So once again I’ve struggled to keep my blog up to date. This time I’m only going to accept part responsibility. I blame the majority of it on the UK’s sopping wet climate. As most of you that live in the UK will know, it hasn’t really stopped raining since the good spell we had back in March. Nonetheless we’ve tried our best to get out when we can.
June didn’t really see much action at all. We had one damp day at a small crag called Staple Edge quarry. The crag was ok, it was a little dusty, but good for low to mid-grade trad with the majority of routes with bolt belays, so not much faffing required. The highlight of the day was watching Heather have to do a full double dyno whilst following me up an E2.
The last weekend in June Heath and I headed to LPT. That’s Lower Pen Trwyn for those of you that don’t know it. One of the UK’s best sport climbing venues with a whole range of grades from F5’s to F9a. Saturday was a good day after warming up on Contusion F6c on the upper tier, we headed down to the Lower tier where I sent Mussel Beach F8a and Over the Moon Direct F8a both 2nd go. On the Sunday I tried a route called Melon Beach F8a+. It’s a Chris Doyle link up of Melancholie in to Mussel Beach. The start is super thin with some real condition dependant crimps. The conditions were in my favour, but unfortunately my skin wasn’t. I made two good links on it though, from the ground to the crux, then from the crux to the top. Definitely one to go back for. As skin was an issue I dropped the grade a little and managed to flash I’ve been a bad bad boy F7c. Really cool line with a bit of a heartbreaking finish.
A wet June was followed by a just as wet July. Cliffhanger festival got canceled because there was so much rain, but the British Bouldering Champs being held at Cliffhanger in true British fashion still went ahead. After a little bit of last minute shopping Heath and I rocked up at a soggy Sheffield park with wellies, towels, waterproofs and a big yellow rubber bucket.
The Qualifiers went well, well except for the first problem I tried. It had a dyno start which i managed to fluff first go. “Note to self; don’t start a British championships with a dyno, big stage, nerves and a tricky jump don’t sit well together.” After dropping that I moved on to the rest of the problems. I ended up qualifying for the final in 7th place, flashing 7/10 and getting the dyno 2nd go.
The final didn’t go so well. Not to make excuses – but during the qualifiers I felt a headache coming on. No matter how much water I drank I couldn’t seem to shake it and by the final it was in full flow. Problem 1, I stupidly misread. After rocking up into a groove, you then used one really bad volume to jump to another volume. Instead of jumping I persistently tried to match it and failed every time, shrugging it off on my poor sloper strength. Problem 2, I couldn’t touch, this time it was down to my poor sloper strength. Problem 3, I wasn’t really sure on a move half way up. I was trying to jump it when maybe I should have gone static. Problem 4, I should have done. I got my sequence wrong on my 1st go and on my following goes I got high, but didn’t have anything left in the tank to finish it. I was disappointed in the way that I had climbed in the final, but fairly happy with 8th overall.
After a bit of work and lots more rain the end of July took us up to Shropshire for the weekend. On the Saturday we headed to Llanymynech Quarry. With a mixture of trad and sport routes and with some routes up to 35m, Llanymynech Quarry is a great day out. Plenty to go at between low F6’s to mid F7’s. If you climb in the 7’s, it’s definitely worth checking out “red wall”. It’s slightly overhanging and heavily featured. Some of the most interesting rock I’ve climbed on in the UK with 35m routes to top it off.
On the Sunday we went to Dinbren also in the Clwyd region. Dinbren is totally the opposite to Llanymynech Quarry, with the average route length ranging from 10-15m – it packed a punch! Not a huge amount in the lower grades, but if you’re climbing in the 7’s you’ll have a field day! The route that stood out for me was “The Bandits F7b+”, super powerful with a good techy middle section. Matt and I also did “Elite Syncopations F8a”, It took a little longer than it should of done but after dropping the top I got there in the end.