A Quick weekend hit of Wales with a new found psyche and a new climbing partner for me, Ralph. It was a good weekend.
We raced down to Gogarth and walked to Wen Zawn. T.Rex was on the cards. I didn't feel strong enough or have the self-confidence but climbing with someone like Ralph gives you a bit of extra motivation. Unfortunately we didn't have a long enough abseil rope and didn't fancy the jumping over sea boulders to get there, so we decided to just cruise the classic, Quartz Icicle (E2).
I got the Quartz vein pitch and enjoyed the moves and holds, Ralph got the top pitch and eventually worked out a finish to the route, going far more direct than the guide suggested but the route finding was a bit awkward, i didn't mind i enjoyed hanging out above the sea (I think this was my first cliff above the sea?), even if it was a tad chilly. Wen Zawn to yourself is bliss.
I did nearly suggest doing Dream of White Horses seeing as we were there, but we both fancied going to Easter Island Gully to try Supercrack (E2/3) and Wonderwall (E3).
We rapped in and Ralph pretty efficiently climbed the more-straightforward-than-you-think 'Supercrack'. I hadn't cleanly climbed an E3 in quite a long time and this lack of confidence showed when i realised that i'd end up seconding Supercrack and having a bash at the tricky looking Wonderwall. I changed my mind. "Rap and strip the gear Ralph" i shouted up.
He did, leaving in the first nut and cam and then i roped up and climbed Supercrack, rather than Wonderwall. After clipping Ralphs first gear, i quickly got to work hawling my unfit, confidence lacking, overweight arse up the steep lower wall, rattling in gear here and there.
I arrived at the jug, where the crack branches right and felt fine, i had a 2-3 minute shake out and gear check and then got to work on the 'decidedly awkward' upper crack. It really isn't awkward - it has one tricky move that can be well protected (even though i didn't!). Perhaps we both just got lucky but we both felt it was pretty much over once the steepness had been passed. Great climbing anyway, well worth doing and i'm glad i did that over dogging Wonderwall, i'll come back and do that.
We finished the day by escaping Easter Island Gully via the interesting and superb, Phagocyte. HVS.
The next day, Tremadog was on the cards as the weather was iffy. We warmed up on 'The Void' E3+ and thoroughly enjoyed it! I ran the first two pitches together up the awkward groove then the great crux of Vector. Then trending right via a awkward ledge and crack to the Belay, a brilliant 40+ metre? Pitch, felt very E2.
Ralph had already said he wanted the crack pitch and i didn't offer a resistance. He likes his cracks and he made pretty steady work of the upperwall. One unfortunate slip when starting the crack!! was the blip, but a great piece of climbing on his second go.
I seconded the line cruising the first crack section 'elegantly bridging' but then found the move past the peg pretty hard, but i think he had placed a wire in a finger lock? so i'll return sometime and give it a bash myself!
We then had sandwiches and it was already early afternoon, so i elected to climb 'The Grasper" (E2). A route i'd heard about and a line Ralph hadn't done so i seemed the logical choice. Ralph climbed the first pitch of Zukator, as it looked the obvious thing to do and is 5c as well. I then enjoyed the upper corner crack of bridging brilliance, slotting in wires here and there and ultimately cruising it. I didn't really find a 'hard pull' but i did find the top out awkward? Either way, a brilliant line well worth doing but next time i go i'm giving Geireagle (E3) or maybe Cream (E4) a bash.
Bon Weekend, cheers Ralph.