Stone Masonry E7 6C – Porth Dafarch receives an adventurous test piece.

Gogarth is well known for its adventurous routes, a place worth seeking out if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty!

Loaded with climbs that combine many different climbing styles, Gogarth can be a real fight. James Mchaffie is no stranger to this, and has added a ‘modern classic’¬†to the right of The Blue Horse E4/5 tackling the central weakness through the¬†steep cave.

Oli eyeing up Stone Masonry - Photo: James Mchaffie

Oli eyeing up what would become Stone Masonry – Photo: James Mchaffie

Alex Mason had also taken a look but didn’t get round to doing it, and so it fell to the hands of James and Oli Grounsell.

James had this to say:

‘It went first go. It was goppy and as I sat on gear at the crux the rock started disintegrating with the weight of my rope. Sinkers disappeared leaving fins and I thought we were in for a pointless shitfest. Luckily you can knee bar through all that bit. It is a total classic about 20 meters long. Good protection and non tidal.’

Description: Stone Masonry E7 6C (24m)

The central weakness in the very steep face. Climb onto a very sharp flake and layback up on good fins until it steepens a lot. Knee bar up to the horizontal crack and keep a knee in until better handholds and a good wire appears. A big backhand move right to two quartz jugs leads to a brilliant heel, move upwards to gain good holds and pinches but still a few metres of pumpy climbing to where the wall slabs off, and a step left can be made to easy ground and the top.

James added that the route was named after Alex Mason and the many different moves you come across.

I wonder how many fresh line this cave will churn out?

For more information on the location of this impressive cave and surrounding routes, turn to page 243 of the new Gogarth South guide. Copies are available at

James is sponsored by DMM, Rab, Sterling Rope and Boreal.

Oli is sponsored by DMM, Evolv, Lapis, Climb On and V12.

Oli exiting the steepness - Photo: James Mchaffie

Oli exiting the steepness – Photo: James Mchaffie


Oli enjoying the steepness – Photo: James Mchaffie

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