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Photos: Big G



'Shaft of light, glinting sloper'

Outside the wind is howling and the rain is doing its best to burst the rivers beyond their banks. The threat of flooding is discussed and travel arrangements are adjusted accordingly. Soon though a break in the clouds will come and the hunt for dry slopers will be back on. Big G remains as positive as ever:

Dear NWB.com readers,

Oh; Terrible-weather-for-the-time-of-year. Well pick your day!; sometimes little patches of blue sky are blown in with the clouds; and then the December air has rolled over us like so many folds of grey silk, freeze drying the rock.

Mind you - this month, being as their isn't much light, we might take the opportunity to dwell upon matters of ...darkness.

For the bouldering community there is a galaxy of rock, oh-so-real to the touch, that fills our schedules, our bouldering guides, our websites and our little bouldering brains. And when asked about it, we become animated; pointing up the Pass, down the Lleyn, over to the Orme.
But surely someone - perhaps through a new approach to research - perhaps by a fresh look over the landscape - might surmise that there could actually be as much rock again, untouched, almost unseen, beyond our grasp in its parallel state.


Does it even exist to the happy sloper tugger? Could these immense piles of crap be of value?

Well here is a funny thing; our warped cousins - the rock climbers - spend heaps of time straining on this stuff; worrying their way from one bolt to the next; elevated...er...bouldering; whilst their duvet-clad companions belay their way into hypothermic insensibility below. Indeed, climbers make what they claim to be ‘amazing/unique’ moves ...so why can't we?

Ok, so 99.9% must be dross - but there's an awful lot of it!, so let us experiment in Dinorwig Quarry the home of so many slate myths...

A level above Dali's Hole, just at the base of Dali's Dihedral (gr 596 605) is a freaky lump of greenstone which has rolled into an opportune position, sporting a decent landing and aspect.
House-brick sized formica slopers abound and bits of quartz and what-not. Get the mats out - lots of them - pull on, and ask yourself if it’s for real.

And if it turns out to be more then just a theory, well then; the great slate anti-worlds of Dinorwig, Llanberis, Nantlle, Ffestiniog and Penrhyn could be your oyster.

Blessed are those who can enjoy crap stuff...for they will never queue!

Love Big G

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