Monday, 14 January 2013

Life is Good

A long time since my last post and a lot has happened since then. . .

Happy Family at Christmas Time
The most amazing and inspiring thing came into myself and my partner Danielle's life on the 9th October 2012 when our son Leon Skylar Owens was born.

Nothing could of prepared us for what it would be like to bring new life into the world and every minute of it so far has been amazing. My outlook on life and everything we do seems different in a good way, it's like seeing colours of life that were never there before. He truly does bring colour into everything.

He is now 3 months old and is growing up so fast. He loves being outdoors and has been at the crag a few times now. Me and Danielle both are very much of the opinion that no one should shy away from the things they enjoy doing and put "Life on Hold" just because of a new arrival. We both want him to fit into everything we do and getting out and about is a big part of our life's. I'm excited for the future and seeing him grow up, each day brings something new.

Climbing wise, I feel like I'm climbing just as much as I was before he was born.

Since my last post Luke Clarke, Spidey and I headed out to Ceuse for 10 days at the start of August. This was my first climbing trip (Spoilt). Ryan and I shared the driving over there taking 15 hours but it was worth it. I didn't really know what to expect and I was blew away by the place. It's massive! (Compared to 2 Bolt long Clwyd routes!)

We had a great time out there and all got completely shut down on "Easy" routes. I managed to On-Sight 6b+ and ticked a lot of routes around this grade. I quickly had to accept that I wouldn't be climbing my hardest on the trip. The crag has a massive walk in which knackers you out as we were only climbing in the evening. Not having a rest day didn't help either!

On our 7th day I managed to redpoint nice long 7a called La Reine Des Pommes, this was more my style as it was just less than vertical and had a great crimpy crux section. Playing to my style payed off big time, was really happy to get this ticked and Clarky crushed it straight after. Good times! After this I jumped on another 7a, feeling psyched for an On-Sight attempt. Reaching the crux the route traverses left away from the last bolt. I took a few falls then one just went completely wrong and I landed twisted on my right ankle. In hindsight I'm pretty sure I'd pulled ligaments/tendons or something as It's only just starting to disappear and it's now Mid January!

Gammy Injured Foot!
With a forced rest day the day after, we headed up to Font to spend our last 2 nights and break up the trip. We climbed in the baking heat and just basically ran around the forest jumping on anything regardless of grade. Quite a nice way to spend it there as I can end up getting hung up on grades from time to time! My ankle was sore but I still tried my best!

Lads in Font

Moving on to September me and Spidey had a great long day out with a mixture of crags. We headed out early and walked all the way to the Pac Man Boulders only to find they were wet (Sack) Still haven't had the chance to climb there yet. After falling in a bog we headed over to the Orme and checked out Empire Crag as Spidey had told me about some gnarly steep jug routes. This being completely my anti-style I was keen to check them out! We thought we were on Cradle Snatchers 6c but turned out to be Nursery Crimes 6c+. Had to take a rest on the lead (pumped). A great route and one to come back for.

We then headed over the Parisella's. Only ever pulled on here when I was a complete beginner and was keen to see what all the fuss was about. First problem I did was Cave Righthand V4, nails to say the least. At this point I couldn't see the appeal of the place. I then got my first V6 tick in the form of The Pillar Start, all of a sudden I was psyched for the place! I can see why people get obsessed with the it, so much stuff to go at in there. Keen to get back when I'm stronger! We then nipped into Split Infinity cave and did The Pillar Finish V4, tricky little problem that one. Onto Angel Bay next, a place I've been a few times when I first started and a place that always inspired me. I manged to tick The Letterbox V4 pretty quickly and had good attempt at Ren Arete V5 and Pocket Wall which is a nails V4. All in all a great day 3 V4's and a V6 - Psyched!

Also in September I ticked a V5 at Hope Mountain called Grotto Up. A great problem that takes a crimpy rail out of a roof up some pinches. I managed it with a cheeky toe cam in the roof as I'm weak on pinches (Note to self get strong). Keen to get some Sport climbing done I headed up to Pinfold one evening with Leon with the intent to tick a 7a called What's Goin' On. With the light fading I got it first redpoint, a brilliant route and very technical and slabby (playing to by strengths again!)

Danielle and I headed to Porthmadog for a weekend in our Grandparents Caravan mid September and I was suprisingly warm. We headed down to Cae Du and I got plenty of easy ticks in and made a little video. Danielle was still pregnant at this point and enjoyed the beach:

Cae Du from Luke Owens on Vimeo.

Further highlights from the end of last year was a successful Redpoint of Jack the Smuggler at Llanymynech which I have been keen to do for awhile. I also managed to On-Sight a 35m 6c called a Night Torchlight Parade as a warm up. Awesome Day's climbing. I made a video of 3 of the Clwyd 7a's I've filmed:

Clwyd 7a's from Luke Owens on Vimeo.

Early November Matt Lamb and I headed over to sport climb on the upper drive of the Orme for the first time. With hopes to get on Axel Attack 7a+, only to find the start of the route soaking. . . Back up plan was this awesome looking 3 star 7a called Quicksilver. Took a few redpoints and felt tough but I got the tick, such a great route. Video here:

Quicksilver F7a from Luke Owens on Vimeo.

Mid November Danielle and I headed out to Porthmadog again and had a session at the Cromlech Boulders and took Leon too. This was Danielle's first time climbing after pregnancy and it was great to see her climbing again. She got up a couple of V0's and I was impressed. She was a fear of heights and does really well considering.

Early December no one seemed to be around to climb so being keen I headed over to the World's End one weekend morning and checked out the 7b there Cigars of the Pharaohs on a Gri-Gri, managed the moves apart from the start being wet. One to check out this year (2013).

On the 16th December I headed out early to Denbigh Quarry to put a lower off in a new route of mine. A week later I also managed to get a real bargain on a Bosch GBH for £80!

Later that day I headed over to GOP Cave to meet the Boosh lads for a session on some steep rock. Really keen to get on this type of stuff as I'm pretty poor when it comes to powerful moves. I managed a flash of the warm up V3 and ticked a cool V5 which is not my style at all. Short video of the problem:

Gop Cave - V5 from Luke Owens on Vimeo.

I ended the year on 23rd December with a shunt session at the World's End and On-Sighted a really cool E3 called Butter Arete. Amongst all this I've been training hard at home on the Beastmaker and at Oswestry Wall Bouldering every Tuesday! More on this in my next post, this one has gotten far too long!

Can't wait to see what 2013 will bring!


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