Stu & Nick Rock with Rohan

We are happy to report that Nick, the lucky winner of the recent Rohantime Win a Mountain Guide for the Day competition, had a great day out in North Wales on Sat 18th April under the guiding hand of Stuart…

The whole day was a really enjoyable experience and I was thoroughly pleased with my prize. Stu proved to be an excellent climbing partner and was brilliant on all the climbs, maintaining the right amount on tension on the rope at all times, i.e. Tight!! Nick

Stuart and Nick sent Rohantime this write up of their day. Thank you.

“When I made contact with the Rohan competition winner Nick, I have to admit to being a little surprised. I had wrongly assumed that I would be in the company of a novice hill walker or climber, but Nick certainly wasn’t a novice hill walker or climber! Nick explained that he had suffered a climbing accident some 6 years ago which was by no means his own fault (but that’s another story!) The accident had left him with two broken ankles and limited flexibility until a further operation in 2008 gave him a bit more freedom, if not a little more pain.

Obviously, such an accident would be enough to stop most from climbing ever again, except for Nick. Nick has climbed extensively around the UK and abroad and is never short of a story or two about his exploits! Having met in the excellent and friendly Conwy Outdoor Shop (stockists of Rohan), it was obvious to me that Nick still had ‘the desire’ to climb and wanted to climb some challenging routes. We jumped into the car and after an hour of chatting we arrived at Tremadog, one of the many fine multi-pitch climbing venues in Snowdonia.
Nicks’ injury meant that we were best suited to a climb with a short approach and watching Nick get out of the car stiff from his journey, with his crutches in the boot, I couldn’t help but wonder how Nick would get on. A short walk led us to rocky ground and the approach to our first climb called ‘First Slip’. Nick made light work of the steep and loose approach and soon we were engrossed in the technicalities of climbing a difficult rock climb, graded as ‘Extreme’. I watched Nick follow and was staggered by his ability. It was quite obvious to see that Nick had spent much of his free time on the cliffs, the crutches in the car and the limp to the crag were now forgotten. Nick was engrossed on the pitch described in the guide book as ‘a really fine bridging problem, thin and precarious’, with maximum concentration. Soon after, Nick admitted that he didn’t like bridging and that ‘he would pay for this tomorrow!’
We soon moved to another climb described as ‘one of the finest routes at Tremadog’, called ‘The Plum’. This offered a more physical challenge to the upper body and the Winter months Nick and his girlfriend spent in the climbing gym were evident. As the day progressed we began to feel at ease with each others ability and before long we found ourselves at the famous ‘Erics cafe’ for a cuppa and a chat. We were surprised to see that it was late afternoon, but we both knew we just had to fit one more climb in. So, refuelled we headed back to do one last climb, ‘The Fang’, another classic of the Joe Brown era. This was the ‘easiest’ of the trio of routes that we had climbed, but was by no means ‘easy’. After wedging fingers and fists into cracks and delicate balanced climbing for another 200ft, Nick approached the top of the climb. I asked if he had had enough now, ‘I think so, I ‘ll pay for this tomorrow’ was the reply! By now the sun had left the cliff and we quickly made our descent by abseil down to the base of the cliff. A classic day full of classic climbing. What can be better?”    Stuart

“The day started meeting up with Stuart at the Rohan Shop in Conwy for introductions and photos and after discussing various climbing locations, Tremadog was agreed upon and we set off.
On arriving at Tremadog, the weather was excellent, clear blue skies and just a slight breeze which we later found was slightly chilly when on the top of the crags. Just perfect climbing conditions.
Stu suggested that we start off with a hard route and then finish the day off with an easy route, so he came up with First Slip E1 5c, The Plum E1 5b and then time permitting Scratch Arête HVS 5a
The first climb First Slip mainly consists of two “V” groves which are generally surmounted by using bridging techniques. Not having climbed on rock since September of last year and not being an exponent of bridging, First Slip was an interesting first climb of the day. I was pleased that I did get to the top without Stu having to resort to too much pulling!
The second climb, The Plum is a classic Tremadog three star route, which again required some bridging, well for me it did, as well as some delicate moves. The delicate moves were required when I slightly went off route and found the holds had disappeared. Once back on route the final ascent on the arête was fantastic.
After finishing The Plum we retired to Eric’s for a brew and then headed off to climb Scratch Arête but noticing that there was a party already on it Stu opted for another HVS 5a called The Fang. This is another great route requiring mixed climbing styles, the first pitch pumpy and the second delicate.

The whole day was a really enjoyable experience and I was thoroughly pleased with my prize. Stu proved to be an excellent climbing partner and was brilliant on all the climbs, maintaining the right amount on tension on the rope at all times, i.e. Tight!!    A big “thank you” to both Rohan and Stu”.   Nick

To contact Stuart for your next big day out

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