2016-06-14 Wales, Llandudno, The Gallery   Leave a comment

With rain pissing down in the Pass, we blow off the slate mines and head up to the coast.  Conwy, seemingly didn’t hear the weather forecast today so instead of rain, moisture and precipitation, there’s sun and half decent views of the coast.  Close to Llandudno, The Gallery is a quarried bit of stone that has a road going through the middle of it.  We start on the easiest route on the lower right hand section, a 6a+ that was pumpy, hard to read, and felt unusual.  The rock is micro diorite, a type of granite.  One Nation Under A Groove was a very uppity warm up.  With not much light (and grey clouds looming) we get on the long 6b, The View Belongs To Everyone.  A hefty 30mtrs, with a lower slabby section, up into a roof corner then some fine pulls through over and through a chimney finish.  While my rope partner, the renowned faffer Matthew Chinner continues beasting his way up the quality line, he is unaware of the rain that is starting to come down.  Nothing too serious, just spots at the moment, but dug in like an Alabama tick as he is under a roof, there is certainly more relaxedness about our situation on his end of the rope than I am feeling on my end.  Every time I look up, I get a rain drop right in the eyeball.

Get a move on, mate!  It’s starting to rain..” I yell up.  With the little road noise, wind and the distance between us, communication could have been easier.  He tops out majestically, we decide on leaving the draws in place as we think there’s time for me to do it and he lowers off the climb a true champ.

Are those clouds darker and getting nearer?” I ask.  “Maybe, but it’s all good” replies the man.  I’m debating whether to pull down the rope.  I do and the instant the end drops onto the gravel, rain comes down.  Not one or two spots like before, but rain.  Proper getting things soaked kind of rain.  We cover the rope, take cover under an overhang, and muse the situation.  Light is falling and humidity is rising.  The possibility of a Plan B is mentioned – strip the first 2 or 3 draws, leave the rest and come back tomorrow when it’s dry… Nah! let’s have it!

So after 20 minutes, after water has stopped streaming down the slab in torrents, I start climbing.  Everything is still wet, friction is at a minimum, and I’m climbing like I’ve got a rucksack full of nitro-glycerine strapped to my back.  Talk about delicate moves…  I’m almost off it twice, but keep on going up to the roof.  As I get to the roof, like an omen, the sun beams through under the clouds, just above the horizon.  Golden hour, nice.  The wet rock has an orangey glow to it now and despite the bird shit, looks lovely.  A couple of tough moves through the roof and I’m rethreading the anchors.  I touch down to the last hint of orange sinking into the sea – perfect timing.

The View Is For Everyone, 6b

I’d like to get back to this crag, we had wanted to do the 3 star Iskra, 6b+ on the upper tier.  In the guidebook; “Described by many as the best 6b+ in N.Wales…”.  Next time…

6a+   6b


Posted 2016/07/11 by allend66 in Rockclimbing

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