Highlights of the rest of the week were having a nice boulder down the
Pass with Neil Gresham, a great day on the Lleyn with him Mark Reeves and Llion
Morris, Neil Gresham repeating the ‘king of the pass’ challenge and repeating
Chicama on Trearddur Bay with Neil Dyer.
Having driven back up from London having only been in Wales 2 days before
Neil Gresham was psyched for the Pass challenge. I met up with him down the Pass
for a great day bouldering and hangout and with Reeves and Llion in tow we
headed down the Lleyn the day after as Neil hadn’t been down there before and
was keen for some sun having been shivering up the pass the day previous.
We repeated Dan McManus’ fantastic route The Apprentice on Porth Ceiriad,
E7 6b. Starting more or less off the beach it follows a crack system with quite
good gear and holds which appear just as you need them, combined with some of
the best rock on the Lleyn I think it’s destined to become a classic. I think
it’s best to do it in 1 pitch just in case a loose hold comes off and you wipe
your belayer out. Reeves and Morris put up a new route up some choss and Reeves’
dishevelled look when we met them after it told the story of their climb well.
We finished the day climbing Cripple Creek on Dorys and the views back towards
the snow covered mountains were spectacular.
Robin Thomas and myself and Neil Dyer headed down to Trearddur Bay to look at
Chicama. I’d watched Tim Emmett on
his first attempts on the line in 2003 and was impressed that he led it with
pretty minimal pegs which were of dubious worth and also did a tricky looking
DWS to get into the start which would definitely get your arms going. Tims jump
off the top into the gap was also terrifying stuff. I was also impressed with
Hazel Findlays speedy ascent as most of the moves seem to be big reaches between
good holds and Hazel is only ~4 ft 7 . Hazels psyche and Pete Grahams pegging
skills were the main reasons some of us ‘locals’ got interested.
I’d been down it once with Hazel but it had been wet and a little uninspiring at the time.
This time it was dry and having lowered down and warmed up on the upper wall I did it
from near the bottom first go but with arms that felt a bit baked from the previous days.
Neil hadn’t climbed since being in America last year but still looked like he
could have climbed it without his feet! I went down once more to assess some
gear and sequences and belayed Neil again. The hardest climbing is to gain the
halfway mark where a good shakeout and cam are had before pumpy steep climbing
beyond. Being 45 degrees overhanging and tidal gives the climb an intimidating
nature. I thought I’d give it a go as it seemed reasonably safe with the current
in situ stuff although the start has a poky feel to it and it has a hard move
off a ‘crescent’ sidepull high up which would make for an exciting fall. Neil
built a belay on the slab left of Treacherous Underfoots crack and I climbed up
to place the first key cams and wires and down climbed to Neil for a breather.
Clipping the first peg I found an easier method for the next bit and the rest of
the climb went smoothly although I did feel tired on the crescent move. We
stripped the gear and headed for ice creams.
That evening Robin Thomas dropped by with news of Neil Greshams success
on completing Jerrys roof, Lord of the Flies and Central Ice Fall in a day. As
they were coiling the ropes at the top of the ice route they heard a loud roar
and when they reached the base they discovered the top 2 pitches had collapsed.
I thought Robin was pulling my leg at first. I’m pretty sure my robust friend
Chris Guest who climbed it the day before must have destabilised it in his
passing. It was great seeing how Neil was stoked for the climbing in North Wales
again, although with the sobering climax Neil must have felt he was back on the
Indian Face. Good skills Neil and Robin.