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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Better than it would appear, Slate. Wedensday 8th

Tuesday night was wild in Nant Peris, heavy rain and strong winds made us retreat to the warmth of the local pub in the village. Thinking all climbing would be off in the morning we enjoyed a pint or two too much over competitive games of pool. The morning cleared dryer thought the wind was still fresh. The weather looked better down the valley. Heeding sound advice form the staff at Joe Browns shop we made tracks to the Dinorwig quarries.

The first quarry to to be reached was bus stop quarry. There's a couple of easier climbs here to get a feel for the rock, so it made sense to start here.

I started off on what looked a bold VS 4c called Equinox (below). Though as it turned out there was plenty of gear and the crux move was saved to the last.

John then jumped on the slightly harder line to the left, Solstice HVS 5a (below). Again good climbing (on some suspicious looking flakes!) with adequate gear wet our apatite for more.

We had heard of an area called Dali's hole and a great route called Launch pad E1 5b. We were both keen to see if it lived up to the reputation and it also gave us the chance to explore the other quarries.

A short walk past some impressive slag heaps and only buildings made of slate we come to Dali's hole. A sign on the gate reminding us that swimming was not permitted, as if you'd need reminding!

I was slightly worried about the lack of holds on Launch pad (below). Thin moves to below the bolt and the crux has to be climbed before you can clip makes nervy climbing, this is what i like about climbing. Above easier climbing up the arete to the top.

Dali's hole was busy with scouts and other groups on the easy sport lines so we headed up to a route called Looning the tube E1 5b. This cracking little pitch gave a feeling of exposure from the first moves as you traverse along the wall to a old rusty chain and thus a crack/fault is reached with the crux at the top. (john reaching the crux, below)

The Serengeti is an impressive piece of rock that juts up from the floor of the quarry. There are a few lines on this face. I tackled Seems the same E1/E2 5b. The climbing was steady 5a/5b from the ground up with a solid 5b move over the bulge. Me approaching the crux with the view in the background (below).

Once the crux was clear easier climbing on sparse gear led to the top. We were begining to have fun with the style of climbing required and the cool head for the run outs. I top out a happy man (below).

John had spotted a line higher up. Feeling confident he fancied his luck on Slippery people E2 5c. Stepping it up a bit on this steep bold line that's been bolted, with only 2 bolts on 20m of rock! The first bolt 8m high (below) gave a feeling of seriousness. Lay offs and good foot work to reach a big hold, this turned out to be classic slate climbing!

We called it a day after this, both of us satisfied with the days work in the quarries, we headed down to the valley to seal the day with a pint.

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