This week, on Wednesday and Today, I headed cragging at Holyhead Mountain. Now, I was going to post about Wednesday earlier in the week; however, we never managed to get any photos- we did today, so I thought I’d combine a post of the two. It can be all colorful now! We did some really great routes during the two days, Wednesday with Hannah, Today with Matt. So where do I start? The classic of the crag, of course. Tension VS 4b, what a stunning route.
Tension was a route I’d wanted to do for ages; dominating the quartz buttress lies two striking lines. A VS that traverses a the huge roof before finishing over a bulge and the better, 3 star, Tension that moves left under the roof, and swings left around the arete to a steep crack system…fabulous climbing. So good in fact, that I lead this on Wednesday with Hannah and today with Matt! Leading it the first time was a real joy, finally getting on the route and starting the initial corner before trending left and climbing the first corner to the overhang….then swinging out on the jugs around the arete (crux).
Photo 1.1 – Me, leading Tension-just below the crux swing.
Once the crux swing is over, one move remains-don’t fall off this, the last gear isn’t close- and you’re standing on a large hold with both feet. Here it is possible to swap arms and shake out, more importantly, it’s a good time to slot in a bomber wire! The steep crack is easier than the crux; however, a series of many 4b moves remain, strung together. The gear, though, is also excellent and the holds positive-it is steep though. A fabulous, fabulous route!
Photo 1.2 – Me placing gear after the crux of Tension (don’t ask why I left the green rope out).
Today, the first route we did was A Pleasant Surprise HS 4c, I lead it and thought the climbing was excellent; however, definitely not 4c imo…more 4b. Also today, I lead a bold and delicate slab climb called Duffel, wonderful delicate moves lead across a thin slab to an arete and then back across the slab diagonally on small holds- wonderful thin climbing, the gear wasn’t inspiring though. You’d probably deck from the crux!
We managed to get lots of other routes done, including: The Sump Direct HS 4b, I lead this on Wednesday and seconded it today. Comfortably Numb VS 4c, I lead this today. Rock and Ice HS 4a, lead on Wednesday. New Boots and Panties S 4a, seconded today. Lost Hope HS 4a, seconded today….and a few others.
All in all and excellent couple of days! I’ll post tomorrow after climbing in Ogwen!