It was only a week and a bit ago that i was walking round with a spring in my step. I was falling off the end of an amazing, inspiring project. I convinced myself that there would be a few more dry days as that's all i needed to finish it. Just when you need a bit of luck the deluge began. Three days of constant rain, 4 inches in a day and a half. Dry crags like The Diamond and LPT were destroyed so little old Pigeons had no chance. It's pretty unlikely that it will dry again and i doubt i'll do much more sport climbing this year.
Yesterday i fancied a bit of Diamond scene so went down with Tommy and Dave R. Sam and Bransby were already on the Brute. I had planned to get on Boat of Fools but i felt no inspiration for an 8a link up. I didn't even get on The Brute last year and i really felt the urge to climb on it again. I spent 2 seasons seiging the route and it all felt very familiar as soon as i got back on. The boys had worked out a less sapping way of doing the crux and i was soon kicking myself as i did the move using there hold. Even more dismay set in when i grabbed an intermediate on that top redpoint crux which used to stop me in my tracks. I'd felt it years ago but this time it felt more positive and essentially halved the big move. I'm sure this could have been enough for me on my best redpoints on the route. I may have done it or i might have pumped out on the last moves but it's fairly annoying that i missed the hold. I really need to finish it next year, it's definitely the best sport route in Wales. Ben did a big link then pissed it next go for the 6th ascent. I don't think i'll ever get over the way he drags small crimps on hard moves, it's ridiculous! Unfortunately for him his project extension was wet but i'm sure he'll be back. Sam was doing some good links and looking rather enthused. The route has had 6 ascents now but i've been waiting for some mortals to get on it to hopefully have an epic and make me feel better about spending 25 days on a 8b. The guys who have done it have all been 8c+/9a strong which quite frankly is cheating. It's settled at hard 8b but i do wonder if it might have been different if more 8b/+ climbers had tried it. Dave Redpath certainly expressed dismay that it was only 8b. I still rank it harder than Melanchollie which is top end. Damn those beasts!
Sam on the slippy flatties halfway up:
The long redpoint crux: