Monday, 7 February 2011

The B!!!!!!!!! Youth of Today

The ebullience of youth is a well known phrase & sometimes very appropriate. One young climber has seared the North Wales climbing scene recently, both on rock & ice. Al & Sam Leary have experienced Calum Musket's boundless enthusiasm for all things climbing, being his neighbours. As his history teacher I have forestalled his invitations for as long as possible, but finally accepted when he charged in on Tuesday lunchtime to suggest an after-achool ascent of Central Icefall Direct on Wednesday. With my colleague Jon Byrne in tow to convince me, I could hardly say no!

So now it's done; a torchlight ascent of one of N.Wales most famous & rarely formed ice routes. We both thought it would be less scary in the dark because we wouldn't be able to see how far below us the icefall was! I have to say I found the first pitch a hard lead but Calum strung the second & third pitches together, on Nick Bullock's suggestion, in consumate style. Protecting it fully & climbing fast & efficiently on the steep sections.

What is incredible is that Calum has now completed the trilogy of classic Welsh ice climbs, having led The Devil's Appendix & Cascade last winter and all before he is 18 next summer! Some may say he has been lucky with the weather & others might credit modern ice tools & protection, but it should be remembered that he led the Appendix with borrowed boots, 2 ice screws & a pair of Terradactyls! There's no doubt therefore that he also has an abundance of confidence, strength & skill to go with the other advantages.

Bizarrely J.M. Archer Thompson came to mind as I was perched on the belay block. He was a teacher at our school a century ago. What would he have thought? "An excellent character building adventure & an unforgettable experience" I'm sure of that. And so it was.

Cheers Calum - good luck in your climbing career.

Geoff Bennett

PS-Just before you get to excited they climbed CID on end Dec 010

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