It soon escalated from modest plans!
With my personal plans of just getting 'rock mileage' in over the next few months before working on increasing my grade I was happy enough to look at Severe and Hard Severe climbs, just get to the feeling of grit climbing back.
With lads together, the weather fine and the climbing good it soon escalated and I soon found myself clambering and hauling myself up 'Bachelor's Climb' (VS4c***). I like climbing on grit, I like the friction you can actually get off what look poor holds but I wasn't very keen on this to be honest. Early season nerves or whatever it may of been I don't mind saying that I struggled in a couple of places on this route and was delighted when I dragged myself over the top move and set up the belay!
We then made our way over to 'Roaches Lower Tier' to catch up with an old friend 'Valkyrie'. Myself and Dan had had a look at climbing this famous route last year but in a moment of clarity had decided to abseil off after the first pitch, in hindsight it was probably one of the better decisions I've made in life.
The route has a short down climb with very little in the way of holds before an extremely balancy traverse which is poorly protected, I would have struggled last year and without Andrews input.
After watching Dan lead it and with Andrews beta of the route I was buzzing to successfully lead it this time with the help of Josh on a tricky belay. If you were to come off on the traverse it be one massive swing into fresh air, hopefully!
I have climbed on sea cliffs before but only as a second so this would be another step towards improvement.
Just getting to the start of a sea cliff route can be a challenge and the descent down to the foot of Gogarth Main Cliff with the sea below and cliffs above is both awe inspiring and intimidating.
We decided to link 'Imitator' and 'Bezel' routes together which would give us 5 pitches at VS5a, leading alternate pitches we would be leading above our previous top grades.
Summary - overall a top drawer climbing trip in my opinion. Completed Valkyrie, which I wanted, and thought I climbed harder than I had previously on Batchelor's Climb. A first sea cliff lead and higher than any previous grade is all good in my book.