The Tumbler-Craig Eithin
What have the Indian Face climb on Cloggy and London Buses got in common? You wait umpteen years for an ascent and three come along at once.! It was great to see young Welsh hot shot Calum Muskett nailing a rare ascent of JD’s iconic route last week; following James McHaffie and George Ullrich's ascents in the same week. You couldn’t wish for better weather if you were planning to put your life on the line. Which you do of course if you try and lead a route which only offers psychological protection.
We’ve now had ten days of continuous sunshine and dry weather and for the pale, washed out inhabitants of North Wales, the Mediterranean climate is obviously inducing strange behavior. In fact, I was considering celebrating the Indian Face ascents by setting foot on the route myself this week. Abseiling down, painting a small abstract acrylic mural at a key point on the route, taking a photograph of the work and then offering limited edition signed prints.
Getting back to CM. I’d heard of this young lad who was making waves in the Welsh climbing scene, quite a while ago. Super keen and super talented, any new routing projects that were felt out of range where usually filed in the ‘leave that one for Calum’ draw. I finally met him when he joined a CC guidebook party heading up to a ‘new’ crag-Craig Eithin- near Capel Curig. I even had the honour of belaying him when he shot up a humble HVS called ‘The Tumbler’. After a few climbs he obviously thought 'what the hell am I doing here' and shot off across the valley to look at another unlisted crag that offered much harder routes and had had visits from George Smith and Martin Crook.
Now he’s looking all set to be one of the leading bright young things in the company of climbers like Hazel Findlay, James Pearson and the aforementioned Caff. Despite having to overcome personal tragedy in recent years, his boundless optimism, naked talent and raw enthusiasm should see him become a household name in UK climbing over the next few years. Which is nothing less than he deserves of course.
See the DMM site for the full story