Llanberis and Ogwen

Llanberis tree
Llanberis tree

My first night in a CC climbers hut. I rationalized sometime ago that sitting in a warmish hut was a better option than crouching and squatting in a coldish van. It transpired that I was right. It is though a bit weird, alone in a mountain hut, the wind howling outside, doors creaking and banging, surrounded by relics and pictures of climbing antiquity, right in my view line I have a picture of Everest base camp and a group shot of Oxbridge types including Menlove Edwards. I remember reading the slightly controversial biography by the slightly controversial Jim Perrin, I’m pretty sure Edwards spent a lot of time in this hut, as I suppose have many other notables. To be on the safe side in case a beardy of the non hipster variety arrives, I left my bouldering mats in the car.

Old boots, Helyg CC hut
Old boots, Helyg CC hut

I’ve checked out ‘sway on’, nice and dry and very excited to try this tomorrow. It was the first 8A I tried quite a few years ago, never really had a goodgo at this in recent years so keen to try tomorrow. I have a nice bottle of ‘reserva best’ from the Spa in Bethesda, and I’m intent to only drain it to the half way mark and no more. I don’t want any excuses. . ‘sway on’ is basically a one move wonder, pull on from a sit start, snatch to a crimp and then one more easier move and it’s all over. So I’m headed out in the morning and giving it some serious work.

Diesel Power will have to wait, it’s less skin intensive and stays drier in rain, so it seems that giving ‘sway on’ a go first, seems sensible.

After about five hours bouldering..I began to question question my sanity, asking myself what it was worth, to get one of these ticks. I remember before talking to Jane and saying that I would readily give £150 for a bona-fide 8A. At this point I started to hatch a plan, I could feasibly, if i ditch next weekends work stay up here for a week and a half, surely this would be enough time, surely the weather would co-operate enough to give me some good condition’s. Poor weather would give me rest days. I’ve also brought work with me. So all I would be losing is a couple of days poorly paid work. I ask where doesmy commitment really lie?

Sway On…gave it a good go, in the morning, in the sun, then came back once it dropped into the shade. It got cold very quickly and I struggled to keep warm fingers. I got very close lots of times. By this I could pull on and latch very briefly the next hold, alas a brief latch is not good enough, soon I was tired and my fingers were screaming. But this was so much better than my last go at this problem, then I could pull on and up but never hit the hold, so I was pretty pleased.

Next morning found me early, sitting under ‘diesel power’, it was starting to rain and the wind was howling, it was grim, I wanted to go home, I hated this. I tried a few moves and could barely pull on. One hour later, I’m happy, although totally tired from yesterday and repeated pulls onto the crux, I suddenly started using an intermediate and the move went, not once but three times in a row, the problem was cracked. If I could do this in my current state, surely, fresh It would feel easy.

A day or two later….a lot of rain…

What price failure? On this trip, fuel cost me £140, car repairs cost me £214, hut fees cost £60, lost working hours costs, food and then shame! My shame knows no bounds, I have wasted time and money and only have failure in the face of my objectives. I can say I did this, I did that, I learnt this and that, it’s all about the journey, the process, bla bla, but I didn’t climb the problem. I was deluded and misjudged my ability and the difficulties of the problem and that is that, the bare bones of failure and the cost. Did I enjoy it, no!

OK BUT, next time! I did the problem in two halves, I did the middle third, which was the crux for me. So that means surely I can do it, all I need is more time and more money, train harder bla bla bla. What a crazy life. If the seed is there, if the idea is there, It’s impossible you can’t let it go, its as simple as that. So in answer to the question what cost failure, it means nothing, it was all worth it and always will be.

I also climbed with my nephew Ioan and went for a walk, which was marvelous.

Cwn Glas

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