Early this morning I had a call from Mark Walker, Baggy I am walking into Glogwyn Ddu and we have left the guides and topo on the dashboard. I thought you were in Scotland Mark, got back last night, spoke to Gaz who told me about your day on Tuesday. Also there is a team hot on our tails, so I gave him beta on Blenderhead VII-8 and told him to get to grips with that. Blenderhead had some action last December ( see one of my old Posts ) for the first time, after 10 years since its first free ascent by Nick Dixon and the first ascent ( 1 point of aid by Paul Prichard 1996 ) Both the ascents in December led to leader falls and no free ascents, so the second free ascent was up for grabs. There was talk of it being VIII-8.
I then spoke to Mark again, again and again, then the next call I found he was trying a new direct start. The main meat of Blenderhead climbs the 5a pitch of Hebenwi and does so by traversing in from the right. Mark had different ideas. Another call, that was bloody hard I backed off and think I am the original route now. Quick exchange of words and yes Mark was on the correct route. Another call and a well chuffed Mark was belaying Gaz having just finished the crux pitch. Did you do it clean I asked, do not ask Mark said, I had done the crux then my axe popped, but I got lowered down, pulled the ropes, then had it, does that count. In my eyes it does, but I am sure sure one will say otherwise. What about the grade VII-7 but could be harder with the cracks iced up. The next call from Mark, I made it, what route, no I made the scan appointment with my partner and even had 5 minutes spare and it was only 2.00 in the afternoon.
So a good few days for Blue Peris Mountain Centre ( website ) as Mark also works there. Unfortunatley, I was at work today
Another phone call, this time from Si Panton from Ground Up, are you blind Baggy, what ? Well Adam Wainright and Streaky have done a new ice route in Bus Stop Quarry ! What ! yep on Rippled Slab, check it out on the Ground Up website and also the DMM website. The point here is that I drive past Bus Stop on my way to work. Not long after Ray Wood gets in touch, think you need to stop off on the way to work ! oh your to late . Top marks to Adam and Streaky what looks a great and very different route. ( Route Climbed on Tuesday 6th Jan ) Unfortuanalty the temps have risen today and this line was very wet this morning reported Si Panton who was keen to grab the second ascent.
They keep on coming. Back in Black VII/VII -7 Pete Harrison on a short stop over from Canada, reported in saying that he did a new line yesterday Back in Black on Eqautor Walls in the Pass. Looks like this area has been forming also. Looks like another top find and possibly another rare grade 8 for the North Wales, nice one Pete. See Welsh Winter Wiki for futher details.
I heard that Chris Parkin was looking at his old stomping ground the Black ladders reporting possible good conditions. Not sure what was done though. Chris has routes on there from the 90,s many at what he says are VI-6. From what BIG TIM NEIL says could be harder. Many are awaiting second ascents.
Finally, Ian Parnell also visited Glowyn Ddu and climbed The now Classic - El Mancho - VI 6 _ also saying what a v good route this is. So North Wales has yet another classic route of the UK. He then went onto to make an ascent of Blenderhead. However, thats all the details I have off Ian currently. However, check out his blog on Thursday he should have a report by then.
Well like I said a quality and exciting two days. The only issue now is the weather. It looks warm, with freezing level forecast above 900m.
Finally as soon as I get some photos I will post them.