Sunday, 22 April 2007

Llanberris and Burbage South

At 8pm on Friday night the Hot Aches crew hatched a cunning plan.

Based on the combined wisdom on TVs best weather forcasters and britains most optimistic rock climbers, we fixed a schedule that would take in 4 cutting egde routes over 6 days; first north Wales, then the Peak, then Devon, and finally the Isle of Skye.

Should be a doddle really?

A 4.15 alpine start transited us from Edinburgh to Llanberris Pass at a respectable hour. Weather looking fine and a good start to the mission. Even the challenge of having to rock climb (god forbid) with all the filming gear didn't hold us back from out first objective.

Diff's first trad route of the season. Moderate climbing feels like E1 with a rucksac bursting with camera and rigging gear.

So things didn't go quite to plan, although they very, very nearly did. A major route was there for the taking but something went a bit awry.

Views of The Cromlech. An amazing looking crag.

Time to rethink the plan. Stay another day in Wales? The internet reckoned the weather was breaking up so we headed for the Peak to complete 450 miles for the day.

On Sunday we met up with Australian climber Ben Cossey, a talented climber who made the headlines in January with an impatient and audacious repeat of Parthian Shot (E9) late after work and illuminated just by headtorch.

The overhanging arete of Simba's Pride. E8 6c?

Ben was psched for the true right hand side of the left arete of Stampede. Graded E8 6c on the left hand side it is considered harder on the true right. In fact, if truth be told, Ben seems to be pysched for just about anything on grit, or any other rock type for that matter.

So to Simba's, and with a couple of mats and no spotters Ben headed off upwards humming Bob Dylan tunes fresh in the mind from a recent concert. No gear means no ropes, and falling is not a good option.

Ben midway up Simba's Pride

Conditions today were far from perfect. It was warm and muggy and any self respecting grit-stoner would have been supping a pint in The Foxhouse. But Ben was eager and pulled it off. A superb effort and hopefully more to come before the movie is finished.

The final dyno move at the top

By mid afternoon the weather deteriorated. So Diff and I are back in the office. a 750 mile round trip but worth it. Just watching the weather now. Lots more to film if only we get a break.



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