Dagrau’r Graig E1 5b, Teyrnon E2 5c and Orogenous Zones E3 5c – fine trio of new routes on the Nose of Dinas Mot

Dinas Mot topo by Iwan Arfon Jones

Dinas Mot topo by Iwan Arfon Jones

The Nose of Dinas Mot is a magnificent piece of rock, a great shield of rhyolite that stands sentinel over the shady side of the Llanberis Pass. It has many classic routes, but surprisingly it still has much potential for development. Over the summer months Iwan Arfon Jones proved the point by climbing onsight a trio of fine new routes on the left side of the cliff, namely: Dagrau’r Graig E1 5b, Teyrnon E2 5c and Orogenous Zones E3 5c.

“All the routes are on good rock, Teyrnon will take a bit longer to clean up with traffic. Grades may change a bit as more gear is found.  The Dagrau’r Graig is good, but the best route is Orogenous Zones, really good technical and bold climbing on clean rock.”

Said Iwan.

Iwan’s topo illustrates the lines of the new routes, but it also shows the correct line of The Cracks and the Lorraine Variations. In addition it shows that GBH does have a lower pitch.

Dagrau’r Graig E1 5b 40m
Good climbing on generally sound rock that will clean up, but it can seep a bit around here. Start about 8m up and left of The Cracks at the base of a rib leading up to a pocketed steeper area of rock. From the top of the rib climb up to a vertical large Cam slot then head right to reach pockets and a shallow depression that leads up to a sequence of crack systems. These cracks gain a wide and vegetated crack, up and left of the overhangs on the cracks. Move out left onto the rib and climb it keeping left and out of the twin cracks of The Cracks for as long as possible.
[I A Jones, C Allington (on sight) 16.06.15]

Teyrnon E2 5c 55m
This climb is on good rock and although the first pitch is a tad mossy at the moment it should clean up well with traffic. Start at the first short columnar rib about 4m up to the left of the start of The Cracks and Direct Route.
P1 5a 30m Climb the rib to a series of shallow stepped grooves leading up to a patch of grass. Move left and avoid the grass just on its left, to continue up to cracks and what seems to be a flake. From the good foothold atop the false flake, move up right to belay below the overhangs, as for The Cracks.
P2 5c 25m Move left onto the rib, immediately left of the overhangs, and gain a curious wedge shaped pocket above an overlap. Move right and swing up right to reach the well worn ledges on The Cracks. Tackle the slim groove crack system between The Cracks pitch 3 and the corner of Lorraine on the right; the groove has one delicate move at its top.
[I A Jones, P Haydock (on sight) 11.06.15]

Orogenous Zones E3 5c 50m
This route presents a couple of bold pitches with diverting moves on good rock; the second pitch is particularly worthwhile and towards the top end of this grade. Start just right of the very base of the cliff; a little to the right of The Cracks/Direct Route start area, down and slightly to the right of the twin horns .
P1 5a 20m Climb the slabs easily to the base of a groove just down and right of the twin horns. Enter the groove and climb it boldly to reach the base of the large detached flake (on Diagonal), from its top left edge, move out left and swing round the rib airily to reach and belay on Direct Route; or, just a little left of it to keep out of the way.
P2 5c 30m Head diagonally up left along the base of the slab past a pocketed area (Lorraine Var. goes straight up here) to reach a diagonal cracks trending up left. Go right then up to gain the base of the wide crack at some heather, arrange some gear in a thinner crack to the left, then drop down and left to a fantastic position. With hands in the crack system and feet on small holds down below the rib, on the steep wall. Work your way up to an easing, where you can go back left again to follow the insipid crack and tackle the bold double crux moves up the rib edge.
[I A Jones, B Reed (on sight AL) 15.07.15]

Macsen F6a – Veteran star Colin Goodey adds another new slate route

Sue Goodey on Macsen F6a, Never Never Land, Dinorwig Quarry Photo: Colin Goodey

Sue Goodey on Macsen F6a, Never Never Land, Dinorwig Quarry Photo: Colin Goodey

Veteran star Colin Goodey has added another new slate route to the Dinorwig Quarries. Macsen F6a tackles the line a few metres left of Hawkeye in the Never Never Land area. It is on good solid slate with two contrasting sections. The crux comes high up below the double bolt lower-off. Colin was joined on the route by Mark Hellewell, Sue Goodey, Sue Trainer, and Graham Sutton. Here he explains the background to the route, plus the story behind the name:

“Ian [Lloyd-Jones] had selected two lines for me to do in my 80th year. As previously reported on the V12 site that wonderfully kind gesture of Ian making my last new route at 80 which I called ‘Octogenarian’. Well, that was done whilst undergoing chemo therapy and feeling tired and sick! Ian saw I was not well and said afterwards -‘we won’t look at the other one I had in mind but will show it to you and maybe when your feeling better you might like to bolt it and bag it’, which I did two weeks later although still feeling bad from my cancer treatment.”

“So, with a group of family and friends we bolted the climb and made ‘Macsen’. For Octogenarian and every other time I have been with Ian in the quarries he has always had his faithful collie with him, often tied to the foot of the crag or hanging around waiting for him. The dog’s name was Macsen (Welsh for the Latin name Magnus Maximus – a Roman Emperor who featured in many folk tales including The Mabinogion). The dog was killed soon after Octogenarian and Ian and family were devastated – so since ‘Macsen’ was part of the quarry scene and was always with him I called our route after him.”

Rockfall in Vivian Quarry – Conscience Slab swept after heavy downpour

Conscience Slab rockfall

The mud stained line of the recent rockfall on the Conscience Slab in Vivian Quarry. Climbers can also be seen on Last Tango in Paris E1 5c on the adjacent Dervish Slab. Photo: Si Panton

The recent sustained dry period ended with a heavy downpour and this triggered yet another rockfall in the Llanberis slate quarries. This time the area affected is The Conscience Slab in Vivian Quarry.

A section of rock above the left side of the slab has collapsed and swept down the slab. A series of classic trad routes were in the firing line, including Menage a Trois E4 6b, The Sweetest Taboo E4 6a, Never as Good as the First Time E2 5c and Is it a Crime E2 5c. The adjacent sport (or should that be, ‘sportingly bolted’) routes, Mister, Mister F6b and The Full Monty F6a appear to have been hit too, albeit less directly.

Obviously any in situ gear in this area should be treated with suspicion and it is highly likely that the aforementioned routes will have changed in character.

Some of the debris has also swept down the lower levels but it does not look as if any of the routes have been affected, save perhaps for the lower-off on Watching the Sin Set E5 6b/c, and possibly Glurp E4 6a and Clap Please E7 6c down at the Pool Level.

The 24 Karat Start F7a+/7b – Bill Wayman returns to Pen Trwyn

24 Karat Start topo V1.CDRAfter a long break from climbing, Bill Wayman has linked up with his old mate Dave Hollows. Bill’s lost a fair few pounds and has recently been active on Craig Pen Trwyn – his favourite 80s stamping ground. The team have been busy repeating many of Bill’s early routes and spotting opportunities for further development.

Last week Bill climbed The 24 Karat Start, F7a+, maybe F7b, a fierce direct line linking into the upper section of Price of Gold, and starting 2m left of the parent route. Two stainless through bolts provide the protection.

Bill has also added a second bolt to his own 1983 route Prospectors, as the flake used for nut protection is now decidedly hollow.

N.B. Price of Gold was incorrectly credited to Dave Lyon in the current North Wales Limestone guidebook – the first ascent details should read Bill Wayman, Fred Crook 12.05.82

Another new limestone route of a similar (F7a+) standard was added by Pete Robins to Fedw Fawr over on the tip of Anglesey. The new route follows the obvious line of bolts on the left edge of the recently developed bouldering section.

Curious Minds F8a – Dave Redpath adds another massive stamina route to The Diamond

Dave Redpath on his new route Curious Minds F8a, The Diamond Photo: Redpath collection

Dave Redpath on his new route, Curious Minds F8a, The Diamond Photo: Redpath collection

After the initial burst of activity this season’s flow of new routes on the Diamond dried up. Nonetheless some folk were still getting busy – one such keen activist is Dave Redpath, a regular visitor to the Llandudno limestone crags who bolted three big lines and has just managed to complete one of them.

Curious Minds F8a tackles the massive wall to the right of Pete Robin’s recent addition, The New Colussus and is similarly epic in proportions.

Dave tells how it all came together:

“I was shocked to see how many new lines went down early season on the right. A couple of which I’d had my eye on… After six years coming down from Scotland each season I’d always been looking up at that big wall in the middle thinking I’d be back to check it out.”

“Anyway, everything seemed right this year and I finally got some time to get the drill up there and ended up bolting three 40m lines over the past few weeks. More to come on those I expect. The first I managed to finish on Tuesday.”

“Curious Minds starts as for Hysteria but swings left on a higher line of holds up to a ledge on the nests. From here a line of reasonable holds lead steeply up and right to the white band of rock. A
couple of big moves block the way before pure stamina needs to be engaged.”

“It’s my anti-style hence I’ve no idea on the grade, it seemed a bit much to give it F8a+ when there aren’t any hard moves up there really. Saying that I finally did The Brute [F8b] a few weeks earlier so five sessions to do a F8a seems a bit of a push. Hopefully it’ll see some repeats next year. Totally awesome; another five star route on the Diamond!”

Dramatic rockfall in Mordor – Tick’s Groove and Prometheus Unbound affected

The fresh rock scar on Tick’s Groove and Prometheus Unbound in Mordor, Dinorwig Slate Quarries. Photo: Ian Lloyd-Jones

The fresh rock scar on Tick’s Groove and Prometheus Unbound in Mordor, Dinorwig Slate Quarries. Photo: Ian Lloyd-Jones

There has been a dramatic rockfall in the Dinorwig slate quarries – this time it occurred in Mordor, just over the back from Twll Mawr.

A large section of cliff has fallen away from the middle section of Tick’s Groove and the lower half of Prometheus Unbound. The first pitch of Tick’s Groove appears to have taken a bit of a pounding too and there is a large amount of debris at the base of the route.

Another Tick on the Wall F7a+, A Motion in the Ocean E3 5c – Dave Lyon adds two new lines to Craig Pen y Gogarth

Crag shot showing the obvious line of A Motion in the Ocean E3 5c Photo: Dave Lyon

Crag shot showing the obvious line of A Motion in the Ocean E3 5c Photo: Dave Lyon

Prolific Ormes new router, Dave Lyon, has climbed two splendid new lines on Craig Pen y Gogarth (see page 350 in the new North Wales Limestone guide). At the end of August he visited the crag with Norman Clacher and climbed A Motion in the Ocean E3 5c, an impressive route tackling the glaringly obvious weakness at the right side of the crag. As Dave explains the route requires a big trad rack:

“There is a small thread to mark the start, just above the first shelf. There is no other fixed gear on the line – large cams – up to Dragon 6 and large hexes are required. There is a lower-off at the top.”

Dave returned the following week with Malcolm ‘Mills’ Davies to complete another 30m pitch, this time just right of The Ormesman. Another Tick on the Wall F7a+ follows the line of twelve bolts leading to a lower-off (12 bolts).

Octogenarian F5b – new Dinorwig slate route from veteran star, Colin Goodey

Colin on Octogenarian F5b, Never Never Land, Dinorwig Slate Quarry Photos: Celt Lloyd-Jones

Colin on Octogenarian F5b, Never Never Land, Dinorwig Slate Quarry Photos: Celt Lloyd-Jones

Colin Goodey, veteran star of the North Wales climbing scene, has climbed a new sport route in the Dinorwig Slate Quarries with Ian Lloyd-Jones and his son Celt. Octogenarian F5b takes the obvious line of slanting breaks left of 362 in Never Never Land. Ian explained how the route came to be:

“I had a message from Colin a few years ago asking me to find him a project route for his 80th* year, I promised him that I would look and find a suitable line to mark the occasion. Today myself and Celt arranged to meet up with Colin at Never Never Land. I had a few ideas but we went for a line that Celt had spotted, a cool line for the grade just left of 362.  Colin timed me drilling and placing the line of 7 bolts and a double bolt lower-off, all done within 25 minutes (must have been all that practice bolting multi pitch routes in Twll Mawr!)”

Colin high on the route, with Ian belaying.

Colin high on the route, with Ian belaying.

“After the team ascent Colin named the route Octogenarian – it will no doubt become popular and will be an inspiration for climbers young and old. Everyone who knows Colin will all know his huge contribution to North Wales climbing and what a star he is. It was a real pleasure and a privilege for Celt and I to be involved with Colin and his latest contribution.” 

“The route also marks the end of my bolting activities in the quarries, so the ‘one man’ slate boom is officially over!”

*Colin is 80 in a few months but states that he’s in his 80th year.

The Jackpot F6c, Ace of Diamonds F6b+ – six superb new routes at Penmaen West Quarry

MiddleLevel1 V2 1000Harold Walmsley and Chris Calow have been busy again in Penmaen West Quarry. They have added six more routes to the middle level, including the excellent Ace of Diamonds F6b+ and an outstanding F6c, The Jackpot. Harold was understandably chuffed to find such unclimbed gems:

“I think The Jackpot may rank alongside the likes of Iskra and Map of the Problematique as a North Wales low/mid grade classic, but only time will tell if others agree. The quarry is now certainly a very good venue for F5c to F6c+ sport climbing with a total of 13, mostly long, pitches spread over this grade range, plus the one pre-existing F7b, A Tetris Temperament. Creigiau Cigfran and Penmaen West now combine to make a pretty good destination for the French grade 6 climber with 26 routes in this grade range on offer across both crags.”

LHSRoutes2 1000Harold has produced a pdf mini guide to all the sport routes he has done in this area in the last year or so, plus details of a few other trad route descriptions that he heard about but which are not available in any commercially available guide. It can be downloaded from the Carneddau Rock Facebook Group pages or from here.

Harold and Chris have also done some ‘tidying up’ of previously climbed routes:

“It seemed that Brundrit’s Slab was likely to prove unpopular with the sparsely bolted easy climbing at the bottom, long runout at the top and the need to top out. Therefore I added extra bolts at the bottom and in the middle of the final runout and provided a top lower-off and an intermediate lower-off/belay on the half way ledge. This should now give it the feel of a conventional sport route.”

“I have added top and intermediate lower-offs to Penmaen Groove. Since doing this it has been found that a leader can get down on a 70m rope (landing up to the right of the start) and that, after stripping the gear, the last man can get down all the way to the start. The intermediate lower-off should only be needed by those with a 60m rope.”

“There Must Be Something originally had a very high first bolt and a long runout from 2nd to 3rd, in both cases because the climbing was not too bad and I was running low on gear. When it was in this form I got some feedback about the unfriendly bolting potentially putting people off. I have therefore added two extra bolts, one at the start and one after the original second bolt.  It now looks a lot friendlier.”



Thick Skinned F6c+/ F7a, Flat Calm F6a – good new additions at right side of LPT

Climbers at the right side of LPT. Photo: Si Panton

Climbers at the right side of LPT. Photo: Si Panton

Ian Carr and Martin Doyle have climbed a couple of good new routes at the right hand side of Lower Pen Trwyn, the tidal limestone crag in Llandudno.

Thick Skinned F6c+/ F7a tackles the bulge to the right of Skin Deep, gained via the barnacle encrusted wall from the right. (stick-clip recommended). A powerful crux at the second bolt is followed by easier but sustained climbing to a final thin move.

Both Ian and Martin led the route, and while they were sure of its quality they were less sure of its exact grade, as Ian explained:

“It’s similar in quality to its neighbour, but we need someone to confirm the grade.”

Flat Calm F6a is another equally fine addition to the area, with good rock and a surprisingly mellow grade. Start a few metres left of Beauty’s Only and gain the comfortable break (stick-clip) either direct F6a+, (long reach or peg-up), or easier from the right. Surprising holds lead past the second bolt, thereafter easier, juggy climbing takes you to the top.

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