24 April 2016

Outdoor climbing

Climbing halls are a lot of fun, but they basically are only plan B. Outdoor climbing is much more fun! I re-started climbing in the middle of winter, and then it is cold and dark and generally wet after work, so if you want to climb then you'll have to go inside if you don't want to be terribly uncomfortable, but it's spring now. Things are different!

One of the club people mailed around in the weekend that the forecast for this Monday looked good enough. Excellent! We gathered somewhere out of town, shared cars, and went to Llyn Padarn. A beginners' rock was situated at its northwestern edge.

Estimating the height of the rock, using Tony as a ruler

Planning routes

This rock was not bolted; we were here for trad climbing. Not all of us do that; I, for instance, never have, and to be honest, I would have given it a go, but this club does things a bit more by the book, and I should first do a course in this art before I trust my life to self-invented kit placement. There were a few more like me; that meant we first had to rig some top-ropes, which is a bit of a faff in a rock that's not bolted, and that doesn't have a plethora of cracks and nooks to place nuts, cams, etc in.

While we rigged it I was simply enjoying the view. What an amazing place this is. But we had come here for climbing! When the ropes were in place I had a go.

The view

It was a bit disappointing; the rock was far from vertical and I just ran up. I'd almost have done that without a rope. No challenge at all! It was better for the trad climbers; it looked easier than it was.

Later it got slightly better when I was sent up to remove the kit from the wall; that at least can be a bit challenging. Sometimes the gear gets a bit stuck. And it was a lovely evening, and the company was nice too.

 Simon placing some kit

When the light started to fade we started to de-rig the ropes, retrieve all the kit, get it all sorted again, tidy up the ropes, eat some quiche Lydia had brought, and by the time we had done that the light was pretty much gone.

Biking back was nice in the sultry evening. I should prioritise getting myself on a trad climbing course! Until that's sorted I do not intend to go back to that rock, as pretty as it is...

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