Posts Tagged ‘Never Never Land’

6 quality routes re-equipped in Dinorwig slate quarries

The Never Never Land slab; Sheherazade E4 6b (F7a/+) and The Machine in the Ghost E5 6b take lines left of the central groove line of Never Never Land, a classic E5 6a itself. Photo: Si Panton

The Dinorwig Slate quarries have been busy since the new Llanberis Slate guide was published last autumn. All this activity has drawn attention to the list of older routes which were missed during the great re-equipping campaign in 2006/7.

This week Tim Neill got psyched and marched into the quarries, keen to do his bit for the common good. In a few strenuous drilling sessions he managed to re-equip a number of important routes with resin-fixed bolts placed ‘like-for-like’.

On the impressive Colossus Wall Shazalzabon E5 6b, Light and Darkness E5 6b and Great Balls of Fire E4 6a have all been given the treatment and are ready to go.

Up on the Never Never Land slab Sheherazade E4 6b [F7a/+] and The Machine in the Ghost E5 6b also now sport shiny new bolts.

Lastly, Tim made an evening trip into Vivian Quarry to sort out Paul Pritchard’s 1988 route, Artichokes, Artichokes F7b+ on the backside of Bathtime wall.

“This last one needs a good clean too though. It’s got a massive runout to the ledges after the fourth bolt, but you can place some wires etc (albeit not as early as you’d like!), and I replaced the well rusty knifeblade at the top.”

Said Tim, before adding:

“The Steve Mayers route to the left [Le Voleur F7c] looks brilliant, but I had no bolts left or daylight. They’re both a bit high maintenance (for slate I mean), but maybe adventure sport is the new whatever!”

Well done that man! And if anybody sees Tim down the pub, be sure to buy him a pint.

NB. Tim did mention a few suspect bolts that he had encountered on his recent travels in the quarries. The third bolt on Gin Palace is loose, as is one of the abseil bolts on The Sidings level in Australia.


Cavity Wall F7a+ (F7c?)

Looking across from the Never Never Land slab to Cavity Wall F7a+. Photo: Si Panton

This afternoon prolific slatehead, Ian Lloyd-Jones, added another sport route to the Dinorwig slate quarries.

Cavity Wall F7a+ takes the obvious bolted line on the wall on the opposite side of the track to Never Never Land.

“I thought it was going to be much harder, thinking it might be F7b+/F7c but it went really easily on the first redpoint today so it probably only  deserves F7a+ (though being familiar with the moves makes a big difference), it may well feel harder than F7a+ for the onsight…”

Explained Ian, before adding:

“It’s very reachy between the pockets but being short certainly helps for the two rock overs, particularly the hunched up second one. The climbing’s very sustained but never totally desperate, it’s also reasonably powerful at times for a slate slab. The spaced pockets on it are really cool, on any other rock type it would be straightforward climbing, but the lack of footholds and friction make the pocket pulling moves far more difficult.”

A few weeks later Ian returned and added a minor line to the right. Easy for Caterpillars F7a climbs the concave slab on the far right of the wall. Easy to start with a good short technical crux in the middle, followed by some dynamic/long reaches. 4 bolts to a lower-off.

By Ian’s own admission this is not a great route, but the crux is very absorbing.

Stop Press: a few people, including young hotshot Calum Muskett, have tried Cavity Wall and the lack of success has prompted the suggestion that Ian’s initial feeling about the route may be more accurate, i.e. it is probably F7c!


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