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Cruit ClimbFest 2010

Date: May 2010
Submitted by: Anthony.Feeney
There was a lot of worry in the approach to ClimbFest 2010. Was Cruit the right venue? Would people come? Did we buy too many tshirts? Would the weather hold? Could we afford the portaloos? Would I make it home with all this fecking Icelandic volcanic ash??? The weekend didn't get off to a great start as I crawled through Birmingham bank holiday traffic at 9mph heading for the Holyhead ferry. I ended up having to cover the 45 miles from Llandudno inside 25 minutes. Average speed 110mph. Sssh!

Both the weather and I were a little bleary next morning as PJ, Helen, John, myself and 6 kids loaded up but once past Dungloe the sun threw off it's cloudy blanket. As we approached the campsite it was immediately apparent that the crowds HAD turned up so now the worry was: would we have enough tshirts? Some clown(s) had put up a "Feeney Free Zone" sign so we scored out the "Free" and took up position right there. I suspect Mike's terrible handwriting and Keith's post making, for didn't it fall over in the first stiff breeze? Keith, Valli, Alan, George and co. had been busy hauling kids up and down the Diffs on Farmhouse Crag all morning, including the 2 kids of Anna Marie, the campsite owner's daughter. Good PR!

PJ and I got our act together and headed over to Trathnona Wall with Keith and George who'd made a fine partnership that morning, bleeding ankles notwithstanding. We were trying to find Pol Na Caoineadh wall but went too far round and ended up in a new area not on the topo. New route time? The tide was way out so we clambered down and spied a couple of likely looking lines. Keith did a line which looked about Severe but he can confirm and name, mine and PJ's eventually went at about HS 4a and shall be called "Spooning Leads to Forking". George then led a "top end" VS that Keith struggled to second. Probably the crossed hands leaning out crux move that did it.

From there we went over to Traderg Wall where PJ and I helped a couple of John's work mates to ab down and have a go at the MS line that PJ led while "full of beans" Keith led a VS that turned out to be a Severe due to a printing error. When Keith refused to have a go at George's ballsy HVS it was left up to Niall to have a thrash and fail on it. Cue Odhran taking over and getting up with a bit of disco leg and strategic manual foot placement. By now I'd worked out the moves, having watched everyone else, so I found the first move strenuous, athletic but doable. "Ha!", thought I, "Wee buns". Not so. From there it got harder as I palmed the big round lump in the middle. "What's palming?" someone asked later. Imagine yourself splayed on a big round boulder, arms fully outspread trying not to fall off while you desperately stretch and slap. That's palming.

By then it was time for a campsite dinner huddled out of the chilly North wind followed by Valli's excellent fireshow. There was a bit of a singsong but the nights were very much colder than the days and for a change we were in bed before sunrise (getting sensible in our old age). We still weren't ready in time for the 10am Goal boat though. While everyone schlepped off for some island climbing, John and a pregnant Helen went for the easy option of a couple of pints and the Man Yoo match at Cruit golf club. PJ and I tootled over to Farmhouse Crag with Sam, the Jiblet Brigade and a couple of Hanging Rockers. First up was the HS line on the far left. Nice dry grippy rock and wee buns till the big "elephant arse" crack at the top. 20 minutes of high cam placing and faffing later (I never claimed to be in shape!) I eventually went for it, found that a well inserted foot was going nowhere and thrutched to the top. PJ followed, bleeding everywhere, Stefan, Odhran and Niall after that.

The Hanging Rockers were having a screaming match on the Severe line and that left the VS as the only interesting line in my range. So it was more of the same: easy blocky climbing to the big bottomless crack and then a long "Jaysus how do you get up THAT?" pause. Again trusting the jammed feet and a bit of palming got me to the top. PJ, Niall and co. all had a turn and then it was definitely pub o'clock. At the Cruit clubhouse the locals all had a feel of Niall's hair and took pity on the Jiblet Brigade's starved appearance, offering up some nourishing chicken soup. Sandra M turned up with the girls and after dinner back at camp Keith, Sandra, PJ and I headed to the Combover Bar for some hilarious piss taking of the locals. Mike was Sandra's illegitimate son by her first marriage, Keith was the evil stepfather who had no love for his ginger offspring and rued having to pay for said offspring's university education. Rosie encouraged myself into a few cackled verses but last orders soon put paid to that.

Next morning we were still getting people coming to register and buy tshirts. I think the "€15 all in" idea worked well and everyone was honest enough to come up and pay so that we never felt we had to chase people. Maybe it was the lure of the brilliantly photographed and edited topos. We sold out of all the men's tshirts and would have sold out of the women's if the small size hadn't been so child friendly. The "jazz hands" skeleton got loads of comments but be warned: Mike's image on the back is only his first step to world domination.

All in all the weekend couldn't have worked out better and it was definitely one of the best ClimbFest's ever. Great to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Thanks to everyone who took part and helped make it the success it was. I won't name names for fear of missing someone out but you know who you are.

12 May 2010
http://danalynnthompson.com/hello-world/"https:/gravatar.com/" Keith

I thought the climber on the t shirt was me with a little airbrushing??

13 May 2010
buy cytotec online made in america Pete

I thought it was me.

13 May 2010
follow site AF

Like any good fantasist will tell you: it can be whoever you want it to be.

14 May 2010
keith

Lady GaGa?

21 May 2010
Keith

just looking at climber on climbfest tshirt worn by team on one of the pics at farmhouse crag and can help thinking the climber looks like one of the mummies from the scoobie doo cartoons

21 May 2010
Keith

just looking at climber on climbfest tshirt worn by team on one of the pics at farmhouse crag and can help thinking the climber looks like one of the mummies from the scoobie doo cartoons

23 May 2010
Pete

Are you dissing Tone's artwork again? The skeleton and now the mummy?


Photo of Route