Two things happened last week which were equally exciting (to me!)
Wild Understatement 8a+
First, on Friday night I climbed Wild Understatement at LPT which is kind of a direct version of Statement of Youth with an independent start and finish. Wild Understatement is certainly wild! The start takes a very improbable line over a massive roof which goes with surprising ease once the right holds are found..while blindly groping about! The route then joins Statement after its traverse for three bolts before moving left (crux move) into a stunning finger crack to finish. Late tides meant we climbed almost till dark, being Friday night I went straight to the Heights in Llanberis which was well attended. It was great to be able to see so many good friends in one go, times like these remind me how good living in North Wales is!
The route gets the grade of 8a+, making it the first route of this grade for me to climb. This is exciting for me since it's the first time in a year and a half that I've broken into a new grade. I did my first 8a in Nov 2011, since then I've done a total of 8 routes which get 8a. In that time I had a quick play on a couple of harder routes but the '+' grade seemed to have the effect of making the climbing feel desperate!
On Wild Understatement I capitalised on my familiarity with Statement of Youth, this certainly maked a big difference psychologically, knowing that in the middle I would be on familiar ground. Even so I was surprised to get Wild Understatement on my first proper redpoint!
|Funky mammutus (apparently) cloud formations at LPT|
As always with climbing, it never ends! I wonder if I will need to do another 7 or 8 8a+'s before 8b feels doable! I hope not, since that sounds like a lot of hard work!
Here's my 8's logbook from the past year or so, looking back through my UKC logbook this evening has brought back lots of happy memories of trips, people and places reminding me that these routes are much more than just a tick next to number.
The Dark Half - Rainbow Walls, Dinorwic Slate
Lordes - Makinadromo, El-Chorro, Spain
El Monstro del Muesli! - Gorge du Jonte, France
Manic Strain - Vivian, Dinorwic Slate
Anabòlica - Suriana, Spain
Route 27 - Venasque, France
Statement of Youth - LPT
Les ailes du désir 50m! - Gorge du Tarn, France
Wild Understatement - LPT
The other equally important highlight for me this week has been Plas Y Brenin winning CAMRA Pub of the Year 2013 out of about 150 pub's in the Abercolwyn area!
I've worked at PYB (part-time) for the past 7 years and about the last 5 years part-time on the bar. In this time I've seen the bar go from strength to strength.
We always have a couple of our own ales (brewed especially for us by Bragdy Nant who are based just down the road in Llanrwst) on tap as well as a guest ale which changes weekly from an amazing selection of local breweries, usually Purple Moose, Great Orme or Conwy. Add into the mix a great selection of Scottish (and Welsh!) whiskeys, lots of Welsh cider, free WIFI, great coffee and dare I say it good people! And it's a winning concoction.
|Dave and myself being presented with the award by CAMRA chairman Ian Saunders|
|Pub of the Year!|
|A couple of second later....priorities!|
I can't claim to have have played a big part in this award since these days I'm down to one evening a week but nonetheless I felt very proud. Well done to everyone involved in particular Dave Low, Phil Cousins and Robin.
The view from the bar is simply stunning, in my opinion it's the best view from any bar in the UK. There are not many better places to sit and enjoy a cool beer after a big day out climbing than out on the balcony watching the sun set on Snowdon. I must have taken close to a hundred photos of the view from the bar over the years. Here are my favourites:
|Summer Morning September 2009 - the morning of my SPA assessment|
|Winder Morning Nov 2010..waking up in my van to find that my water tank had frozen, and gas wouldn't work coffee had to wait but the view was enough to get me out of bed!|
|Autum evening Oct 2010|
|Autumn Evening - Oct 2010|