Detox VII 7, Unbelievable VI 8 – excellent new winter routes on Crib Goch

Owen Samuel on P1 of Detox VII 7 Photo: Adam Crook

Owen Samuel on P1 of Detox VII 7 Photo: Adam Crook

Although a warm, wet front swept through Snowdonia on Friday evening, Saturday dawned cold and sharp. Much of the snow had been swept away but the turf high up remained frozen and the rock, nicely frosted with hoar. A few teams headed up to Crib Goch and a trio of enticing new winter routes were climbed.

Most significant was Detox VII 7, a brilliant three pitch line left of Cold Turkey from Owen Samuel and Adam Crook.

Owen spoke enthusiastically of it:

“This is probably the best new winter line I’ve ever done. It takes a direct line through the overhang left of Cold Turkey, belays on the pinnacle again but then climbs left across a thin slab to a mega laybacking groove and on to a comfy belay. Then a big step left across a void to ascend a steep turfy groove. Each pitch has loads of good climbing on it and is generally well protected. We think it is about VII 7… Can’t recommend this route enough, sustained with good pro and quick to come in to condition – what’s not to like…?”

Tom Livingstone on Unbelievable VI 8 Photo: Paul Cubbins

Tom Livingstone on Unbelievable VI 8 Photo: Paul Cubbins

On the same day Tom Livingstone led Pete Harrison and Si Frost up the blank looking wall right of the pinnacle. Unbelievable VI 8 loosely follows the summer line of Reid’s Route (HVS 5a), and gave surprisingly friendly route – thin and technical but well endowed with good runners and small but positive hooks.

Description: scramble up Crazy Pinnacle Gully for 30m. Belay beneath the chockstones blocking the left branch of the gully. Climb up the left side of the wall, following cracks and small hooks. At about half-height the crack disappears. Make a rising rightwards traverse on thin hooks. Continue to the horizontal break above, and then go straight up the middle of the wall again. Belay at the end of the climbing.

Lastly is Wright’ Route, a IV 4 from Phil Ralfs and Paul Cubbins. This may have been climbed before, but is worth recording nonetheless.

Description: start as for Crazy Pinnacle Gully. P1 40m Easy snow leads to a short ice wall, pass this and stay right to a steepening wall with good protection on the left. Follow this for 15m and belay on left. P2 40m Step right and continue up the narrow chimney/groove above with some tricky moves. Belay at the back of the main gully or top out onto main ridge. The route is reliant on frozen turf on both pitches.

Phil Ralfs on the crux pitch of Wright' Route IV 4 Photo: Paul Cubbins

Phil Ralfs on the crux pitch of Wright’ Route IV 4 Photo: Paul Cubbins

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