BBC - Weather Centre - Forecast for Llandudno, United Kingdom

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Homage to the Dyer

Just re-watched this footage of Dyer doing Silk Cut. It really is dismaying how he climbs this, you forget what a beast he is cos he only climbs 3 times a year. Sick man, oh yeah. I know your blushing now Neil reading this. Anyway tough shit you beast.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Craftnant

Back in the day myself and the Cattells did a few cool problems in the Craftnant valley. Yesterday i went back with Floppy to check the place out again. First we tried Danny's unrepeated 7c Grasswind, really cool feature:

We made slow progress, i reckon Chris could do it next sesh though. Then we moved over to my problem Wonderwall, i was keen to try a right hand finish to it but wasn't too optimistic as i find this problem nails even though i originally gave it V7. Anyway i managed to pull one of the finger jugs off it. Chris did the new crux but didn't link it, its probably 7c now. CJD also dropped his shoe down a chasm so had to walk back to the car with his climbing shoe on, schoolboy error!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Cave Addiction

I have been considering attending an addiction class to help me get over my current addiction to the cave. I can just see it now, "i'm Chris, i'm 27 and i'm addicted to a cave full of goat shit in wales". I have been there so much this winter but i'm loving it, it truly is a fuckin great place, so much to do if you like hard climbing. Today after a 3 day break i joined the Scouse masses (apparently they're trying to get the cave extradited to Liverpool but i can't see it happening). I managed to get into Sams Finish three times from Broken Heart which was pleasing. Got the start of BH dialled just a bit rusty and unfit on Sams. Hopefully i'll soon be at that last move redpoint crux again and this times i won't capitulate. Then i worked the Wire again, forgot how good this is and considering how much more wired i seem to have the heel toe clamp on BH these days it could be a goer with some work. The contiuing theme of dropping Pit of Hell with fingers 1 mm from the last slot continues, this time it was Richie Crouch.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Your Christmas Sermon



As another year draws to an end rock climbers everywhere reflect on their climbing achievements and memories of the year. Ticks are important for most climbers but also each year it is important to learn about your aspirations and also how to get the best out of yourself. I have certainly had my best year in terms of ticks in my 12 years on the rocks. For me it was brilliant to find some route form again. The 8b ticks were extremely satisfying but i know its not the limit for me. I think sport represents what i want to focus on in the next few years. I've done a lot of bouldering in the last few years but now cranking hard moves on amazing cliffs is what really appeals. The Diamond seige was a great experience too, in the end i ran out of time but the process of getting fitter on the route and getting high, fighting, giving it everything on such an incredible route was immense! I also got a taste for first ascents and i hope to do a few more in the next year or two, the lines are out there. Training wise i am glad i resurrected the deadhang board and i look forward to getting started on this next year again. I have also learnt the benefits of strategic weight loss, if done correctly at the right time it certainly can give you the edge. I think my biggest mistake of the year was maintaining my work during a period of time when i felt in fantastic shape, i really should have crushed more!
Climbing at your limit is so addictive, once you've felt those endorphins after doing something hard you will crave that feeling until it happens again. After i climbed Halfway on Monday my mind started to wander and i found myself thinking about Director's, would this be possible for me one day? I certainly never thought i'd do Trigger nevermind a low start to it. After all its only nine moves into Halfway and with my kneebars..... And this is the nature of the beast, success is brilliant and its important to enjoy the meaningful ascents but most climbers will always be looking forward, striving to improve. Next year i plan to get into the best shape of my life on routes, i can't wait. Here's to some meaty crushing in 2010!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Bonnie 3rd Ascent

Pete did the 3rd ascent of Bonnie 8a+ today, another seige paying off. Shauna returned to crush Lou Ferrino yesterday. I pottered in the Cave, managed to get through into Sams Finish from Broken Heart again though. Think this will be the focus of my attention in there now, was so close earlier in the year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Hylldrem

Walked up to Moel Y gest with Floppy and Nodder today but was wet, some good looking problems though. Ended up at Hylldrem doing some nice eliminates:

Monday, 21 December 2009

Halfway House!!!

I woke up this morning and cut up an old Dragon with the intention of glueing some rubber to my neoprene knee pad. Part two of the plan was to try some jeans out (extra grip!). Team Liverpool was in the Cave and i could tell it was slightly warmer. Warm and dry - a good sign. I also felt quite good warming up and had soon done Trigger Cut. The combination of knee pad under the jeans seemed to work well and i was soon at the shothole on Halfway. Knowing exactly what to do i made sure of it and crushed it into oblivion, i let out a slightly embarrassing roar (considering the place was packed). I first did Trigger Cut in 2006 and have been tinkering with Halfway ever since so it was nice to put it to bed. Shauna Coxsey almost made the first female ascent of Lou Ferrino, she's only 16 and really impressive to watch, really strong and static! She fell right at the end, i'm sure she'll be back to finish it off soon. I'm quite keen to check out some other venues now (weather dependent).

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.

Usually i would say a good seige is good for you, the resolve of a climber in finishing off a climb at their limit is very important. On Halfway i'm having a frustrating time, the cave has been wet for 2 months, now its dry but in all honesty its too cold for limestone right now. Warming up takes forvever, in fact i'm not sure if i have warmed up properly in the last few sessions. Horrible icy cold weather, chill factor high! Then there is the fickle knee. Today i did TC first go the knee felt bomber, then i went from the back and it felt turd again. My trouser was in exactly the same position. I hate shit like that! Some goes i don't even make it to the shothole on Halfway, so epic. Obviously i'm not gonna give up i just hope its over soon!

Monday, 14 December 2009

The Seige Continues

My Cave efforts have been intensified, like the wolf who can smell the blood of his prey i can feel the end is near on HH. Yesterday i had a huge session but only managed to get to the shothole once. Today i was a bit tired but managed to fire Trigger first go of the day. I just didn't have the juice for any burly link. The climbing on this thing is so cool. Here is some footage of Danny nearly linking TC from Rockatrocity a while ago:

Monday, 7 December 2009

Over Halfway

Blogging isn't very exciting at the moment as there is not much going on, i have been continuing my cave seige and in the last few days have improved and made a breakthrough. In the summer i dropped Halfway House after the shothole half a dozen times. I was far stronger then than i am now so it was obvious that i needed to figure something out at the end because even if i got there in my current state i would inevitably fall. So the last few sessions have all been about trying to wire Trigger Cut. I repeated the problem (only the 3rd time i've ever done it) and got some nice beta for the bit after the shot which has caused me so much trouble this year. Today i went for Halfway after doing TC and found myself at the shothole, i fell going for the last sidepull twice. An important breakthrough which means this problem is now firmly on the cards. I will rest tomorrow and then go back to it fairly confident. This must be one of the problems i've tried the most ever! At the end of today's session i fell just shy of the RA jug on Pilgrim, more progress. It just goes to show if you put the time in you get progress eventually! Have been climbing with the Robinator a fair bit, he's been trying Bonnie and Daisy From Concrete, always impressive. We even visited the box the other day and dragged ourselves up Mr Whippy, Chocolate Wall, Jack Daniels Connection, Last Orders and Last Rites. Nice to keep the finger in there. I hope your all finding bits of dry rock to climb on during these wet days, it sure is grim!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Freezing Frost Monkeys

And to think back in September on the Diamond i was telling people "theres no rush, its not necessarily too cold in November". Ha ha, little did i know a month of solid rain was to be followed by some bitterly cold weather. Going bouldering is an epic now nevermind routes. Takes so long to warm the hands up! I've finally started doing the sensible thing on Halfway House, that is practicing Trigger Cut. I've got to the shothole six times in the last two days. The kneebar is now bomber and the crux is the end. The main problem with this problem is that after 4 goes my knee is in agony and starts to bruise. So after climbing today i popped into my local Travis Perkins and picked up a kneepad, hopefully this will protect my knee a bit more. So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel on this particular problem, well i have been trying it for years after all! Just need to get a bit stronger and keep the seige going.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Orme Open

I turned up at the Cave today to a typical winter scene - blowing a hooly and it was lashing down. I had been struggling with psyche but i thought i'd go along to meet P.Robins. If he couldn't get me motivated then no one could! It was so bitterly cold, i just couldn't get my fingers warm enough to try Pilgrim. Pete's attention turned to Louis Armstrong and we were both soon trying it, well there wasn't much else to do! Pete made quick progress doing all the moves bar the crux slap. I have watched men do the first hard cross over move for years and have always been totally dismayed with it. After a lot of goes today though i was tickling the hold, which made me very happy. A bit of faith and body positioning made all the difference. The moves after the cross are hard but doable. So basically the problem boils down to the crux slap which is super burly and super duper burly from the start. Pete was close but didn't quite hang the move, i'm sure he'll wrap the problem up pretty soon though. I had a whirl of Pilgrim at the end and felt the best yet on it.
Danny's first ascent of Louis Armstrong 8b:

Friday, 27 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Weak in the Peak

Well i'm back from the peak having climbed a bit every day on rock- not bad all things considered. First day at the tor i just bouldered managing to sack my knee in the heel-toe on the 7b+ right of Bens Roof. I fell off the last move and kept waking up in the night as my knee twinged. A very dangerous problem for the ligaments. Next day was back at the tor, i struggled with a move on Chimes cos of my knee so had a play on Mecca, great fun! Did the crux move with the right drop-knee beta. Sacked it off at the end of the groove but would be keen to play again sometime and work out the top moves. Very knacky route. Its a bit unrealistic living in Wales but i'd really like to do it one day, so good. Ry was trying Evolution, really good to see him cranking again after a minor blip in the summer when he was crap. He shows what a wad he is on this route, he's very close! I have some footage of him on it, so will upload soon. Pritch basically did short Chimes but got a bad case of hot aches, he was almost in tears! Today i went to the Plantation with Pete for a couple of hours. We played around on Jerrys Traverse and Brass Monkey. Pete seems to be cranking again after his accident in the summer, good to see. I still couldn't hold the swing on Brass Monkey, bummer! Anyway i quite enjoyed the grit, was a nice change.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Orme Shut

The Great Orme is shut to cars and pedestrians because of "massive rockfall". This means i have nought to do all day as the Mill is an evening and weekend thing at the moment and everything else is wet. I'm not sitting in Penrhyn Bay on me tod all day so tomorrow i will head to the peak to climb with Pascal and whoever else is around.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Grimness

And so the rain continues to pour, very dismaying indeed! I have been going to the cave a lot. Although there have been many wet holds and some days have been very grim i can nearly always have a bash at the start of Pilgrim. I still haven't got into RA, is proving a stubborn link. RA is also hard for me at the moment, although i have done this countless times over the years its still tricky especially after months of sport climbing. So it looks like i've got a seige on my hands. Would be nice to mix it up and try some other stuff but the front of the cave is pretty wet. I found this footage of the first time i ever did Rockatrocity back when i was a skinny boy in 2002:
video
I also went to the Mill yesterday, without having to worry about doing circuits it was great fun. Ticked a load of 7a+'s- great!

The Cattells auditioning for the next series of Queer as Folk:

Monday, 16 November 2009

Cave Season

Well after a bit of a worrying spell i can finally say that i once again really like to go bouldering. This is a bit of a relief as a:) the weather has crapped out BIG TIME and b:) i hated the thought that i'd been wasting my time over all these years. One day i woke up and it just clicked, bouldering seemed like a worthwhile pursuit again. And the cherry on the cake was that i was even psyched for the Cave again. This is quite handy as it currently rains every day and opportunities for none cave activities are few and far between. Even after the most significant seepage there are usually dry holds in the cave. Its normally only completely knackered after a change in temperature when an inversion occurs. After all the recent redpointing a bit of stress free bouldering has been a breath of fresh air. I have several Cave projects on the go, Halfway, Broken Heart/Sams and now Pilgrim. I have been trying the ramp section of Pilgrim for donkeys years. Its probably the piece of rock that i've tried the most and had the least success on. No one else's sequences worked for me and i had tried everything i could thing of! Going right to left (i.e Cave Life) i find quite steady but going the other way just seemed completely desperate! Well the other day my stubborness finally paid off and the beta was revealed, YYFY! Soon i should be into RA although this feels hard right now so a bit of seiging will be on the cards i'm sure. Need to tone up my bouldering stength after all the sport climbing. To me Pilgrim is one of the most obvious of the Cave links so it would be great to do it, also would achieve a long held ambition to do an 8a+ in there. Theres nothing better than being in that cave when waters dripping from the roof and outside the rain is pouring and your hammering three holds into submission!
John Maskell working In Heaven:

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Power and The Glory

After the good response Obsession got on Vimeo (over 26 000 views! wish i'd charged 10p a view!) i thought i'd stick my swiss flick up. Some of the footage you will have seen before on some of my youtube vids. Its too big to go on in one go so here is Part 1. Part 2 will follow shortly.

The Power and The Glory Part 1 from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.

Between The Trees

Between the Trees is the latest offering from my sometimes bumchum Keith Brad Uncle Fucker Bungle Bradbury. He is flogging it on his site. Today i rested so i had a watch, in a way i kind of knew what to expect, funky soundtrack, tripod stylee and many hard ascents from Ty. Ty's trip to Font was groundbreaking in many ways. He was extremely well travelled and had performed at every place he had visited. To go to Font though and come back with such a meaty ticklist was truly historic and propelled Ty to the front of the pack at that moment in time. Keith had to do justice to this ticklist with his film and i'm glad to say he pulled it off. The film is a very classy affair. I was impressed with how much interesting and comical commentary that Keith managed to extract from Ty (it was like trying to get blood from a stone when i was with him in Swiss). Keith's editing style really suits the climbing in Font in my view. When you have so much hard quality climbing on film its hard to make a bad film but making it stand out as being special is equally as difficult. Well Brads hours in front of the computer screen have paid off and i really hope he makes a bob or two out of it (GO GET IT). I suppose the true test of a climbing film is how inspired you feel after watching it. Well i really felt the urge to back to the forest after watching this, what a place! Good work Brad.

I'll be Back!


Winter is truly upon us, it has rained every day for two weeks. The crags aren't in the best condition. I went to the Diamond yesterday rather optimistically, the crag was dripping! My route was not affected by the seepage but the holds were like paste. Alas i can handle this no more. This place has beat me down, the experience has been great but i think i must leave it for now. The Diamond scene of 2009 seems to have come to an end, it seems my progress was good but not good enough. I got to the redpoint crux four times, its 8b to there but you need a bit more in the tank to complete the next six moves. I am pleased with how i did but naturally a bit disapointed not to finish it this year. I haven't given up though, i will return fresher and fitter and complete this line maybe even before the March bird ban kicks in. I headed to Llanddulas with Spidey after the Diamond and polished off The Wirral Whip 7c+, the holds seemed to have got bigger from when i last tried it, was satisfying. I'm pretty psyched to work my roof there a bit more too. Luckily my psyche for bouldering has returned too and i'm keen to get stronger and get some hard ticks. Pete completed the Incredible Bulk in the Cave, effort.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Magic Flute


Went on top of the Little Orme today with the Spide to the Hole of Creation. This is an amazing bit of crag with one trad route and one sport route. Spidey got things going leading The Hole of Creation E3, this is a very atmospheric funky climb. It starts up a big feature before a high crux bridging up a pod. It was cold, i seconded it and it felt hard, cold hands!


Then we got on George Smith's classic 7c tufa The Magic Flute. This is an amazing feature, surely one of the coolest 7c's in Britain. After working it and a couple of duff goes i got it bagged. Very nice and one hard stopper move!


After i bailed to join the masses in the Cave, gettin the love back for the place. Good sesh.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A Day in the Cave

I went to the cave today to meet up with males Robins and Bransby and to get out of the house. I haven't really bouldered properly since summer and it showed. I didn't feel my usual self in there, in fact i felt like i was climbing with a small child on my back. I've been on a real downer with British bouldering recently, maybe its because i've done it too much over the last few years, or maybe its because the majority of it is pretty shit, who knows. I mean when you've been going to the Diamond and then your in the Cave its hard to get psyched. Anyway i brushed off the initial dismay and got stuck in. I felt heavy and weak but it wasn't a disaster. My best effort was probably tickling the shot hole on Trigger Cut. I had only climbed once with Ben on Kudos wall and his climbing dismayed me greatly so i braced myself for more dismay. After warming up he flashed Rockatrocity, dragging every single hold, it was something else. He was shaking out on the last move trying to figure his body position out. I expected him to be powered out and drop the move. HELL NO he finished it off. Pete was working on the project from Bonnie into the left wall, by the end he was dropping what is effectively the last move. This will be a good addition when he does it. By the end of the session i had re-discovered some psyche for bouldering, even if it is to be strong for routes. I would quite like to finish off Halfway snd Broken Heart/Sams finish in the Cave (both of which i dropped the end this year). And then theres always the big link on the Box, Drink Driving/Last Rites is the most inspiring link in Britain for me but the only problem is another level of performance will be required!

video video

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Welsh Connections

Out soon is the latest film from Dave Brown now of Bamboo Chicken Productions.
Back in March i did some climbing on Pill Box for Dave's camera. I was impressed with how cool he made the Box look (we all know its a world class bouldering destination). I did a lot of climbing that day and returned in the summer to get Jack the Drunk on film. Dave and his missus Lynwen were genuinely psyched for the Welsh scene and wanted to capture its diversity and some of the years highlights. I've seen the film and was impressed. The film has a different feel to Dave's other big hits which at times were a bit to centered around the big names rather than the experience IMO. I think he's turned it around in this production. Sure some of the big names are still there but the climbing and the experience takes more prominence. The film has a bit of everything bouldering, sport, trad, DWS and is definetely a labour of love i'd say. I also think Dave has made the right choice charging a bit less than the standard 20 notes for his film. I actually think he'll sell more in the long run and 15 nicker is a fair price. You certainly get a lot of quality footage for your money. No surprise that for me the highlight was Pete doing Liquid Ambar, was so nice to see the actual ascent and was good to see a man performing at his limit on what still is a pretty tricky route! So thats it go check it out.

Some Footage:

Jack The Drunk - Chris Doyle from Bamboo Chicken Productions on Vimeo.


Welsh Connections climbing film trailer from Bamboo Chicken Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Good Conditions at Last (but the tides in)!

The last two days down the Diamond were finally climbable. Saturday was still a bit greasy but manageable, today was bone dry but a tad cold on the fingers. In these two days i got to the high redpoint crux twice. Its proving to be a bit of a drag from the ground that move. Still there's not much left to do after it, just need a bit more in the tank and hopefully i'll gain this in the wall in the next week. I really do have to get pumped most days now just to get this bugger in the bag, its within my reach thats for sure! I'm pretty calm about the whole thing really. This is probably the longest i've ever spent on a route i think but a good seige never hurt anyone. I'm enjoying the process, after all it is such a treat climbing on a route of this quality so close to home. Having said that i'm ready to finish it and this will be the end of what has been a good year for my climbing.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

STRESS!

Times are hard here in Penrhyn Bay. Projecting a route at your limit on the Diamond is proving to be extremely stressful! I'm happy with my efforts and progress on the route what i'm not happy with is the external factors that are beyond my control! Having to contend with the tides is one thing but conditions are so fickle at the bloody place its becoming infuriating. Yesterday i was feeling good but was just greasing off. Any kind of dampness in the air and your buggered! And now it gets dark at five so you get even less time down there! Ahhh!! Deep breaths, must stay positive. I think i'm just gonna train even harder and get the best shape i can then when the good day comes along i'll crush it. I know i can do it.
Tomorrow People:

Nodder making a speedy getaway:

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Hysteria Re-equipped

Was at a loose end yesterday morning so went down the Diamond on my tod to glue Hysteria 7b, Pete Harrison drilled it and left a rope in situ making it easy for me. Looks like a fun route, very steep! The weather isn't good for the Diamond right now, hot an damp, yesterday was gopping! Then i jumped ship to the Great Orme to meet Tony S, made a redpoint ascent of Fawcetts testpiece Needle in The Groove 7b+, very nice if shortlived route on mayfair wall. May the lord of the ormes bless us with some good conditions please!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

NO Overnight Sensation! (Doth Nemesis Slain)

Most climbers have a nemesis, a particular climb that they just can't crack no matter what. Mine has always been Overnight Sensation 8a+ at Malham Cove. I don't recall when i first tried this route but it was a while ago thats for sure. Having dropped the last move half a dozen times i'd begun to lose hope. The start is a fingery long and hard font 7b sequence but then you have to finish up a French 7c headwall. There were times where i was strong enough to piss the start but lacked the fitness to finish it and vice versa. A bit of luck and i probably would have done it years ago. The problem with it was that efforts were never continous because i've always lived a few hours from Malham. I'd do well on a particular day but wouldn't go back for weeks, this kind of disjointed effort was not the way to get stuff done. With the tides being in this week i quite fancied climbing a bit more on rock and Malham seemed a good choice so i teamed up with Ted and we headed north. Even if it was just for training purposes it would be worth it but in the back of my mind i hoped i would be in good enough shape to crush something. Afetr warming up i got on Overnight, i was still familiar with it and i got through the start by the skin of my teeth first redpoint. It had taken to much out of me though. On my last go i found myself at the big long move at the end and for the first time in the history of my Malham career i latched the move. I was however knacked and couldn't close it up. Joy and despair in equal measure. I was however confident for the next day. After a few duff redpoints i got the big last move again but this time i closed it out and boy did it feel good. I was very pleased, not just because i'd ticked my nemesis but also because i knew my power endurance had improved. Ted ticked Vogue 7c+ and some other 7c on the left and we left happy chappies!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Back to the Training Board

Another tidal window passes and as the weather and the nights draw in, the opportunities for outside rock climbing in Britain will become more limited. Me and Tommy had a last minute dash to the Diamond yesterday. I got to the high redpoint crux again but was stronger this time, like i said, a matter of time. With work prospects looking ever gloomy looks like the next week will be spent in the Mill cranking up the power endurance! I wouldn't mind a Yorkshire hit too (Malham) if anyones keen? Would be nice to keep the rock training going too and see where i'm at on other stuff.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Onwards and Upwards!

I'm not gonna keep boring you all with detailed blow by blow accounts of the Diamond. But today i got 6 moves from the finishing jug. Was fucked but it felt good getting so high, only a bit more fitness stopping me now. My life has revolved around this crag and this project for a while now, i'm getting poorer and poorer as i haven't been working but it will be worth it. Soon i'll be a tramp living in a cardboard box at Craig-y-don but at least i'll be a happy tramp. A couple more days left this tide, then training and maybe an excursion to a big white crag far far away.

Jon r doing a spot of bolting:

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Relief!

Diamond time is upon us again. Went down earlyish with Dave Redpath yesterday but was pleasantly surprised to find it dry. First go fell off crux, ended up meddling with it some more and finally i think i know how to do the crux. Next go got through the crux but was powered out again, couldn't even clip - lob! I was starting to get disillusioned. Had got here maybe 4 times now and every time i hadn't been able to move. Maybe i had bitten off more than i could chew. Next go once i got the flatty i dropped my feet down a bit lower and i could hang on with a straight arm, instantly it felt better. I clipped fine and then made the next move out left, i fell off going for the half decent shakeout. Progress and finally i started to believe i could get high on this route. We didn't get long as the sea raced in.
Today was shit, there didn't appear to be much difference in the conditions but the route was basically to greasy to climb on. Very frustrating. Spent most of the day just watching the boys on Never get Out of the Boat and had a quick go of Tommy's proj, super bouldery! Hope for better nick next time.
Jim on the newly bolted Rub a Dub Dub 7a:

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Blimey!

6719 views in 9 days. Thats more than my youtube stuff thats been up for over a year. The feedback on the whole has been pretty positive too.
Anyway i'm not a filmmaker i'm a rock climber and a vey excited one at that. This week i hope the get higher on the Diamond, the forecast is looking good too!

One more training session today, i'm really keeping my fingers crossed that this fitness training has been worthwhile and i'll be able to tell the difference. But if not i'll keep going until i've been chucked out my house for not paying the rent and living in a carboard box under Craig-y-Don. By the way if anyones looking to move to Penrhyn Bay i have a spare room and a big tele.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Training Patxi Style!

Well not quite, i've had a rest day already! Those of you who have seen Progression will know about Patxi's now legendary training regime. 3 months on, 2500 move circuit every day etc... Well most of us would break if we did this but we could undoubtedly do more. I rested yesterday so am training Patxi style until sunday, then rest then hopefully Diamond. Need to up the ante on the circuits front, i've been bouldering a lot too at the mill so i either need to tone this down or have longer sessions. My endurance training takes 3 forms. First i do a hard problem up the board (one that i can usually do when feeling good), then i do a tricky but not desperate downclimb and then try and bust out a 7a. I'll probably have a few burns on this then try my drop off circuits, five problems which get easier, dropping off quickly between goes. Then i get on the 30 board and try and stay on as long as i can with a pretty bad shakeout between circuits, i'm usually goosed at this point! Combine this with some deadhanging and running and you should be getting in decent shape. I've chilled a bit on the eating front because i'm only a bit heavier than i was in the summer, to get as light as i was wouldn't do too much and getting even lighter would be too hard. And besides the main thing i need to work on is fitness.
Obsession has had 2926 views on Vimeo in 7 days. This pleases me, i did show it at Kendal a few years ago but the punts and old duffers didn't really get it. At least now those who can appreciate such things can see it.
Busy time at the Diamond:

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ding Dong Crushes 8c

The Hulk in Rodellar, nice one pal! Seems everyone is crushing 8cs these days! No more diamond until the next tidal window. Yesterday i went down with Heason and Tommy. Ben had a dog up my route, he did the crux moves similar to Pete but managed it without the gnarly matches. It was time to investigate further, the way i was doing the crux was too draining and i knew it, stupid, really stupid! Those guys weren't cutting loose all over the place and although they were doing a few more moves their sequence was much more 'on'. Anyway i worked it out and its defo the way forward, idiot! I got through the new crux sequence but powered out on the horrible flatty again, need to extend that stupid clip! So all good really, still learning a lot and improving on the route. lets see what next week brings....

Monday, 5 October 2009

Old Pics

Here are some old pics from Miles Perkins of me, him and ding dong re-equipping the Brute project on the Diamond. Can't remember what year this was. We did the big abseil and jug, a hard day!




Had a good session yesterday, i managed to get through the crux for the first time, i did a few more moves to the good flat hold but had nothing left, i couldn't move. A bit worrying and perhaps the first true indicator of the difficulty of this line.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Progression

Big Ups latest film trailer. The kings of filming and video production. Keen to see this one:

Onnnnn Redpoint!

Good scene down the old Diamond yesterday, several psyched locals turned up to give Boat People a pounding. It was minty mint, i could tell straight away. I put my clips in and did my warm up routine, then had a bash. Almost held the crux hold, rest and then another bash, got even closer, this time though after i fell i pulled on just after the crux cut loose and went to the top. The all important link was in the bag, i could now start to believe in myself on this route a bit more. Next go i was even closer to getting through the hard bit. Once this happens i could be in (i could also spend weeks falling off the top though so we'll see!). Anyway i don't have months and months so its redpoint time. I feel good on this route, it doesn't stress me (yet) and the climbing flows for me.
Tommy worked the middle moves on his project then set his sights on the nails looking start, he got a sequence and did one of the very hard moves which was cool. The lads were throwing themselves at Boat People. They weren't bothering with the top wall electing to do the 7c version. Jim got it and Jonny R and Choo got close. Pics and vid of the day:


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Neil James Inspector Awesome Mawson ticks Cry Freedom!

Yes news just in, also on the 8b+ grapevine Ted did Mecca recently. Jimmy big guns tells me that on his recent trip to Spain with Mcclure, Steve managed to onsight an 8c, bout time! Good work all round!

Obsession!

Back in 2002 when i lived in Sheffield, i met a young lad called Rich Simpson. He was up from Birmingham for the weekend with his climbing buddy Rob Mirfin. Rich was 19 and already getting pretty obsessed about rock climbing. I remember going to Stanage and Rich trying a wet Shine On on top rope, he was so psyched. I failed to predict that this guy would go on to become the second best sport climber in British history with three 9a ascents (this has only been bettered by Steve Mcclure). He was also pretty nifty at bouldering doing the odd Font 8b. Rich did 23 routes 8c and above and in that list was many an old skool classic, Action Directe, Liquid Ambar, Wallstreet, Agincourt etc... For me though it was his dedication and motivation that set him apart. In a quiet suburb of Redditch south of Birmingham he spent hours and hours on a small board in his garage. He had the genetics and the abiltiy to climb hard things but this was matched by a single mindedness that i have never seen the like of. He would unleash himself on his roadtrips and would come back with fairly dismaying ticklists! I climbed with him more and more over the years and the increase in his power levels was scary. He made 1-5-9 look so easy and could knock out about 18 one armers when fresh. To this day in terms of raw power he's probably the strongest i've seen. These days Rich has other things that he likes to do with his life (he still aims to climb one 8c every year though) and i don't blame him. After years in that garage i don't think i could face that regime anymore either. I was in the Frankenjura when Rich did Action and i made a film about it. Its an ok effort i think, it could of been a lot better. I actually missed the ascent of Action because it was about 7 in the morning and i was asleep but Rich kindly did it in sections so i could finish my film. I think it makes for interesting viewing though, i especially like the moves from above sequence. Anyway for those who haven't seen it, enjoy:

Obsession from Chris Doyle on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Speed!

Watched this vid of Ondra and Patxi competing this morning:

Ondra is seriously swift, much quicker than Patxi. Ondra advocates minimal shakeouts and just climbing quickly. I have been thinking about this, less time on the rock must mean less pump! I think speeding up a little could do a lot of people some good, i know i am pretty slow in general. I feel like i'll make mistakes if i go to fast, especially on tricky ground. On the other hand though Patxi is a skoda in comparison to Ondra and he still does alright (but then he can hang on forever!). Maybe fast on some sections of a climb then slow it down for the important bits. Pete Robins flew up Liquid Ambar in less than 2 minutes i think, the footage looks sped up! I think i chalk up to much at crucial moments too, this is also something to look at. I started looking through my footage keen to analyse some speed climbing. I found this footage of Cave Life, Mule pounds the life out of the rock whereas Danny is a snail in comparison. Danny is still on the wobbly jug when Mule is on the crux. My ten stone (twas a few years ago- bad news!) frame is somewhere in the middle! Makes for interesting viewing i think. Of course Danny still gets the furthest but then he is the Cave beast:

Yesterday was wet so we bagged climbing outside and trained. Getting sick of green tea but its for a good cause, will soon be at my fighting weight and my fitness is going up with every Mill sesh.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Komilator Vid

Short vid of Brick doing Komilator in Chironico, i'm hoping the quality will be a bit better than usual, finally stopped being lazy!

Progress

Hit the Diamond yesterday with Pete R. I feared the worst conditions wise. Low tide was at 12 so we met at 11, a bit early for this crag really. Sure enough it was pretty damp, overcast skies didn't help i'm sure. It was a high low tide so we only had a few hours so we had to make the most of it. Pete jumped on A Skip of Fools, a George Smith 8a+ from back in the day. First run up was a hold finding mission, these holds hadn't been pulled on in a long time. The start proved tricksome and took Pete another go up to figure it out. Then he pissed it, typical, was a fine effort and probably a 2nd or 3rd ascent (anyone know??). I warmed up on the top of my proj and played around a bit, the last move to the finishing jug had been a bit goey but then i guppy'd the hold like Pete suggested which made it more solid. I love getting intimate with a route, knowing exactly what you are doing. This is my favourite stage. I did some links on the top. Next run up i wanted to experiment with a different boot on the crux. A while ago a friend Ian Whyatt gave me one Mad Rock boot (for some reason) so i tried it on the tenous heel on the crux. It stuck like shit to a shovel- amazing! This would be a big help:

Thanks Ian and if your reading this come back you tit.
Next up i really surprised myself, i have only done the crux twice recently and have never managed the cut loose after it. With the magic boot i did the move, cutloose and thought fuck it keep going. I got to six moves from the top falling on what will probably be the redpoint crux, amazing my best effort to date (in shit conditions). Confidence was growing! I have worked out a very rough breakdown of the sections of this route, the start is font 7a to some massive jugs. Then you do a font 7b+ sequence which is followed by a 7c+/8a to the top. Can any experienced beasts out there suggest a grade for this cos i'm still not sure! Anyway the sea was coming in so we sacked it, very productive sesh.
Pete doing a very hard campus move at the bottom of a very steep wall:

Friday, 25 September 2009

Diamond Training

Its been full steam ahead on the training front at Doylo headquarters, never have i felt so determined to get into better shape. I have been deadhanging on my greasy bit of wood and training power and fitness at the Mill. Considering how things have been going on the route i was surprised how weak i was at the Mill. I knew i had no fitness so presumed things must have been happening on strength alone. No i could barely do 7a. Usually i would be disheartened at this scenario but not now, as with my fitness the fact that i'm starting from a fairly low point means that it should be easier to make gains. For example i should be able to improve my fitness a lot quicker than a man who is already fairly fit. For this route i need a bit more finger strength to get solid on the crux and i need power endurance with a bit of shake out recovery thrown in for good measure. So in the Mill i have been doing a bit of this on the steep board:

This gets me really powered out and makes you fight when you feel like you can hold on no longer. This will be important for the top of the project when 100 percent effort and commitment will be required when boxed. On the 30 board i have been trying to do circuits up and down the board with a fairly poor shake out position in between goes, this boxes me too! The angle is also similar to the middle/top of my proj. I haven't done any specific fitness training for years so hopefully i'll see improvements. I have also been running twice this week for 50 minutes each time, my legs are knacked cos haven't run since Aber. Tonight i ran past the Little Orme in the dark, it was a nice reminder of why i'm putting myself through this pain. Also i have been watching what i eat again. Using this Calorie counter i have worked out that i'm consuming just over 1000 calories a day. I'm not hungry though so could probably push it further a la Stevie Haston (700 Calories a day=9a!!!). So thats it, i intend to keep this regime up as long as it takes, hopefully it will work!
The old king with Detritus and the meaty Little Orme behind him:

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Ladies and Gentleman i give you.....the Diamond!


Any man who has had a good look through 1997 Rockfax North Wales Limestone guide will have noticed on page 127 a photo of North Wales climbing legend Steve Mayers on a spectacular looking project up a seriously overhanging piece of limestone. I for one certainly did! The crag was called the Diamond, a fairly well known but rarely visited cliff on the impressive Little Orme. On this cliff were a collection of existing routes which were very impressive in their own right. George Smith and Mayers left a series of testpieces here up to 8a+ but the development came to an end in 1991. Steve had got close to the project shown in the photo but injury prevented him from finishing it. I was always intrigued by this cliff and so i made a few visits about 5 years ago, walking in at low tide and marvelling at this bit of wall. The existing routes impressed but the projects were what took my eye and the Mayers one in particular stood out as as being fantastic. I was inspired! I returned to have a closer look with Danny and Mule. I dogged up the old bolts for a quick look. Jesus it was steep, i wasn't used to such consistent steepness. Anyway the seed was planted. I returned a while later with Neil Dyer and Miles Perkins and with the petrol drill in tow we re-equipped the line. I came back to try the moves on the route a further 3 times. The most successful of these was with Si Panton when i managed to work out and do the crux, a fingery long stretch followed by a hard cut loose. Not long ago when i was climbing strong and at my lightest i returned with Inspector Mawson but was perplexed when neither of us could manage the crux sequence again. On the way out our dingy sunk and we had to swim to shore. And this was the problem with this crag. At low tide you would get maybe an hour if you were lucky walking in and out. It also had to be a low tide (spring for example). This gave you a few days a month to climb there, just not long enough to complete stuff at your limit. Then enter stage left came the motivational machine that is Pete Harrison. The man who rebolted LPT set about establishing a Via Ferrata into the crag making it a similar deal to LPT (say 3 hours before and after low tide). Pete showed me his masterpiece and i was buzzing with excitement, maybe now my dream of climbing this route could finally be realised. Getting to the crag was no longer an issue! Another pain in the arse fact about this place is that its bird banned from 1 March through to mid August. This means the Diamond season is short, effectively from August until it gets to cold to climb. So yes a pain in the arse it is but is it worth it? yes is the answer. Left of my project are two more lines which both look in the 8c/9a region and both are stunning. When you think how worked out every other crag in Britain basically is there must be scope for more development here. I have now managed to have my first full proper sessions on my project. Its going well, each time the links are getting longer. I'm buzzing off this route right now. Climbing on that wall is a joy. The best sport route in North Wales? Myself, Tommy and Pete H have also rebolted Boat People 7c, Never Get out of the Boat 8a and Skip of Fools 8a+. The rest of the climbs could do with being re-equipped and i'm sure they will be as people start going there. I would like to take this opportunity to ask Steve Mcclure or anyone else for that matter not to do my proj. I've put the hours in (and bolts and resin) and i want to finish it. Thanks. Exciting times! From here on in i will be on a strict regime which will be based on making as much progress as i can on this line. Tommy has bolted up the yellow wall proj and Pete has bolted the cool diagonal line. Please respect these projects too as many hours of time and effort were put in to equipping them. Information on the Via Ferrata will soon be up on the limestone Wiki here: wiki

Tommy on Boat People:


My proj



Tommy bolting the yellow wall:

Pete Robins checking out a 8c/9a proj,this line only has one bolt in it thus far, mega:

Pete Harrisons project:

The approach:


Friday, 18 September 2009

Project

I have a project, i need to lose weight ASAP. As from tomorrow the cakes, pizza, chocolate and carbs come to an end. i have until it gets too cold to crush. This thing is amazing, a dream come true in fact. I can hardly contain myself. More details another time. May the good lord give me stength (and stamina and power endurance)!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Power and the Glory Footage

I have uploaded some footage from The Power and the Glory, here it is:

Ticking Along

I have spent the last week enjoying myself ticking a few nice routes around these parts. Sausage came over and did Masterplan, c'est classique! I've done some nice routes recently that i would recommend including Martha 7c, The Bearded Clam 7a+, Plagued by Fools 7b+, El Tigre 7b, Down by the Sea 7a+. Also tried Moffatts' Oyster 7c+ yesterday. This has a seriously hard move, you get a painful awkward jam with your right hand and do one hell of a powerful move. Its essentially a one move route but wowzer what a move! I wouldn't normally wanna spend multiple days on a 7c+ but i might make an exception for this one, would be great to do it!
Some pics, Pete Harrison on Plagued by Fools:


Jordan trying Carinthian Groove:


Some bolts and resin for some ormes re-equippping:

Thursday, 10 September 2009

'Dulas Proj

Yesterday i bolted up and tried the Dulas roof. Its always a bit worrying trying something new that you've just bolted. What if its just far too hard? This looked like it could be but luckily i manged to link the holds across the roof including an outrageous cut loose! It climbed brilliantly, i was chuffed. The crux however is at the end and i haven't worked it out yet, feels hard at the mo. Hopefully i'll find a way! The route joins a new 6c after all the steepness so actually has a nice length to it- mega. Some pics courtesy of Mike Doyle:

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

A Lifetime of Opportunity

Ever since i came to settle next to these sacred Ormes earlier this year i have realised that if your into hard rock climbing there is a lifetime of opportunity here. Whereas the yorkshire season is drawing to an end things are just kicking off over here. In the last few days i have identified many new routes to climb in the area. And there is no need to start linking boulder problems into routes or climbing diagonally across many routes to get yourself a FA in these parts. Many stellar lines exist and remain unclimbed aswell as all the obvious linkups and minor routes. The crags take very little seepage unlike the major crags over in England and so climbing is possible all year round. Since i did Pas de Deux i have been eating lots of yummy food, chilling and also checking out the possibilites for new routes. Check out this project wall with an amzing tufa line on the right:


Unclimbed! With all the existing hard sport climbing and bouldering and the projects its hard to see how a man could get bored here. I'm certainly laying my hat down for some considerable time. Today i'm going to bolt a project at Llandulas, 8b/+ roof climb. SO MUCH TO DO!
Me piss wet through exploring:

Friday, 4 September 2009

Pas de Doylo!

Yesterday i went down LPT only to find that Pas de had a wet hold, gutted. Temps were good, conditions have started to get fresh in these parts. In the end i did the 7a and 7a+ to the right of Boardwalk, pretty good routes. Today i went back with Dicky Simpson. The hold had dried, things were feeling good as i put the clips in. Managed the top in two sections. First redpoint i hit the sloper at the end but couldn't close it up. Second time up i was feeling stressed, the RPs were racking up on this one now, i needed closure. So i pulled my finger out! Rocking over to the last pinch i was gripped, half expecting to get spat off. But i didn't and i climbed up the juggy flake to victory. Get in! 3rd/4th ascent?
As for the grade i had decided to just take the guide grade of 8a+, i didn't want to be known as an upgrader. But today after Simpson tried it i changed my mind. Out of Pete, Holger, Ioan, Simpson and Danny none of them could even do all the moves nevermind attempt it from the deck. Zeke which most men take 8b for took 2 days, this took 9. You do the math. Simpson who has done 8c recently said for him it could be 8b+ (he's shorter than me). Anyway i'm happy that it is a good route and hopefully it should get more attention. From Melancholie next year.....

Monday, 31 August 2009

Some Footage



Times are frustrating in these parts. Early tides so far have kept sessions short down LPT. Climbing with Danny Cattell can be frustrating too as he's always late and when your going to a tidal crag this is bad news. Feel good on my LPT project, the footage below shows my best recent go, really should have done it, stupid. And now the weather is total shite and there are no signs of improvement. Good job Pete did liquid when he did cos things have got officially crap. LPT is a bad place to be when its raining!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Big Trouble in Little China

As a change from rock climbing and the orme here are some clips from the greatest film ever made:


Thursday, 27 August 2009

New Deadhang Rig



Since Ryan Janckyn Pasquill fucked off to the Frankenjura with the A-Frame i have had to create a new portable deadhang board. Yesterday i had my first deadhang session for six weeks. Hopefully this will bring my finger strength back up where it was and i can finally challenge Ondra as the worlds greatest rock climber.
Some of my other pals are in Ceuse getting pumped. Smit has crushed Bah Bah Black Sheep. Very good.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Holy Trinity

Yesterday Danny explained to me what the "Holy Trinity" of orme climbing consisted of. He said that any man who climbed the Big Link, Big Bang and Jonny's Pill Box problem would achieve this so called Holy Trinity. I wonder if a man exists who could complete this feat. They would require burl and sick power endurance for the BL, pure finger strength, power endurance and stamina for BB and then incredible crimp strength for Jonny's problem. Something to think about!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Liquid Robbins!

Managed to finish work in Swindon early today so headed home pronto. Popped in to see Danny C who had just come back from Ceuse, he was heading out to the Orme so i thought i'd join him. When i pulled up at the Cave Petes van was there and i knew what that meant. Sure enough as i looked down to the beach there he was setting off on Liquid Ambar. I watched intensely. Despite being so far away i could see every move, he got to the top section in record time and i got excited but wasn't sure if he would pull it out the bag or not. He did, the screams confirmed it. The fourth ascent of LA (after only 20 years). A great effort. Cool to see someone local do this classic route too. You will be able to see the footage on Dave Brown's forthcoming Welsh film. Me and Danny made our way down there to congratulate him, i guess relief and elation must have been the order of the day! Pete warmed down with the second ascent of Moonwalk. My mini crisis subsided slightly when i got back on Pas De and could do the moves again. I had a decent go, getting to the redpoint crux again. Hope is not lost after all. Danny did Bad Boy (just!) he'd never done it before and then got on the Pas De is hard bandwagon after he had a quick go. Then it got dark. Man of the moment: