Author Archive

Ahriman Direct E2 5b – surprising addition to Easter Island Gully, Gogarth

George Smith and Ric Potter have made a surprising addition to Easter Island Gully at Gogarth. Ahriman Direct E2 5b tackles the glaringly obvious, but for some reason previously unclimbed, groove left of The Ancient Mariner and directly below the mid height belay on Ahriman.

George continued up the second pitch of Ahriman and recommended running it out in one rope length to the cliff top.

“It gives one continuous groove line of the utmost quality. Bizarre that it has never been done before.”, said George after the ascent.

How such an obvious line remained unclimbed (or at least unclaimed) is a mystery. It just goes to show that it is worth looking more closely at the gaps in guidebook topos (see page 173 in the Gogarth North guide for this particular gap).

The Tumtum Tree E5 6a – Bullock and McHaffie climb new route at Rhoscolyn

Nick belaying on top with Caff seconding Photo: Lukasz Warzecha

Yesterday Nick Bullock and James McHaffie climbed a splendid new route in Fallen Block Zawn at Rhoscolyn. The Tumtum Tree E5 6a takes a rising right-to-left journey across the back wall of the zawn starting as for Motombo and finishing in the final groove of Centrefold.

The Tumtum Tree E5 6a ** 35m

Start as for Motombo climbing from the back of the cave to the sit down rest on the lip of the cave. Stand up and make another move up before reaching left and pulling onto the front face and into the crack of Magellan’s Wall. Follow the crack/fault line in its entirety passing through Dreams and Screams until pulling around the arête on the left of the wall and into the final finishing groove of Centrefold.

Failed Mutation E2 5c – trio of E1/2 routes on Craig Cwm Glas Bach

Iwan Arfon Jones has made some interesting additions to Craig Cwm Glas Bach in the Llanberis Pass. Hardest of the bunch is Failed Mutation E2 5c, a fine route with some exciting climbing that tackles the overlap to the right of The Booze Brothers.

“It’s a good little route, and may clean up to become easier.” Said Iwan.

To the left is Origin of the Specious E1 5b, a direct line tackling the slab and arete left of The Stebbing. The relationship between this and The Stebbing is quite important, as Iwan explains:

“I first did this years ago but never wrote it up because I thought it might impinge on The Stebbing. It is a great little line in itself and I now think it may be better to put it in as a route and also to make people realise that they are missing out on the upper (and crux) crack of The Stebbing. They are putting gear at the base of the upper crack of The Stebbing and then traversing left 2 metres to holds on the arete, moving up this and coming back right above the crack to the tower. It may well be right to say that blinkers are needed to avoid easier areas of rock on The Stebbing but the line is an obvious one. At the top, the description should be changed to say something like … ‘From ledges place gear in the crack, step left to get established at its base then make a number of difficult moves up the crack.’”

The final new route can be found at the right side of the crag. Vacaloca E1 5b tackles the delightful crack left of Chunders Revenge.

Failed Mutation E2 5c 30m
Start just right of The Booze Brothers, climb a slab until it is possible to head up diagonally right to reach a large flake below a shallow right facing groove. The crack in the groove leads up to the overlap and a little groove feature just above it up and right, watch out for the hollow flakes to the left of the rib. The little groove feature is the weakness that allows one to get established on a foot-ledge above. Launch up the steeper area of rock, first left then back right, to reach cracks and easier ground leading to the top. [22nd June 2014 IA Jones, N Carey on-sight]

Origin of the Specious E1 5b 35m
A direct line tackling the slab and arete left of The Stebbing. Start as for Rufus but head straight up to the left-hand side of the little overlaps on The Stebbing. Bypass the overlaps on the left to reach the boldish crux section, taking a shallow groove and the red slab above to gain ledges; don’t go right (the line of Rufus) arrange gear and head straight up the arete with one high step. Finish up the obvious groove above the arete. [29nd June 2014 IA Jones, P Haydock on-sight]

Vacaloca E1 5b 25m
Way to the right side of the crag and 2m left of the central parallel cracks of Chunders Revenge is a great crack. Climb up to the delightful crack up the pocketed slab. Tackle the overhang above on jugs to reach easier angled ground, pad left below a band of vegetation then go up a rib up to reach crack belays. [29nd June 2014 IA Jones, P Haydock on-sight]

The Bubble Has Burst E3 5b/c – excellent new route in Cwm Idwal

George on the first ascent of The Bubble Has Burst E3 5b/c Photo: Martin Crook

The smart move during dry periods is to head to the crags that are normally blighted by dampness. Clogwyn y Geifr in Cwm Idwal is certainly one of those sort of crags; thus it is of little surprise to hear that wily new routers, George Smith and Martin Crook have climbed an excellent new route here.

George described The Bubble Has Burst E3 5b/c as “a very rewarding series of weaknesses accessing the beautiful pocketed arête right of Devil’s Delight.”, and added as an afterthought: “It’s a bit better than my normal crap!”


P1 5b/c 30m Start 6m right of Devil’s Delight at the narrowest part of the gully of dc. Bridge to good cracks and then up left to spike, go left again to gain grooves which are followed with difficulty for 6m until the arête can be gained and followed finishing on its right side for the last few moves. Spike belay.

P2 5a 20m Pull over the roof as for Devil’s Delight then climb easily up the centre of the wall.

See page 301 in the CC Ogwen guide for more details of this part of the cliff.

Photo: Martin Crook

Craig Ddu

The seemingly endless days of sunshine have dried all the mountain crags out. Craig Ddu, in the Llanberis Pass, is normally dripping with water but is now tinder dry. Photo: Si Panton

Drip Trip E3 5b – another new route on The Range from George Smith

Our man, George, poised above the void on Drip Trip E3 5b Photo: Rick Potter

George Smith and Rick Potter have climbed a fine new route on the south facing walls 30m north of Atlantic Ridge on The Range at Gogarth (Grid ref: SH 21143 79656).

Drip Trip E3 5b is reached by an abseil to the centre of wall at sea level.Climb easily through the notch to the rightward leaning break line – follow this, tip-toeing across the lip of the cave to a loose top out up a short wall.

D-Day Buttress – 10 new routes up to E1 at Porth y Gwîn, The Range

Mark Hellewell on the first ascent of Utah VS 4c Photo: Graham Sutton

Graham Sutton and Mark Hellewell continue their enthusiastic new route campaign on The Range at Gogarth. Over the past few weeks they have climbed 10 new routes at Porth y Gwîn. The new lines range from Severe to E1 and can be found on the previously untouched D-Day Buttress. Best of the bunch is the superb Overlord HVS 5a, an impressive diagonal line of flakes forming a roof at the right side of the buttress.

D-Day Buttress is at the seaward end of the Porth y Gwîn Promontary, a narrow headland situated immediately south of the fourth and most southerly of the Porth y Gwîn Stacks.  Grid Reference 2115 7991. The routes here are tidal.

There is a good fisherman’s path along the top of the promontory which leads on down the north side of the promontory to sea level boulders and at low tide it is possible to traverse easily around to the seaward end of the promontory. Alternatively a short abseil can be made down Hobart’s Funnies from a convenient block at the top.

The routes are described from left to right.

Graham Sutton on the first ascent of Omaha HVS 5a Photo: Mark Hellewell

Juno VS 4c 10m
At the far left end of the buttress is an attractive little hidden corner capped by an overhang. Delicately follow the corner to the overhang where surprise jugs allow an improbable fun exit leftwards. [Graham Sutton/Mark Hellewell 06.06.2014]

Hobart’s Funnies HVS 5a 10m
Around the corner to the right is an attractive, wavy patterned yellow wall which gently overhangs from bottom to top. Climb this directly on cracks and pockets. [Graham Sutton/Mark Hellewell 14.06.2014]

Sword S 4a 10m
Two metres to the right is an obvious corner bound on its right by a smooth slabby wall. Climb the corner direct with good protection. Pleasant. [Graham Sutton/Mark Hellewell 04.06.2014]

Mark Hellewell on the first ascent of Gold HS 4b Photo: Graham Sutton

Gold  HS 4b 22m
An obvious left to right rising traverse across the seaward face of the buttress, following a line of sloping gangways to reach the arête on the far right. Follow this and finish via a grassy v groove. A superb route. [Mark Hellewell/Graham Sutton 04.06.2014]

Omaha HVS 5a 18m
The prominent wavy corner line on the left  side of the seaward face.  A steep start leads via flakes to a stepped groove above. Finish rightwards on good holds. [Graham Sutton/Mark Hellewell 06.06.2014]

Atlantic Wall E1 5b 18m
A good route climbing the overhanging headwall above Gold. Starting a metre or so left of Overlord, climb a steep groove line on flaky holds to reach the gangway of Gold. Follow it rightwards for a few moves until you can pull steeply up on good holds onto the overhanging headwall above. Good holds and jams lead to a small ledge at the top of the wall with thank god finishing holds arriving just in time. [Graham Sutton/Mark Hellewell 15.06.2014]

Topo: Mark Hellewell

Overlord HVS 5a 21m
On the right hand side of the buttress, just left of the arête is a steep hanging slab capped by an impressive diagonal line of flakes forming a roof. Starting from a small pedestal at low water, climb steeply up a line of good flakes until under the roof at the left side of the slab. Good protection and excellent jams can be found under the roof as you traverse upwards and rightwards across the slab on airy footholds in a sensational position to reach good flakes leading onto the arête. Follow the arête to the top on large holds. A superb route. [Mark Hellewell/Graham Sutton 14.06.2014]

Utah VS 4c 20m
Start from the boulders on the far right of the buttress a few metres right of the undercut arête. Climb steeply up the lower part of the buttress, trending right a little to reach a quartz band where it is possible to arrange a sling on a quartz block. Now traverse airily leftward along the horizontal flakes to pull over the overlap onto the upper slab. Follow this, finishing up the grassy gully above. [Mark Hellewell/Graham Sutton 05.06.2014]

Topo: Mark Hellewell

Victory V E1 5b 20m
Accepts the challenge of the prominent V shaped overhang at the top of the buttress. Climb as for Utah to the quartz band, then gain the upper slab steeply and reach a good ledge beneath the overhang. Climb the finger crack up the V groove in a sensational position and gain good holds to finish. [Mark Hellewell/Graham Sutton 13.06.2014]

Neptune Slab S 4a 22m
The obvious superb looking reddish-brown, wavy patterned slab on the south face of the promontory. From tidal boulders climb steeply up for 2m on excellent holds to gain a ledge at the foot of the slab. Step right onto the slab which is followed delicately to the top on good holds. Surprisingly well-protected with cams. The slightly loose finish requires a little care. [Mark Hellewell/Graham Sutton 11.06.2014]

The lads also climbed an easier line in the One Stack area further south. A Crozzley Groove VD tackles the obvious groove right of Wainwright’s Pillar. It has some fragile holds and nice views into the cave.

Tal y Fan

Tal y Fan, a lovely granite hill in the north east corner of the Carneddau. Photo: Si Panton

Plastic Soldiers F6a – damaged bolts on popular slate route

Martin Dale on Plastic Soldiers F6a, Skyline Buttress Level, Australia Upper Photo: Si Panton

Plastic Soldiers, the popular F6a on the Skyline Buttress Level in Australia Quarry should be avoided until further notice. Following reports of some dangerously loose blocks local activist Ian Lloyd-Jones abseiled the line and crow barred off the offending blocks. This does appear to have improved the climbing, with a slight increase standard (but probably still F6a). Unfortunately one of the blocks damaged five of the bolt hangers on its way down the wall.

Ian has placed a warning notice at the base of the route, but is currently away for a while on a kayaking expedition so is unable to replace the damaged bolts. Hopefully a public spirited climber, and one in possession of the appropriate bolt placement knowledge, will volunteer to replace the bolts. In the mean time please avoid this route.

See page 77 in the Llanberis Slate guide for more information on the route.

Twilight Zone F6a

Tim Badcock on the recently established Twilight Zone F6a in the Clegir slate quarries above Llanberis. There are a growing number of sport routes in this intriguing area. The approach to the routes through a flooded tunnel is an adventure in itself. Photo: Si Panton

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