Thursday, 17 May 2012

Odyssey Round Up - Day 5

Two days in Northumberland allowed us to visit three northern crags and tick off some quality sandstone lines of varying grades. Bowden Doors, Back Bowden and Great Wanney gave some good climbing and filming opportunities. Caroline is getting more and more confident placing gear, though her technical climbing ability means she can power through the hardest sequences without much fear of falling. Seeing Caro climb ‘The Tube’ at Back Bowden while being given gear placement lessons from the ground was entertaining for all. James, Hansjorg and Hazel were all going for it and showing how bold and fearless they can be with a handful of E6 and E7 on sights on marginal gear. 

So on Monday we landed in North Wales and the camp was re-established above Llanberis. We were greeted with dramatic views of the valley and a beautiful sunset on the first night. However, excitement was somewhat dampened by the weather as the showers rolled in the following day. A team set off to Gogarth on Tuesday to get rigged for an afternoon climbing on the sea cliffs. As is often the case the weather looked brighter on the coast than in the valley and we were blessed with a brilliant on sight ascent of ‘The Cad’ on North Stack Wall by Hazel.

On our second day in Wales we set out early with one target - Strawberries. James was feeling strong and ready for an on sight ascent, Caro and Hazel were keen for a flash attempt and Hansjorg was beyond psyched! He sat quietly behind a rock, out of sight while everyone else got on route. Like so many who have tried James powered through the hard bottom sequence, getting within five metres of the top out before taking a massive lob that took him right back down to the belay. James got back on route and topped out second go. Caro and Hazel fought till the very end showing amazing stamina but not quite making the top out. Hansjorg abbed in to the belay and set off as we set our cameras rolling and crossed our fingers. With amazing style and some calm, controlled climbing he read the route perfectly and topped out wooping and hollering all the way.

Today we hauled huge bags into Vivian, excited about getting to the slate. We got some good filming done on some classic routes, but the clouds were hovering and the climbers were getting to grips with the strange frictionless rock. We have a few little objectives in North Wales tomorrow morning but the rain may be coming, so we are thinking of heading south. Whilst waiting for an interview with Hansjorg Matt Pycroft took some time to work his new Vivian boulder problem. Footage below.

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