That’s a Wrap!

By The Climbing Academy

TCA Staffer and Black Diamond Hero Jonny Kydd finished up his 5 months of travelling and climbing with a trip to North Wales. Here he looks back on the last few days and his rivalry with the weather, nagging injuries, and "Ropes of Maui".

My last week in North Wales didn’t involve loads of climbing, mainly because I had decided to try and send something a bit harder. This meant that I spent a lot more time resting both for skin growth and to try and be as fresh as possible for each session. The problem I had decided to focus on was “Ropes of Maui”.

Although it has been far from prime conditions this trip, this problem seemed like the best opportunity to send something hard for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is almost permanently in the shade to keep it cool(er).
  2. It’s an extension to a problem that I managed to send earlier in the trip.

The downside is that a couple of the holds are a bit sharp, my injured foot doesn’t like a couple of the moves, and it suits me the least out of all the 8B’s I’ve invested time into. Having said that, it’s way closer to being my perfect problem than my anti style!

Over the 3 weeks I managed to have a few sessions on it and progress was good but often stumped by either sweaty tips or lack of skin. This meant that I spent most of those sessions working sections to have the moves dialled so that if the conditions did allow then the send would be easier. However, close to the start of the week I had my best and worst session on it. It was great as I got to a new high point and had now done the climb in 2 overlapping parts, but on this go I managed to get a hole in my finger from the start hold!

(The hole in my finger from ‘Ropes of Maui’)

I thought there may be just enough time for my finger to heal and it would be set up for some last day heroics but this isn’t the movies. Although my finger had mostly healed and I felt as though I could have had at least one good go, the weather had different ideas. On my last day it chucked it down! I waited for a while to see if it would lift and went to check out the climb to see if it had stayed dry only to find it sitting in a cloud that had made itself comfortable in the Llanberis pass. So I may have not sent but it’s always good to have things to come back for and motivate you to train.

(Pretty sure there’s a mountain behind that cloud…)

Nevertheless I still had a decent last few days. Early in the week I decided to risk getting eaten by midges and headed to the woods to find some shade and try ‘Grey House’ (8A)

(Looks like I’m back in Font)

This problem is on a solitary boulder in a quiet wood which can give a nice break to the crowds that can build up around the Llanberis pass. This problem turned out to be my favourite in North Wales. It revolves around two blind moves to good(ish) holds, but only if you hit them right! Getting the body position spot on is crucial for each move and feels so satisfying when you link them together.

(Trying to spot the final hold before going big on ‘Grey House’)

And on the last day I was forced by the rain to the infamous wet weather venue that is Parisella’s Cave. I hadn’t been for a few years and wasn’t massively psyched to go back there but I would much rather climb there than not at all. Fortunately the cave wasn’t busy and it made it a lot easier to work a problem rather than having to queue to get on what you want to try. I decided to get on ‘Lou Ferrino (sans pocket)’ (8A). As with all problems in the cave it’s a power endurance test piece but unlike most of the cave it’s a big compression-y climb that follows this hanging rib. I quickly figured out all the moves and to my surprise I was able to put it all together on my first go from the start and walk away with a quick send.

(Lou Ferrino (sans pocket) 8A)

Here’s a video of my time in north Wales

So that’s that. My 5 months are up and I’m back in the “real world”. It’s always nice being back home but I do miss having the option to go climbing wherever and whenever I feel like it. Having said that, it’s so hot at the moment and it’s not a bad time of year to get back into training and getting into shape! It’s strange not living in the van any more and I think I have adjusted back to living in a house but I did try to open my front door with the remote key for my van. A big thanks to my sponsors and especially TCA for helping me out and giving me the time off to go and enjoy myself! Until next time.