A Gap In The Clouds

My phone blipped with a text. I looked: it was Pablo. “Man I’m heading Jerry’s roof now”

I looked out the window and it was, near as damnit, dry outside – the first chance i’ve had for weeks. Out the back of the house, the stone walls still clung to the damp but the tops of the trees were swaying slightly, meaning the rock might actually be in nick.

I looked at the fire and the teapot resting, staying warm. On the table sat my appealing-looking tea, slowly cooling. This had been my plan for the morning: drink tea, tidy up a bit, crash out for the morning doing boring normal-person jobs. To be honest, this was quite appealing – was i really gonna change plans at the last second? After all my complaining, it would’ve been pretty pathetic not to go because i had to sweep the floor and drink tea.

I looked at the clock: quarter to eleven. I’d made plans to help with a cleanup at the Mill at 1pm and i really don’t like letting people down. But two hours might be enough for a short session… And of all the people i know, these guys would surely be the most likely to understand. And it’s not as if i wouldn’t go, i just might be a bit late.

I looked at the dog and she returned that look of hope that we’d go do something slightly more interesting than sitting in the house yet again. She wanted to be out and while Jerry’s roof would involve a ground anchor and being tied up, at least she’d be out! A change of scenery, someone else to pester, just not to be stuck in here would be good enough.

Lastly, i looked in the mirror: dickhead. How could i not go?! I’ve done nothing but complain for three months of the relentless deluge of drizzle and now i had a great opportunity to get out and climb on rock! Turn this down, and i would effectively be turning down any hope of outdoor winter climbing this season. I had no choice. And i didn’t want one.

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Half an hour later and i was desperately trying to get warm under the big roadside boulder, pads everywhere, dog bothering us but happy to be outside pulling on dry rock once again. I even let out a little cheer the first time i pulled off the floor!

But that cheer was nothing compared to the whooping and hollering that was to follow! I would’ve joined Pablo on Bus Stop 7b+, and did repeat some of the moves, but i’m rarely a fan of repeating problems i’ve done before. Jerry’s Roof V9 was another option but a touch hard and i didn’t think i’d have time to have a proper blast. Instead, recently i’d seen a video clip of someone doing Johnny’s Problem V7/8 on the right hand side. It’s a problem i’d always neglected in the past (not sure why) but looked okay so i thought i’d have a blast.

I wrote an article recently about how modern technology is changing the way we climb and this was no different. After a token gesture effort to pull off the floor, i decided i wanted video-beta for my feet. It turned out to be pretty useless and some common sense would’ve gone far further (get your feet high to get power from an undercling, and if a hold is heavily polished, it’s probably the one everyone uses…) but nevertheless, at around 1 o’clock, just when i was supposed to be arriving at the mill, i pulled off the floor with feet high, got enough power into my right hand and snatched the pocket with my left. A minute later, i was cheering so loud it was embarrassing.

And just like that, it was done – only my second outdoor climb since the 30th October: Johnny’s Problem V7/8. Pablo, too, made progress on Bus Stop and we both left happy, chatting about the possibility of Albarracin next Christmas, spirits high at having thwarted the weather at last and got outside at last!

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The rest of the day went well – the Mill clean up was hugely successful and i spent the early evening with a fresh pot of tea watching James May talk about Land Rovers (amongst some other cars). It was the type of day that renews your faith in life, brings optimism to the fore.

The previous day, i’d been at a fantastic gig in Capel Curig at the Siabod Cafe and was chatting to people about the atrocious weather we’d all been suffering and while a good moan is good for the soul, i did say we had to keep the faith. Stood under that boulder on a windy afternoon, those words resonated in my mind. It’s there for the keen. I hope we all get out again soon.

It happened. It was always going to eventually. Yesterday, I finally managed to #climb #outside on #rock! And not just that: I #ticked something new as well! This is only my second tick since 1st November as the few dry days (and I mean about three of them) just haven't fallen to me kindly. So you can imagine my joy yesterday! The climb in the photo isn't actually the one I managed yesterday. This is #busstop 7b+ that fell last year during the #summerofsends but #johnnysproblem is just to the right at V7/8. #jerrysroof traverses from the bottom left of the picture to rise and finish in the middle at the top. Here's just hoping my next session isn't another three months away… #llanberispass #northwales #northwalesbouldering #bouldering #rockclimbing #climbing #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_photos_of_instagram #climbing_pictures_of_instagram

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8 thoughts on “A Gap In The Clouds”

  1. Ok, someone needs to release an updated bouldering guide. I have no idea where more than half of the locations in that video are.

    Also, I’m jealous. Stupid flat Denmark. At least we have good beer, I suppose.

    1. Haha, yeah new guide is on its way slowly. On the bright side, it’ll be amazing when it finally arrives! I can empathise though – I live in Llanberis and I don’t know a lot of them! I’m coming through Denmark in June, en route to Finland, there nothing there? Probably check out Kjugekull and Vastervik on the way past

      1. There is nothing in Denmark proper, although apparently there is a small amount of bouldering on Bornholm. But that’s incredibly out of the way, sadly.

        Kjuge was nice the one time I was there, and I would strongly recommend it at least for a day stop-over on our way by. It’s a beautiful setting, generally good landings. I hope to get to go there again in the near future, but, sadly, no car.

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