On possibly the most glorious weekend in the history of North Wales and I had arranged to go to Birmingham to get the car serviced. In fairness, there was no way when i sorted out the trip that anyone in the world could predict what the weather was going to do but i did love the irony that i should wait till the best weekend this decade to leave the village for the first time since Christmas. That being said, i did manage to get to Nescliffe on the way to Brum.
Nescliffe is a little known crag in Shropshire, a sandstone escarpment alongside the old road from Holyhead to London, lending itself to short but bold routes. It also has a substantial amount of gritstone-style boulder problems, relying on strong fingers, good technique and friction… something that is not available in abundance on a blisteringly hot summers eve. So, at Berlin Wall in a gorgeous sunset, climbing shirtless, i chalked my hands and climbed on the starting moves of a simple V1 called Jug U’la only to find myself with a clean palm lying on the floor!
Twice more the rock raped my hand of any grip, chalk getting sucked up into the greasy sandstone until finally there was enough friction to be able to hold on. After a frustrating amount of time, i made it to the top of the problem, wondering who the hell had graded the problems at this place! However, the next ones soon fell, with Dead Head V2 6a feeling unimaginably easier, and slowly a little list of ticks appeared, in the beauty of the sun setting through the forest.
So on to Birmingham, and while this may not seem like the best way to recharge when you live somewhere like Llanberis but there is always something nice about going back to where you come from. My home is definitely in Wales, but the city will always hold a special place in my heart, even if only for a weekend.