Carreg Hylldrem

Yesterday Luke, Barni and I explored Garreg Hylldrem. Previously I had only done a couple of routes on the crag, which is pretty shocking considering it's two min down the road from my house. I think my lack of activity on the crag has something to do with the fact that is's super intimidatingly steep.

Armed with a big rack of nuts, cams and plenty of large ovaries we were ready to do battle.

First I set off up the 30 degree roof crack of King Kong E3 5c. The crack was more intimidating than hard, with positive holds and large pockets at the top. Fantastic.

Me thugging up the first pitch of King Kong

After a few meters of super bunched up horizontal climbing with our knees by our faces Luke set off up the final steep flake of  Troubador while Barni told me what cheese to use if you need to hide a horse. Supposedly easier than the first pitch but the lack of positive holds made it pretty tricky. Both pitches are totally wild.

Luke working his way up the 'detached' flake on the final pitch of King Kong Troubadour connection 

Next Barni wanted to have a look at Wildebeest E4 6a. It takes the arĂȘte which leads directly into Hardd. Not being put off by the slightly hollow flake or Luke dropping his pear Barni tucked in his skirt and pulled off an awesome lead.

Barni setting off on the 1st pitch of Wildebeest 

Barni working hard on Wildebeest

Luke seconding Wildebeest

Luke found a great knee bar rest 

The pitch leads into the traverse of Hardd, which was just as scary to second as it was when I lead it a couple of years ago.

I then lead the top pitch of Wildebeest while Barni and Luke took turns to share my fleece and shiver on the belay. I found it pretty awkward and pumpy. Maybe something to do with the fact my trad climbing is a little rusty after a winter of climbing ice and indoor plastic.

I then had to leave to go to work. I heard that Barni and Luke did Samurai Groove moving fast with plenty of jumpers as the crag had now lost the sun. Reportedly its awesome and wild.

Another great day of winter sun, banter and good climbing.

If you do ever need to hide a horse, the cheese of choice is apparently mascarpone.

Late Winter Sunshine at Tremadog

There is defiantly a buzz in North Wales this time of year. Climbers are 'de-winterising' their racks and trying to get fit ready for sunny rock climbing. Even though there has been no snow for a while (apart from the odd sprinkle on the tops) its been pretty chilly and often wet. Today was the first proper t-shirt climbing day for me, and what a day it was!

I went to Tremadog with Barni, Luke and Ewan. Luke and I climbed a good right-to-left traverse of Grim Wall called Sometime E3 6a. It lacked any stars in the guidebook but the route certainly had cool positions and nice non-polished rock.

Luke on 1st pitch of Sometime 

Luke on 2nd pitch of Sometime

We then had a look at the meaty jamming top pitch of The Neb Direct E3/4. After a team effort Barni and Luke manage a clean ascent with gear pre-placed.

Barni On Neb Direct

Barni on Neb Direct

Looking down the horror of Neb Direct 

Luke giving everything on Neb Direct

Nearly there

Late winter sunshine