“Oxine” Y Wenallt (VS)
A combination of two routes: Oxo and, Bovine located on small but prominent crag (Y Wenallt) perched above the northern shores of Llyn Gwynant and clearly visible from the road.
Rich and I previously climbed this in 2012 (?) and agree that it is a quality route comprising of two distinct and contrasting pitches.
First: starting left of the crag ascending a stepped ramp with only one move that requires consideration (4b). Above the grass platform a short vertical section takes you through steep but positive pocketed volcanic formation. Once on the ramp traversing right with occasional steps at 25m you reach a generous grassy bay. Protection is good, the moves clear to see and the belay anchors satisfactory.
Second: the main event; immediately to the right a steep slightly overhanging wall extends vertically and after placing some protection in the corner crack requires a positive approach (4c). This is greatly rewarded with a procession of bucket holds and good protection. As you near the top linger for a while and survey the wonder of this improbable position – delightful.
“Dives and Sabre Cut” Dinas Cromlech (VS)
How do you top that? Well, Dinas Cromlech will either put the cherry on top or, bring you back down to earth with a bump. We decided to carry on the theme of combining routes although not intentionally. Two classic middle grade routes. Parts of the crag had not recovered entirely from the previous day’s rain and, optimum operating temperature relied on the sun being out and these factors determined our choice.
First: i had climbed ‘Dives & Better Things’ back in 2009 and 1994 and consider it one of my favourites. Following the initial short vertical section the traverse under the over hang was wet adding a little flavour to proceedings. No technical grade to this pitch but I was slightly shaky after the damp traverse as I moved up through the now absent forest to the belay in the top corner below the formidable upper walls.
Second: Rich had ambled up and arrived with no meaningful feeling in his fingers caused by the lack of sun and exposure on the bottom stance. Usually, feeling restores itself but, as he made his way up the crack (cut) no signs of recovery were evident, in uncharacteristic style his progress was less prosaic with occasional mutterings this was amplified by the lack of meaningful protection which, as all who passed this way previously know is disconcerting. Basically, there is central section (4c) which requires a combination of ‘lay back’ and ‘bridging’ the Rock on the left wall is smooth with small protrusions.
August Bank Holiday 2015
“Myola” Stuntsman Buttress HS 4b
First route and abseil in for me, Rich had been attending to more serious matters the day before with Stuey and was content with a more relaxing day.
“Landvetter” Saddle Head VS 4b
It was our intention to climb ‘Blue Sky’ however, we were beaten to the abseil and low tide platform so had to settle for Landvetter. We climbed it last year although from above the platform and has a sense of adventure being mostly contained within a recess in the cliff, criss crossing the fractured vertical crack before popping out onto onto a narrow shelf. The second pitch is straight up a slab where you gain the upper section of Haze.
August 2016 “Road Trip”
Rich and I had planned to take a few days out to climb wherever the weather would let us. Our original plan was to go to the Lake District however, the ever reliable forecasters set us up and then let us down. Fortunately, we had another plan on the shelf and headed south to Devon and Cornwall via the Avon Gorge. My aim was to hit a few of the outstanding ‘Classic Climbs’. And at the head of the que was “Piton Route” originally Hard Severe but upgraded to VS with good reason. The crux move was a bit naughty, being on the first pitch a traverse on small polished holds. The rest was easier. We took in “Sinister” HS and “Bobs Climb” VD.
We drove down to Exeter Racecourse and the following morning visited Chudleigh another limestone crag tucked away on the edge of a Devon village. This proved to be a different proposition; firstly I need to confess that limestone, smooth limestone is not my preferred climbing medium and we quickly gathered that the steepness and airy positions were unnerving. Coupled with strong sun shine we climbed “Never on a Sunday” HS, I checked out the first pitch, then Rich Continued up the second which swiftly became steep, awkward and airy. I knew something was up when he shouted down that it was ‘good’ in the tone of voice which made me suspect something was up. The next climb was the main event, “Inkerman Groove” VS a single 35m pitch which proved to be quite exciting, firstly following the polished line of a HVD, before traversing out right into a vertical corner crack, then turning right again onto the main face – wow, eye brow raising stuff. “Great Western” VS was the final climb of the day three different pitches. Day 3, and The Dewerstone, this was my second classic climb “Central Groove” HS. For me, it doesn’t get any better, grippy granite, a steep corner crack full of large holds and ample protection, a traverse out right and hanging belay, awesome.
Next up, some light rain had fallen so we ambled up “Pinnacle Buttress” VD. Rich had his eye on the Tom Patey Classic “Leviathon” VS, I didn’t pay much attention so when I ended up in the steep crack feeling uncomfortable I realised I was not climbing this correctly, so as most seconds do I ‘moned’ my way up. The rain returned and we called it a day.
Day 4, Bosigran, no particular ambitions and as the crag was busy we started with Autumn Flakes HS, which, we both really enjoyed, again the Cornish Granite provides good friction and a freindly climbing style. “Nameless” VS was next up again both pitches were excellent and when we descended the decision was taken to move to Gurnards Head and knock out Right Angle HS. I think this climb is acknowledged to be one of the great easier grade climbs, with a good swell booming under you there is an atmosphere which makes an impression. The traverse provides most of the entertainment making your eyes get wider. The corner looks imposing and steep but turns out to be a path with holds and gear everywhere.