Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Coming up: Harold Drasdo recalls a 15 year itch !

A young Harold Drasdo takes time out from developing the Poisoned Glen with brother Nev to go beachcombing on the shores of Donegal: Photo Drasdo Collection©

"A thin rise from the apex of the niche. At that very point it admitted two-thirds of one of my scavenged hoard of nuts. A foot higher it accepted a rather better one to extend incidentally a small hold adjoining it. Otherwise I could find no footholds to launch from and could see no handholds to aim for. The nuts weren't quite good enough. If I used one for aid my feet would swing in. As I moved higher the resultants would change, the nuts might pop and I'd start a slow backward somersault. The sapling would flatten, the tape ripped over its head like a honeymoon nightie. Nev would stop me 40 to 50ft down, snapping my neck. A peg was needed.
So I had a few with me, just in case. Twisted awkwardly, more or less one-handed, I lodged one between the two nuts. It looked encouraging. I flailed up at it, pausing at intervals to relieve the ache in my side. As it went in its nose lifted and its eye came down until it neared the vertical. Useless. No other placement in reach. I felt as if I had cracked a rib. There was nothing left to do but to sit down and look at the view.'

This Friday...Harold Drasdo describes a long frustrating campaign to subdue a humble 200' VS in the Llanberis Pass, North Wales.