learn what to do. The best way to learn this is to go out regularly with some one who knows what they are doing. There are crags though like Trevor Quarry at Llangollen which you can walk to the top and use existing stakes to set you top ropes, but you may need some slings and screw gate karabiners for this.

Here are a few links to help on your way and a few books suggestions

BMC - Safety & Skills

ACMGGuides - Climbing Skills

Mountaineers books - Basic Skills

Mountaineers books - From Gym to Crag

Rockfax - Trad Climbing

Rockfax - Sport Climbing


Petzl GriGri

Bouldering Mats

Clip Sick

BMC - Equipment Advice

And here are some other useful links

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Boulder Problems

Both Bouldering Walls have now been reset with new problems for you all to try