Lewis Ashton's Reports
Edition of 15/9/2003
Mid Wales VS (Lewis, recalled by Duncan)
From: Lewis (email@example.com)
Subject: TR Mid Wales (long)
Saturday night, I phone Duncan to see if him, Jules and Simon were still on for a day trip to Mid Wales. They were. I felt I had to impress upon them the need to not drink too much. I knew that this would be ignored. I needed to ensure that they did not over do it because I was travelling from Lancashire on my own and would feel like a bit of a spare part (prat?) sitting on a Welsh hillside with loads to climb but no one to climb with (they were travelling from South Wales).
My suggestion about not drinking too much was duly ignored. Even so, they did turn up..only two hours later than suggested.
We met up at the bottom of Aecheron on...bugger I forgot to write down the crag name.. in the Arrans. Someone was already on Aecheron and I fancied Doom anyway (the route next to it). We decided that it would be more sociable if we all (4) did the route together.
I managed to stray ridiculosly off route at the top of the first pitch (it was only VS and I had to make some 5a moves to get off the route!). Once I had decided that I was off route, it was too late. So I swam up 30 feet of vertical vegitation. Well I tried for a while, but one of my ropes got caught. after 10 minutes of struggling to free it, kindly aided but the person on Aecheron giving guidance, I gave up and untied from it. Just as the rope dropped away I remembered that that was on my nearest piece of gear. Moments before the rope caught, I had taken a sling off the tree I climbed through, so that Duncan did not have to follow me off route. Bugger it was at least 50 feet to my next gear and there was at least 20 feet more of vegitation. I managed to swim to the stance and was relieved to get there. Duncan followed uneventfully.
Duncan pointed out that we were now five, as Gareth had turned up too. Duncand led off up pitch two complaining about the vegitation and rock quality. Simon, Gareth and Jules joined me on the stance.
When Duncan got half way up the pitch he started to complain about the fact that there was a overhang and how this had not registered when we skimmed the description earlyer. He got up it fine and onto the next, small, stance. I followed and led through and on up a fantastic slab pitch.
Duncan got half way up this third pitch and announced that he was stopping to take some photos of our second party leading up behind. After a while he announced he was untieing one rope so that the first second could climb straight through, as there was not room for three of them on the stance at the start of the pitch. Gareth arrived at the belay with me and Duncan was still in the middle of the pitch waiting to take photos.
Just as Duncan joined me, the pair who had been on Aecheron joined us. That made 5 on the belay. Simon made 6. Then Dunc led up the last pitch. While he was on it the pair from Aecheron led off up the last pitch too. That meant 4 on the belay and 4 ropes on the groove. A bit of under and over the ropes helped knit them up. We let the second from Aecheron go ahead of us to simplify things a little. Then we slowly sorted ourselves out and trotted back to the sacks.
I think it took us about 4 hours to do the route. Not bad considering the amount of pissing about we did.
Then we went to the pub.
It was a good day out, sociable, amusing and despite the chaos, we had it totally under control, with the possible exception of my detour on the vertical greenery.
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