Last week, I saw a post on UKC from Hannah stating that she was keen to graduate from indoor climbing to outdoor climbing. To cut a long story short, I made contact with her and after making some arrangements I offered to take her outside to door some climbing..
We met up at around 8:45am and introduced ourselves and soon we were on our way to South Stack ready to do some climbing at Holyhead Mountain. We parked up and chatted as we headed towards the crag, we decided to start easily on a VD called “hat”, it would be a good way to asses how Hannah was climbing and what she was comfortable with. I lead “hat” a delicate slabby groove line on the extreme right of the crag, Hannah seconded the route with ease and I could see that she’d done plenty of climbing inside. We continued in much the same vein, deciding to do a two pitched VD called Black Owen, I lead both pitches and again Hannah seconded them in fine style…due to this, I decided to take her on something a little harder.
On the decent from Black Owen, we passed a little VS 4c called Comfortably Numb, a very nice route. I decided I’d lead this and see how Hannah got on. The easy first slab climbs to a ledge before the wall rears up into your face, small cams protect the very thin moves on the head-wall from a ground fall; however, not from the ledge below: always an enjoyable lead. Hannah climbed well, despite falling from the crux she got it on her third go and her foot work was excellent!! Based on her climbing, we decided to head to another VS 4c called curains; however, it’s more like HS 4b.
I lead both pitches in one go, it’s relatively straight and short so there’s really no need to do it in two. The delicate rib continues through the crux and up a steeper crack at the end. Hannah climbed in good style again and soon we were heading down and planning her first lead…
We selected a Diff for her first lead, I gave her some tips and she set off. Not perfect, but most of her gear was great, I must say, in hindsight it wasn’t the best route for a first lead, the woman on it previously said it was. It was more like HD/VD and Hannah did very well. I lead the top pitch before we headed down for one final route.
As the last route, I took Hannah on one of my favorite Severe routes at the crag: Pigeon Hole Crack, I lead it quickly in really windy conditions, keen to get to the top and get down out of the wind. Hannah, given her slight and light frame, was being blown and buffeted and was relieved to top out without being blown from the crag. We headed down, racked away kits and ropes and headed from the car and back home.
A really nice day with excellent company, next post- Sunday!