King Wad or Bad Boy?

Seems that this July is one of the driest and sunniest we've had in North Wales for a good few years. Long may the good weather continue! The result is that I've been climbing quite a bit recently.

A couple of weeks ago I succeeded on redpointing I'v Been a Bad Boy 7c/7c+ at LPT. This was the first route that I've spent more than a day working on. I kind of enjoyed the redpointing experience but I was defiantly glad to finally get it done!  The route probably took me about 7 redpoints spread over 4 days. On most of my attempts I got withing a move to the top; being quite short I found a move slapping round an arete to a small sidepull desperate. The route is given 7c but is common knowledge that that top move is harder for the short, not that it matters but I'm going to take 7c+.

The route is very good, a hard boulder problem start followed by a pumpy traverse, technical groove then a dynamic on-off finishing sequence climaxing with a big move to a massive jug. Fantastic.

On I've Been a Bad Bad Boy 7c+
On Saturday I climbed on Scimitar Ridge with Calum Muskett. We warmed up on Troy E1 5b, then I had had a go at King Wad E5 6b.  King Wad was a route I had heard much about, seen plenty of photos but had never contemplated doing. It had always seemed several levels above my climbing ability. I guess the fact it used to be given E6 on UKC had something to do with it! 

Calum assured me that it was never E6, more like a safe E5. With this in mind I set off. The bottom section of the route takes a cracked line of weakness up the steep wall. The climbing is fantastic and the gear is good. At the bottom of the arete a hard move matching a small crimp leads to a peg and a hands off rest. From here the hanging arete can truly be appreciated, it looked hard and breathtakingly exposed. From the rest its possible to move out to the arete, place a small cam, clip a peg and place a couple of small wires then (with difficulty) reverse the sequence back to the rest. Once adequately de-pumped I launched back out to the arete and committed to the dynamic moves above. Initially I tried to climb it direct, this didn't work I nearly came off. I was now fighting the pump, sport climbing mode was well and truly engaged, pinching the arete with my left hand I threw up for a hold up and right with my right hand. A cross through and a couple of pulls saw me standing at the top. A very unlikely King Wad! 

Unfortunately no one was around to take photos. Below is a photo Calum took later that day of Karin Magog on Killerkranky, another route on Scimitar Ridge. 

Karin Magog on Killerkranky E5 6b