Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cornish Female MIA in the making

It’s been quite a stressful month. Hannah placed an application for her MIA (Mountain Instructor Award). How is this stressful? Well there has been a few people from Cornwall who have had their applications turned down mainly due to having southwest routes on it. As if climbing in the southwest isn’t serious enough, many folk from up country think it’s a good holiday destination for a bit of fun. Those of us who have a healthy addiction to adventure know otherwise could list many frightening VS’s that would turn you to drink.

So the thought of being told that what you have achieved inst good enough, the thought of climbing in your home county is just a bit of harmless fun is a bit insulting. I must stress Hannah’s application had a lot more than just Southwest routes in it, Hannah has climbed up and down Britain a few times from Orkney to lands end.

So she decided on a road trip, the main aim was to climb as many routes of VS and above so if the application was rejected then she would have enough routes to fill a new application with a whole new selection of routes. And she did. Llanberies didn’t stand a chance, every VS was crushed fully on-sight with no hesitations’, and Ogwen suffered the same fate. It was cool for me as I was a second for 2 weeks; this was the first time in over 15 years that I’ve been a second for this length of time. It reminded me that it’s a stressful job belaying; everything is totally out of my control.

I did lead some stuff though. In my favourite quarries, the slate quarries. There has been a lot of work done in these quarries some good and some bad, Costa del Dalie, what’s the fXXing point, poor routes, bad gear, and it has delayed the release of the new guide. On a positive some of the old gear has been sympathetically replaced, round the colossus walls the old routes have been turn in to “Slate sport routes” big run outs with a high fear factor e.g.- The medium on the seam stress slabs (a Dawes route from the 80’s now given 8a more like E7 6c/7a) very technical with a big fall factor, Shot yer bolt (Stevie Haston E5 6b certainly not F7a+) all the bolts are hard to clip and a long way apart what a classic.

The problem with North Wales is there are no scum bags; no personality has any one read Mays copy of Climb? The one where they let The right honourable John Redhead write an peace, its genius. Adventure tourism is everywhere, the rock is abused, and every boulder / bivi site is covered in shit, human shit. Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes as do climbers in North Wales. The decision was made to leg it to lakes, home turf (we lived there for about 8 years, happy times.

The thing with the lakes is its further north; further north mainly means bad weather. Not this time wall to wall sunshine. Days on Raven crag, Gimmer, Wallthwaite and of course the jewel in Langdale’s crown Pavey Ark. Hannah despatched route after route with the same confidence and style making routes look easy. All our mates came up to Kentmere to a cottage in the middle of nowhere so there was a rather large party.

Back in Cornwall there was a package at the door; Hannah’s application had been Accepted. This was the best result you could ever ask for. The training is booked for October, Hannah’s ability and confidence has gone through the roof so all is well. Well not quite my shoulder injury in back and worse than ever, arse back to phyiso and rubber bands arse.

So what’s next? Bit o work then the next adventure, there’s a good solstice party in Orkney, might do the old man again who knows?