8 December 2010

A rare view from a top out


Pete on his and Miles' route Travesty Direct (IX 9)

Not too sure why I’m writing this, I suppose it might jog my memory one day.  Here it is anyway……….

Somehow the early start didn't materialise and it probably wasn't far from mid day when Matt and I walked up to try the line I had seen on Tue - Cracking Up IX 9 on Clogwyn Du.  I had made a load of assumptions about the route most of which turned out to be wrong, I’ll put that down to a lack of experience of mixed climbing on gear.  Expecting either a quick success or failure in good style I was disappointed to find myself wanting to do a lot of down climbing to recoup arms and head (sculpting ice runners is time consuming).  This was ok but I had hoped to be a bit more decisive, when I eventually neared the point of no return where the route moves right below the roof it was decision time.  Lack of time and appropriate gear were all the excuses I needed.  [Down climbed from roof cleaning all gear]

Next time I’ll commit to the moves and see what happens (if it’s still in condition)

Climbing with Simon (a link to his blog on my previous post)

Simon finding a line.  Chris Parkin has previously been to
the ledge on Simons right.

Small pieces of information that are used to gain knowledge about a route to make it easier.
Even just knowing the (approximate) grade helps.  At least a grade indicates the climbing above is possible.
None of this information is available when trying a new route from the ground.

So when Simon suggested trying a new winter line I was keen to give it a go and I wasn’t disappointed!!  A bit gutted that circumstances didn’t give us a route we could finish this attempt but wobbling up blobs of turf frozen to compact rock with poor tied off warthogs for protection was surprisingly good fun.  I think this is my first real new route attempt although quite a lot of winter lines I have been on have a large element of uncertainty attached to them so it wasn’t a completely new experience.

Bring it on....  (obviously enthusiastic when I was writing this!!)

Simon about level with the peckers wedged behind what
looked like a loose block frozen in to the corner.
More climbing above, but how hard?

All of this lot above was written at the time, now I'll finish off the diary.
Italics added Dec 2012

rest day

Got a better start but still worried that someone had beaten me to the route, it was ok though, the team that was ahead only wanted to throw themselves off Travesty!!  But someone had been on my preferred route as there were a couple of wires visible at the pedestal after the roof.  I put in gear to the start of roof crack.  Back down for a rest.

Went for it and was pretty happy to step on to the ledge and clip the others gear.  Went for it again and got in to pod.  Now the wheels started to fall off, as I tried to get out of the pod I used a small rimed dish up and left that gained some height but did not allow me to get any decent placements in the crack above the pod.  So I gave up! and lowered off a hex removing all of the gear apart from a wire near the ledge.

Tired just walking up the hill then made a half hearted attempt at Travesty Direct, it was good climbing but not for what should have been a rest day.  Somehow which ever direction I looked, up or down, dislodged rime ended up in my eyes............... hmmmmmmm ............... bouldering in Font.................

Rest day

Last throw of the dice as had to leave Wales that eve.  Simon agreed to me taking another look and a good start got us to the crag early.  Having been on the route previously made climbing up to the ledge not too bad and I soloed up the ice to where the roof began then placed gear, getting in to the pod again was a different ball game but eventually I was relaxing in to that comfortable niche.

Unfortunately a Mountain Equipment photo of the route had been discovered in a magazine on saturday evening and the memory of this combined with poor holds in the crack above sent me searching for invisible holds out left above the pod.  From the belay Simon shouted up and assured me that the line followed the crack direct so (after some swearing) using a small edge uncovered near the dish I could reach back up and right to get a good torque and some blindly placed gear in the crack.  Bunching my feet below me then turning the torque to an strenuous undercut I reached up and hooked something covered by rime on the blunt arete left of the crack, committed I moved up and left until I could drop a large wire in to some shattered flakes further left.  Following the rib now, I clipped a jammed number 6 wire and mantled on to a good ledge.  Top quality entertainment on a very good route.

Me climbing (photo Simon Frost)

In Condition? Plenty of ice in the crack and well rimed from above but below the roof it could be whiter (see photo of Pete on Travesty Direct from earlier in the week)

Thanks Matt, Simon, Pete and Miles

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