3 June 2011

BMC International Meet

So this is the driest spring on record! There has been sunny weather for months. Then when I commit to try a bit of climbing………. it rained. (actually the other time I tried to climb in the UK in 2011 it also rained which, on that occasion, precipitated prussiking out of the Ruckle! Twice! in one evening)

But this is my story of the international meet……. Sunday: as I drove West along that flat straight section of the A5 the sun was setting behind moody cloud shrouded Snowdonian peaks reminding me of a scene from Lord of the rings and giving a premonition of the apocalyptic weather waiting in the mountains.

True to form it was a wet Monday morning so my Finnish guest, Perttu, and I headed to the North coast on Calum’s advice, thanks, you saved us the soaking most of the other climbing teams got. Sport climbing from the beach of LPT was good and we got a couple of routes ticked before the tide chased us back up to Marine Drive where I dug deep and enjoyed a 6c retro-flash.

Perttu at LPT

Tremadog. I had never climbed there before so when we arrived I, as usual, didn’t have a clue what to climb so finding a route called Helsinki Wall in the guide was obviously a good omen. Strolling to the top of the crag to start climbing was unusual and more walking than I would have preferred but I finally located the descent gully and some extremely unappealing looking rock that must have been Helsinki wall. Brilliant! Perttu had travelled all the way to North Wales for me to show him some sport routes and a chossy looking gully wall. Worse was to follow……. as we were now at the foot of the crag I instigated plan b and tried to locate the second pitch of Stromboli, to my embarrassment this actually resulted with me climbing a tree, slinging a branch for protection as I ascended loose rock and brambles to reach the grass. Cool. Later on Perttu made short work of the good E2 Plastic Nerve but that’s not so surprising considering he has climbed Fr8a on gear (~E8).

Alex on the Ramp

On Wednesday all the climbing teams swapped round and I was with a different guest. Alex had led a handful of routes on gear before the meet but had been happy on an E1 he had strayed on to! so I pointed out Gauntlet on the upper tier at Gogarth and he was psyched for the lead. No dramas with this line or The Ramp so we had a go at Central Park, as Gogarth cracks don’t exist in Serbia to practice on Alex had been training on a campus board. Maybe this is why he had a bit of a moment as he quickly learnt about rapid down-climbing for a shake out. From my hanging belay below I was trying to explain about my aversion of shock loading any gear when Alex stepped back up and finished the awkward crack in good style.

Alex on Central Park

I had a good week, I hope the guests did too!

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