26 March 2017

Back to Beacon

The climbing club I am a member of, like most climbing clubs, climbs indoors in winter. We tend to go to the local climbing wall: Indy, three Monday evenings a month. The fourth Monday is for the bigger one in Caernarfon: Beacon. I had not been for a while; Beacon is further away and more expensive, so when you get there you want to do a proper evening of climbing. Work sometimes doesn't leave me enough time to make that work. I had bailed out a few times! But I had been the previous month, and had a good time. I had done some suitably challenging routes. And Beacon has more where that came from; the place really is big. This time I went again!

I started trying a route that wasn't classified as very hard with Eifion. He couldn't do it. Then I tried: it was hard indeed! It had a nasty overhangy bit that was hard to get past. Eifion kept the rope tight (we were on top rope) and with that slight bit of cheating I managed in the end, but my arms were properly pumped.

I then tried the wood route. Normally grips are made of some modern material, but Beacon has a route with only wood blocks and slats and such. I had been eyeing it since the first time I went to Beacon! Now I finally tried it. I couldn't get to the very top hold without a bit of help from my belayer but now I've tried it! It was fun. And hard work, again. My arms were so pumped they were lumpy.

I did a few slightly more easy routes but then Catrin, who I was climbing with, suggested going to the part of the hall with the highest ceilings. There she climbed a 4c, but that sounded a bit too dull. There was a 6a in the same place; I decided to try and lead that. It started OK, but I got to one point from which I really couldn't see a way on. I chickened out and swapped to the 4c.

When the rope was up, Catrin and Ika tried to climb the 6a on top rope. Neither could do it! The I  tried and neither could I. How have I ever tried to lead it? But by then my arms were done for the day. Time to go home! But it's nice to get to Beacon again once in a while. Although hopefully we will be climbing outdoors again soon! That would make anyone forget Beacon. Until next winter!

Ika and Catrin (left) getting ready to try the 6a

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