After wrapping up in the Alps for the summer I decided to head straight to North Wales for an annual 'working holiday' there. I had a few reasons to go. See important people, do some work, climb some routes and hopefully climb a particular line I have been hoping to do for a long time. The way it worked out, I did about 80% of that...the particular line will have to wait!
|Crags don't get much better than this|
After arriving back I teamed up with my regular client Sean. We have had a trip to Wales in the past and managed to escape the weather but this time luck wasn't on our side. A forecast nobody really wanted to be out in, so as we had the option we chose to go to the Beacon Climbing wall which served its purpose.
|Thumbs up for greasy, tech big boot climbing!|
|Sean happy to be high|
Our second day wasnt much better. Anyway, we got stuck in. On a previous trip we climbed Original Route on Idwal Slabs but this time we opted for the harder Hope. I had only done this in dry conditions so it was great to seek it out while it was soaking. It went fine, our big boots did the job, however I do remember having to do quite a few strenuous moves to advance up. A strong effort by Sean to dispatch this.
|Katya, an IML, gets stuck into rock climbing|
|Rope shortened, Katya leads to glory...in the rain|
After this followed a spot of personal climbing, surfing and catching up with friends. Before I knew it, I was back out working with Katya and Aide. We have done heaps in the past, mostly in winter so this time they were keen to advance their skills rock climbing. So day one they swung leads on Original Route on the slabs (in the rain) in their big boots, put alpine skills into practice to scramble off which was packed with some good laughs and piss taking as we always do...and obviously some technical input! ;)
|First time on the sea cliffs...Check out the power pants!|
|Aid negotiating the crux of Lighthouse Arete|
Day two they were sold on some sea cliff climbing. So an early start saw us abseiling into Castle Helen before anyone else had turned up. I led them up Light House Arete, Rap and Pel before we shifted over to Holyhead Mountain so they could do some more leading before we called it a day. As this seemed like the last day of nice weather, my mate John drove out at warp speed to meet me after work so we could stretch the arms and do a couple of pitches in the fading light. A mint day.
|Hanging out at the seaside|
|A rare shot of Aid smiling and not swearing. A classic Aid quote 'Put my foot up there?? Im not a f#@king gymnast!'|
My last day, I was climbing on the Orme with the Evans. It was a multi activity day. Sport climbing, Trad climbing, bouldering, falling off and good craic. I do quite like Wales...I always feel like moving there when I'm on my working holidays there. Maybe one day. Anyway...back to Scotland...hopefully in time for an Indian Summer!