We arrived in North Wales in full rain and fog, Llanberis style, but our forecast told us to expect otherwise so we made a plan for me to do the Cad the next day. We woke up in the morning to rain and wind and very cold temperatures. Although the Cad is meant to be easy physically, it’s not one you want to fall off of because you numb out. A little worried, we set off for the coast anyway.
Fortunately something that often happens in North Wales is that you’ll get perfect blue skies on the coast even when it’s pissing it down in Llanberis. Luckily for us, it was one of those days. ‘The ‘island of Gogarth’ as Hans calls Anglesey, was blessed with perfect blue skies and it was ‘game-on’. We did Blue Peter to warm up, which turned out to be quite bold for E4, on snappy rock, which didn’t bode well for the Cad.
So how did it go? Pretty good. I didn’t really feel like I was going to fall, and the tricky climbing was above OK gear, albeit a long way above that gear. I spent a long time trying to find gear on the start of the route. I think I’m a bit out of touch at finding weird gear having sport climbed and trad climbed on granite for most of the last year. Anyway I suppose it’s better to take a long time and walk back from the crag, than rush and end up splattered on the floor.
The next day provided full entertainment as we all launched oursleves on Strawberries. We all tried really hard which was great to see, but Hans came out on top with a smooth as onsight! It was really cool to see him do it, well done Hans! I really want to go back and finish it, its an amazing route.
The guys wanted some shots of the slate quarries so I did a little solo of Soap on a rope, which I really enjoyed. It felt nice to climb without a rope and rack.
Me and Caro also got a chance to get on Gin Palace. I tried it 3 years ago but fell off devastatingly close tot the top. I’ve always wanted to finish it off and was psyched to do it first try. Caro, really impressively did it second go. For those of you who don’t know Gin palace – it’s an incredibly awkward tight slate chimney. Most chimneys I’ve climbed are granite and you can smear quite easily, but you can’t smear on slate, which makes this ‘7c’ extremely difficult. It mostly requires extreme perseverance to stay in the chimney.
All in all, North Wales blessed us with good climbing, good footage and blue skies!