Monday, April 6, 2009

In the hands of the masters

Yesterday I had another trip over to Wales to get some more Slate pics. Together with Matt Heason we managed to sneak in half a day on the Cromlech. One of the UK's finest crags, quality lines at every grade all soaked in reputation and history. Talking of which one of the routes we did was Grond, Whillans incredible hand crack from the Fifties. Laughably given E1 in the latest CC guide (its actually hard E2 and probably a grade tougher than the neighbouring Monster, given E2) this proved a bit of a lesson from history as despite my rack of shiny cams I had a right battle (including a quick slip out the crux jams). Bearing the scars of our encounter we headed down to the Slate to meet James McHaffie. James has also been following the masters although very much at the other end of the grading scale by taking on Johnny Dawes's unfinished project The Meltdown. This is total state of the art in terms of world slab climbing and back in the day Johnny came close to success before breaking off a hold. Whether James can have more luck we'll have to see but it was great to see him at work linking together many of the outrageous sequences.
James on the Meldown project.

No comments: