After my analysis of “active parenting” in my last post, it’s been a month now and to be totally honest, the climbing has dried up; unlike the weather.
The terrible weather mentioned a couple of posts ago has conspired to keep us from going out and totally stymeed the early momentum from my first time off with Rosie. Instead, we’ve… well, truth be told, i honestly can’t remember what we’ve been doing!
Even my Instagram feed – usually a useful record of our latest activities – is filled with throwback photos to try and get some psyche back. In fact, there are only two outdoor climbing posts since the last update post: a very quick and short blast at the Cromlech boulders and a recent glorious day at Clogwyn y Tarw.
Bad beta on Leo's Dyno 7a+ on a rare and short but unexpected and dry session at the #cromlechboulders this evening. It's nice to be repeating some #climbs that I've not done for many years and some, like this one, that have previously escaped me. I guess that's the best bit about trying to revisit everything again: there's always something you missed the first time around. Or the first hundred times… #worldclasswales #northwales #llanberispass #northwalesbouldering #bouldering #rockclimbing #climbing #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #meclimbing
The latter was indeed a great little session, with the aim being a climb i’d not really looked at called The Rocker 7b. The big one for me at Clogwyn y Tarw remains The Punk 7c from sit but with my current form, i’d noticed the lower grade and thought it would be a wiser objective. Sadly – as often happens with choosing goals from a guidebook – once i’d seen it for real, it didn’t actually appeal that much, and needed more protection (another pad or a spotter) than i had with me.
Instead, i opted to tick off a couple of other problems whose descriptions in the old guidebook have been greatly improved by photo topos: Soul Boy 6c and Here Comes Cadi 7a. Neither were flashed, as i bottled the top out and am soooo rusty on rock right now, but both were and are outstanding lines with great moves.
Yes! It actually happened! #northwalesbouldering and it was yesterday! It was dry! And gorgeous out in the #ogwenvalley up at #clogwynytarw. A few hours out to play and while I was super rusty, and The Rocker needed far more protection than I had with me, Here Comes Cadi 7a and this line, Soul Boy 6c did both go quickly, as did the starting moves to The Punk 7c. Most of all, it was so good to be out moving on rock again! #worldclasswales #snowdonia #snowdonianationalpark #northwales #bouldering #rockclimbing #climbing #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_pictures_of_instagram
The only other outdoor activity of a climbing-related nature was a lovely walk into the newly developed Tal y Fan. This new crag lies miles out to the east of the park, overlooking the Conwy valley with a stunning vista down the the Irish Sea, and was almost undiscovered until the enterprising local activist Owen Hayward developed it in recent years.
With a friend of mine, Alex, living over that way and asking if i was keen to have a day out with our respective young kids, it seemed a logical place to go and explore; especially as the weather was actually quite nice.
In hindsight, taking pads and shoes in wouldn’t have been the worst idea but we would’ve had to be a LOT more organised. Saying that, a scouting mission was indeed useful and the crag dries super quickly. The aspect alone is worth the walk in.
After deciding to sack off the idea of #climbing today, me and Alex – former CA at work, joiner who did our kitchen and good friend – took our #kids for a walk in the #carneddau instead, checking out the new venue #talyfan. And what a great walk it was! Gorgeous blue skies, fantastic views and #children that were a dream to behold. Genuinely, I don't think I could've asked any more of Rosie today and it was great to see little jack walking around and having a great time. Loved getting out with another #dad too #worldclasswales #snowdonianationalpark #snowdonia
While that short summary concludes all of our outdoor excursions in the last month (MONTH!) we have been able to make use of the local indoor facilities – although even then, i’ve been more coaching than actually climbing!
The most notable session must be over near Queensferry at the excellent Boardroom. With Em’s brother living over that way, we drove over to meet up and have a bit of a family climbing session. It was, indeed, absolutely awesome, in a great wall that we don’t often use as it’s a little too far away, with James and Em both getting a climb in and with three of us, Rosie had a great time too.
#Family #climb time at the @boardroomclimb yesterday with Rosie, @emks93 and Uncle James! Triple teamed #parenting duties between us to give us all a bit of a blast and huge thanks to James for helping us out. #bouldering for me, some routes thoroughly enjoyed by my #supermum and a bit of both for Jay while Rosie enjoyed the bright colours and lots of people milling around. Throw in a quality pizza and it was a close to perfect day really! #indoorclimbing #climbing #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_pictures_of_instagram
Meanwhile, closer to home, the annual Indy Aggregate competition kicked off again a touch earlier than expected – numbering existing climbs, rather than stripping everything and resetting. Even with this, i still opted to play it safe and try and repeat anything that i could, to make sure i’d actually done everything i was saying i had. A couple of the harder climbs would be the exceptions.
Next thing i knew, i’d managed 50 climbs in one evening. By the end of it, i was making Chris Sharma-esq noises on a 4 and couldn’t do the first move on a 6a. Last time there, i had only five problems outstanding in the current set.
You have to love a local #climbing wall that will let you do this. The #indy are absolutely awesome and me and Rosie spent a good four hours plus there this afternoon; me #bouldering away, my #daughter either chilling in her car seat or enjoying some space on the mat. Credit to the other customers too, who weren't phased by the site of a #baby on the pads. That said, there weren't many of them as we deliberately went during a quiet afternoon. I've got to give them huge credit. The Indy are always welcoming and friendly, set good problems and provide tea at a good price. There's not much more you could ask really. #worldclasswales #northwales #northwalesbouldering #rockclimbing #climbing_is_my_passion #activeparenting #startemyoung #sharedparentalleave #daddydaughtertime
It has also proven an excellent venue for #daddydaughtertime. Admittedly i do try hard to pick times and days when it will not be busy but there aren’t many walls that will just allow me to take an 8-month-old baby and have her on the pad with me. More than that even, as Rosie often gets some fuss treatment from the lads down there and last time we were there, Dave was encouraging her to start crawling…
I’ve often waxed poetic about the Indy Climbing Wall and it speaks volumes that i’m more than happy to do it again and again. It’s more than just good business, there is a friendliness and genuine encouragement around the place, a nice vibe that makes me want to keep going back. The fact i’m welcome to take Rosie – or in fact anyone able to take any well behaved children like that! – is a testament to the nature of the place. With our outdoor options curtailed somewhat, it’s been fantastic to have such a facility so nearby.