Resting makes you weak of course, as does trad climbing, but exploring makes the spirit stronger. In the words of the guru Simon Panton, extolling the virtuals of straying off the beaten path and sampling a wide array of rock:
New ground is like cold water to the desert-trapped man - essential.
A motto to live by as a climber if ever there was one. Coincidentally I have something to report for Simon, more on that later. In the last few weeks I have ignored all my oft-intimidating Scottish ambitions and rollercoasted around a collection of new / old / off-piste venues, sometimes with new / old / off-piste friends (including a lucky chance meeting with The Pylon King)...
- Raven Crag Langdale
- Wilton One
- Upper Falcon Crag
- Gouther Crag
- The Souter
- Tyddyn Garreg
- Barmouth Quarry
- Y Foel Penolau
...and done some fascinating and varied routes, from the most classic of classics to overrated micro routes to thrilling hidden gems. Highlights would be hard to pick out, but maybe the zenith was arriving tired and sweaty to the col in front of the Y Foel Penolau summit and letting the stunning location and atmosphere soak over and refresh me. Truly why it is worth driving that 30 minutes south from Tremadog polish and queues to the should-be-irresistable Rhinnogs.
Here's some photos to speak a thousand words:
Armalite @ Raven Crag. Soft touch and relaxing.
Master Spy @ Wilton 1. Sandbag and exhausting.
Some F6b+ arete at Barmouth. Quite pleasant.
Some F6c at Sunbeach. Minor but fun.
Ogwen Valley from the Menai Straits. You can smell the bumbly even from here.
Purrfection @ Y Foel Penolau. Recreating the guidebook photo complete with rubbish beta.
Purrfection showing the correct way. Amazing place.
Brand new 3 star classic arete in the Rhinnogs.
Now all I want to do is get back to Mid Wales. Bloody 5+ hour journey though...