Lee Roberts has climbed a bold new route on Craig Pen Trwyn in Llandudno. Swift Gundercut E5/6 6a starts up Excursion then guns straight up the wall in an alarmingly run out fashion.
“Start up Excursion, get good gear in the crack at one third height. Step right and rock onto a ramp. This gives access to some really good holds. Take a deep breath and blast up through the little roof using the ‘gundercut’. Small but positive holds lead to the thread in the groove. Continue up passing a wire in the groove and finish at the same lower-off as The Visionary and Call it Black.”
Explained Lee, before adding:
“It’s barely 6a but kind of feels E6, although probably not. Jon [Ratcliffe] repeated it and thought it was ace. Tim Neill, also repeated it and said E5 6a for the tall (and the good!).”
Alex Mason is enjoying a good run at the moment, ticking various top quality E5s and E6s around North Wales and Pembroke with the type of casual élan that portends of future heroics (check out his excellent blog for more on his recent exploits).
This week he teamed up with George Ullrich to forge a new line on the upper section of Yellow Wall at Gogarth. You E4 6a follows Perygl for a pitch and a half then switches to the latter part of the main Drunk pitch. For a final independant pitch he then took on the steep diagonal crack in the right arete of Creeping Lemma’s top groove. From here a finish along the continuation break beneath the small overlap leads to the top.
“It would be possible (and better) to link P2 & P3 together (i.e. go all the way to the top from the first Perygl belay.) The lower sections have obviously been climbed before but the top pitch felt ‘fresh’ and it gives a nice, new E4 which Gogarth is missing a little.”
Enthused Alex after the ascent.
P1 4c 15m As for Pergyl P1.
P2 6a 18m Follow Pergyl around the arete then take the upper pocketed wall of The Drunk to a belay at the end of the roof beneath the groove of Creeping Lemma.
P3 5c 18m Take the steep diagonal crack in the right arete of Creeping Lemma’s top groove. Follow the continuation break beneath the small overlap to the top.
Stop Press: Following the appearance of this news item it has come to light that this line was first climbed a few years ago by Dave Garry and Neil Griffiths.
Veteran rock stars, Martin Crook and George Smith, have picked off a clean crack line on the little visited Trwyn y Graig in Cwm Silyn. (See page 66 in the Cwm Silyn & Cwellyn guide)
Crack at the End of the World E1 5b can be found on the east facing facets 100m left of and at mid height in relation to the main cliff. Euphoric belayer, George explains:
“This is the first addition to this fine crag since 1949 [most of the crag development occurred in the 1920s – editor’s note] and takes an awe inspiring crack just up and right of the most substantial slab. Crook overcame very cold conditions and extreme age to bring the thing to earth after a tough fight.”
When quizzed about its position on the mountain, Martin said:
“It is in a very remote location not far from the summit ridge, if aspiring repeat ascentionists can’t find the crack then…it’s not the end of the world.”
Blood Lust F7c starts up The Bloods but then climbs directly up the shield of white rock left of Contusion before finishing back left as per The Bloods. Prior to the ascent Chris peeled off a large loose flake and added four new bolts to protect the new section.
The climbing is typical Mayfair wall stuff – crimpy and sequencey. Chris reckons it is top quality, but was less sure of the grade, commenting that it: “might only be F7b+.”
To read more about the ascent and Chris’ other recent adventures (such as ticking all 72 routes at Llanddulas Cave) check out his entertaining blog.
Young Archie Ball has continued developing the small but perfectly formed slab right of Snapdragon in the Ogwen Valley. Back in March he climbed Zero Dark Thirty E1 5b/c, and since then he has picked off three more lines.
The Dark Matter E1 5b tackles the slab to the left of the fence, and right of Snapdragon. A deceptively hard start leads to a crux move over the steepening to a prominent pocket. The route then continues boldly up the slab past a small micro wire to a good hold. This section is not too hard but a slip would land you near or on the ground. Finish up right to a hard to find belay.
Archie then returned and climbed The Rise of the Dark Knight, a very fine Severe which starts as for Zero Dark Thirty but continues up and left to climb a pleasant crack.
The last edition was also the hardest: The Women in Black E1/2 6a climbs the bouldery start just right of the fence to reach the overlap where a good nut protects the moves up to the cleaned scoop. Archie then climbed up and clipped a side runner in The Rise of the Dark Knight before dropping back down and tackling the slab to the left and finishing as for The Dark Matter.
Archie did all the routes onsight, but used pre-placed gear (put in on abseil by his dad, Fraser).
The annual Tremadog festival returns this coming weekend under the leadership of Jim Kelly. Each year climbers join together to give the BMC owned Craig Bwlch y Moch a spring clean and much fun is had by all.
On Saturday night there will be a free lecture show by Rob Greenwood and plenty of gratis Purple Moose beer for the volunteers (plus a number of tasty prizes from various outdoor companies). If you fancy getting involved check out the article on the BMC website.
Scooby XS 5c takes a strong, independent line just left of The Lost Pillar of Scheiser, a little known line first climbed by George Smith and Martin Crook in 1992.
The new route starts on the nice round rock as for The Lost Pillar (It is possible to traverse in to this point at high tide). Climb steeply leftwards along the lip of the cave (crux) to gain the compelling, brown groove. Ascend the groove on a mix of sun-baked turd and dog biscuits to the top. Boulder belays well back.
Scooby is named as a tribute to Alex’s dog that passed away this week. The XS grade translates as about E3/4 5c.
Gaz Davies found a couple of good new mixed lines up on Clogwyn y Ddysgl in the Llanberis Pass. Firstly he joined forces with Matthew Hawkins to climb Tick Tock Tick, a V 6 taking a direct line up the crag to the right of Three Cave Gully. The crux pitch is a bit run out in places but the climbing is positive.
The following day Gaz came back with Will Oates and picked (off) the Pope’s Nose IV 5. This starts up the snowy groove just right of Gargoyle Route, and thereafter gives a varied climb with something of interest on each pitch.
Tick Tock Tick V 6
There are two grooves to the right of Three Cave Gully. Start on the slightly more open second groove.
P1 5 25m Follow the groove for a few moves, step left on the ledge and continue up the groove system. Belay on the ledge below a steep sweep of rock.
P2 6 20m Step left and make some steep moves into the continuing groove line. Spaced gear but positive climbing leads to a ledge on the left and belay.
P3 5 22m Step back right and follow a couple of steep steps until it flattens out onto easier ground.
P4 4 25m Easy ground leads up to the remaining rock steps and Clogwyn y Person Arete.
[Gaz Davies, Matthew Hawkins 18.03.13]
Pope’s Nose IV 5
Start below the snowy groove just right of Gargoyle Route and to the left of a small overhang.
P1 5 25m Steep initial moves lead into the snowy groove. Head up and right on easier ground to belay on the first rock encountered below the overhanging chimney.
P2 5 20m Turf and rock steps up and right lead to a snowy ledge below a shallow chimney. Interesting moves and spike belay on left at the top.
P3 5 15m Step back right and positive moves over the jammed boulders and spikes, ledge then up and right again until below a steep headwall. Easy traverse left to boulder belay.
P4 4 15m Climb the slab up and right until final moves lead onto the arete.
[Gaz Davies, Will Oates 19.03.13]
On Sunday morning Simon Frost and Adam Crook climbed a brilliant ice line on Clogwyn Y Cysgod in Cwm Silyn. Pillars of Silyn VI 6 tackles the obvious hanging ice daggers to the right of Pete Harrison’s new route Frozen in Time.
“The main pitch was fantastic, with committing, technical moves to get onto the hanging ice.
I climbed the Appendix on Monday and this was as good as anything on that.”
Enthused Si after the ascent.
Start about half way between Bedrock Gully and Colin’s Gully, beneath the obvious hanging daggers.
P1 4 25m Climb the left edge of the icefall to a belay on the left of the first pillar.
P2 6 40m Traverse right and climb the steep corner to gain the first hanging pillar, follow this and the ramp above to the second pillar, which is gained via mixed moves from the left hand side. Easier ground leads to a belay on the right.
P3 2 55m Follow the easiest line to finish.
To the right there are a number of enticing lines but to date only one recorded route, Carla V 5 (first ascended by Nick Biven and Wil Rickards in 1996). In the last few days this excellent line has received a couple of ascents, with the choice of a slightly different passage on the lower section and a finishing pitch up the obvious steep chimney (which was avoided on the first ascent because of a lack of ice). A few years ago Andy Scott climbed a similar line too.
Colin’s Gully received a flurry of repeats over the weekend – although given no stars in the 1988 guidebook it has proved to be a three star classic, basically as good as any ice route of a comparable IV/V grade in North Wales. And that is just the start of an impressive roster of routes: Bedrock Gully IV/V, Mask of Death V/VI, Widow of the Web V, Whitesnake V, Aquarian Wall V. With so many quality ice lines to go at it seems that Cwm Silyn could be the new Cwm Idwal!
Pete Harrison continues his winter new route mission with a bold lead of an icy groove line in Cwm Silyn. The area between Bedrock Gully and Colin’s Gully contains numerous impressive icefalls – just to the left of these are two slender but eye-catching grooves. Frozen in Time VIII 7 takes the right hand one, down which a barely-there ice smear has formed.
The slim groove gives a testing pitch of icy mixed climbing par excellence. The climbing is superb but undoubtedly serious; indeed falling from the final pull round the ice bulge at the top would result in some spectacular air time.
In recent times Cwm Silyn has been neglected as a winter venue – that may be about to change…watch this space for more updates!
P1 3 30m Climb turfy ground to a steepening below icy runnels. Step left to belay on good ledges.
P2 7 50m Step back right and follow ice runnels to a narrow ledge (possible belay, poor anchors). Climb the slim icy groove. At its top pull out left around an ice overhang and finish up a short gully to a belay in the back wall. A magnificent pitch.
P3/4 4 100m Follow the line of least resistance to the top.
[Pete Harrison, Steve Long, 3rd April 2013]