Mother Carey's Kitchen

Exciting Climbs and Another Dead Camera

Pembroke Sea Cliffs, Tremadog and Gogarth Rock Climbs 

So, it was off to Mother Carey's on Friday to meet up for the initial day of Steve's stag do. I met with Steve, Dave and Caliean at the car park and headed to the cliffs. Steve was ordered to climb the classic Rock Idol and I was climbing with Dave. When we got down, I spotted a line that looked fun. We didn't have the guide book with us and I couldn't remember anything that mentioned routes on the wall to the right of the Wraith arete. I headed up a steep crack to beneath a roof. After trying to pull out right a couple of times, I opted for a left exit option. This proved a techie little number and came onto the Wraith arete, to then head right, back onto the wall and a dodgy belay at half hight. After a traverse across and up the Cracks Wall, we were back at the top. Caliean, having seconded Steve on Rock Idol, was up for something a little steeper and started the tricky abseil into the high tide belay of Just Cling On, on the super steep Space Face. Me and Dave took our places on the viewing platform opposite the Space Face and got ready for the action! A brilliant performance by Caliean saw him at the top of a very exciting looking climb. Both me and Dave didn't fancy swapping places with Steve. Steve put up a great fight to clean the route and gave a very good performance indeed - let's hope he isn't challenged too much each day of his stag do...

That evening Edmund came round and bags were thrown into my van and we booted it up to Snowdonia. We climbed at Tremadog on Saturday, ticking off some great routes on Craig Pant Ifan (Stromboli, Cardiac Arete, Helsinki Wall and Ed finishing on Spare Rib). I forgot to take my camera to the crag, so no photos from Tremadog. That evening we drove off to Gogarth for some "big fun" on Sunday. We started by walking in via North Stack - a way I've not explored before and found our way over to the top of Wen Zawn. I peered over at Wen Slab and the famous route Dream of White Horses, which I had climbed almost ten years previously. I threw the abseil rope down where I thought the descent to Britomartis was. After committing to the abseil, features began to look familiar and eventually I was back down at the belay ledge, just above the uncaring sea. Ed joined me and I set off on Spider Wall, a two pitch route taking in some impressive ground. That done, Ed was up for something a harder, so we headed off for North Stack. The wind was blowing hard and I put on my hat and gloves. The abseil (off an old sawn off wooden telegraph pole) filled me with apprehension - Surely this is strong enough...? Ed went first with one rope on his back and his full rack. I consoled myself with the fact that Ed would have weighed far more than me with all that on, as I tied the second rope round my back and put my self onto the abseil. North Stack felt pretty scary... As I made the descent I noticed long loops of tat, hanging like casualties from former ascents of Doug Scott's major roof aid climb The Big Overhang from 1967. Seeing this line of shredded tat, though the roofs of an impossible looking challenged made me feel even more out of place. 

Ed was keen to get onto Blue Peter - a terrifying looking E4 up a large, loose looking wall, with the apparent crux only 8 meters off the ground. To be honest, It was one of the scariest belays I'd ever done and by the time Ed had got to the top, I had already made up my mind to jumar out. As I had jumared about 20m, I heard a smash from below. It was my camera that had fallen out of an open pocket. So the big question was: Was my "bash proof" camera that bash resistant?... No, not bash proof when it comes to a North Stack boulder beach I guess... 

On Monday I tagged on a NICAS moderation for a Leisure Centre in North Wales to bring some form of working normality back into my life. Fun, head games and work.