I was drinking whisky in the Padarn Lake Hotel with Gwion Hughes, who I was living with at the time, when suddenly I had a smart idea.
‘I have an excellent new climb to do. Why don’t we go climbing?’
The pair of us swayed and staggered up to the vast Rainbow Slab. The climb I had seen was a long hairline fracture splitting the left side of the slab. And I had the misguided notion to climb it on sight, without pre-inspection from a rope – and a little bit intoxicated.
I threw a string of micro-wires, tiny brass-headed nuts, in the seam, without the least regard for my safety. The climbing was really quite difficult and became increasingly so. Nevertheless, I carried on with scant regard for my personal safety. I still remember attempting to pull on a depression into which you could place flat a fifty-pence piece: a strange, white pocket in a sea of blue-grey slate. I studied it for what seemed like an eternity and searched for my next hold. My shoe edges were set on mere ripples in the featureless slab. I began to slip and then accelerated down the slab, taking a twenty-five-metre fall.
The rope burned through the lycra behind my knee. I came to a halt inches from the ground.