Friday, 23 August 2013

Wales, new places, new people and cake!

The last few weeks have all been a bit of a whirlwind for me. They seem to have passed by so quickly its hard to believe it'll be September next week! I am psyched for the coming season and a return to the brown stuff but it'd be nice to just hang onto the long summer days all the chillin in shorts and t-shirts and clipping those bolts for just a little longer.

I mentioned in the last post about our trip over to Wales just over a week ago to hook up with the Mammut team and a bunch of shop reps from all over the country. The idea was to get everyone together to learn about and test some of next years range of hardware and basically squeeze as much climbing in as possible!

I'd not been to Wales in probably over 5 years and never even set foot on the Orme! So I was obviously pretty excited to check it out and hopefully get some time to climb there. We managed a session in the cave of power, Parisella's, a place I've wanted to get to for a long time! I thought Stoney was badly polished but this place takes it to a different level.... Still, it has some mind boggling problems and linkups and I can finally say that I've been. Rock Attrocity got done quickly on our first day and we'll be eager to return in the future for more.

There is so much to do in North Wales and I can see that next year I'm going to have to make a tonne more trips over. On the way back to The Brenin one evening I persuaded the guys to make a quick stop at Jerry's Roof in the Pass. Extremely glad we did as it lived up to everything I'd heard and a nice way to finish the day. Then it was back to base for tea and cake!

 Jerry's Roof, V9 | Llanberis Pass
© Ollie Berkin

 © Ollie Berkin

 We also fancied taking a look at Pigeons Cave which has seen a massive amount attention of late and on the last day we got the chance to head down. Its a stunning venue, in a sweet little cove right next to the ocean with a really different style of rock. Unfortunately it was all soggy and wet but we were too syked to care and while we left Nathan to go wading through the incoming tide in search of a boulder, both Cailean and myself got in on the action with an ascent of Stiff Upper Lip. A real smash and grab job!

The impressive and super steep Pigeons Cave

Livin' it large on Pill Box wall....

The trip definitely opened my eyes some more as to how much Wales has to offer. Very refreshing to be at totally new crags and in a breathtaking part of the country. And we didn't even managed to make it down to one of the best spots, LPT! Something that we need to sort out for next year its just another place where there is soooo much to go at.
Thanks again to Mammut for putting together a fun week for us all, looking forward to the next one!

Swiss style gear demo
© Ollie Berkin

In news a little closer to home I've been spending a lot of my time down at Two Tier, ticking our way through the classics, stuff I've never really got round to checking out before. I think one week I spent about 5 days here! Pretty keen yes and I'm sure some of you will laugh, but with so much to do and not knowing when the weather might take a turn for the worse I decided to get stuck in.
Conditions down here have been top drawer and its been the place to go since the cornice died the death and for those not quite wanting to sulk back to the Tor just yet.

 The Simon Nadin classic 'Gonads' 8a+

Secteur Nadin is brilliant with a whole bunch of those classic limestone routes that should be high on peoples lists. Abberation, Celebration, Minos and Gonads are all quality and it was great fun working our way along the crag. For some reason Gonads was another one that always put me off and could never get massively inspired for it. When it reality it ain't all that bad with some funky moves from start to finish and has a slightly different feel to it than other routes in the dale of a similar grade. Its all about mixing things up with your climbing and keeping things fresh and as long as you're motivated and having fun, its all plain sailing.

Have a good bank holiday guyz


Monday, 19 August 2013

Gran Techo video edit:

If you've not seen this already then I'm pretty stoked to be able to share another cool video edit from Jon Clark. Featuring my ascent of Gran Techo down the Chee Dale Cornice last month. He's done up another slick looking job on this and I hope it gets people keen to go check it out next year.

It's a massive shame the whole crag is now totally soaked, we really did have a hella lot of rain in such a short space of time a few weeks back. But it was great while it lasted and at least we still have plenty of dry rock to keep us going! Time is flying by, its literally insane how fast it goes. I don't know if its the same for everyone but I really struggle sometimes to get my head around it. Just where has the summer gone??? Anyway here it is!

I had a awesome time in Wales last week with the Mammut team, climbing on The Orme for the first time, testing out a bunch of shiny new gear that's due out next year (there is some seriously snazzy stuff on its way) and consuming a large amount of extremely good cake. I'll get round to writing up something for that later but big thanks to the guys at head office for sorting it all out and to the Plas y Brenin staff for putting up with us all!

Currently on a rest day and gearing up for a mini adventure tomorrow... Buzzing for something a little different!

Hope you guys enjoy the video, I'm off to cook up a tasty chicken casserole!