Mousetrap - By the Shining Sea


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Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 12, 2012 - 04:36pm PT
MOUSETRAP E2 5a - Gogarth/Anglesey

It isn't your vision, the shining sea is close. It is very close. It is
so close you are well advised to check yer tide tables before you commit.
Did I mention it was a dark and stormy night? It might as well have been as
it was mid-November. It looked like it would start pissing any minute so I
didn't bring my camera. What the hell was I thinking? This is one of the
most iconic climbs in Britain. It makes Dream of White Horses look a
leisurely day at your sun-drenched local boulder.

You stand on the brink of the zawn and look into its depths. Bloody 'ell that's
a sobering sight! It is a long abseil down there. The bold ones pull their ropes.
The ones with nary a spare two ropes also pull theirs. You get down on that
crunchy shingle beach and feel like you are on another planet. It is so dark, cold,
and windy it is almost alpine. Call it a salty alpine as we were costumed accordingly.

While you admire these sun-drenched photos hold an ice cube in each hand and
put your fan on high. It might also serve to note that while 5a is really only about 5.9
It is the rare 5a that merits an E2, mind you. You will look at all those ginormous
holds and think, "What a laugher!" Fine, but try to laugh like Jack Nicholson, if you must.

CAVEAT EMPTOR - I filched these pics from I have attempted
to give credit although some pics bore only 'handles'.

Mousetrap Zawn (@Fidget)

Pete Crew on the FA in October,1966 (Ken Wilson)

Jack Geldard leading Mousetrap - E2 - Gogarth
Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor James McHaffie

First Pitch by richard kirby, Aug 1998

Mousetrap - second pitch steveburns, Aug 2004**

Tim on Mousetrap TimJM Aug 2005

Tim on Mousetrap TimJM Aug 2005

Top pitch of Mousetrap E2 Steve Foxley on the sharp end. showfaman

There's something so wrong about that last photo!

A long way from where I started
Apr 12, 2012 - 04:42pm PT
What a place!

I didn't pull my ropes down after rapping into the zawn at Gogarth, because I took one look down
there and said "Uh, maybe another time." It just wasn't a place I wanted to be at that time
of the year in less-than-perfect conditions.

Part of me has always regretted not jumping onto the rappel and going for it, part of me is
quite happy to be alive.

Social climber
Apr 12, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
holy smokes that looks horrid.

But it also makes me think some of these Sydney sea cliffs warrant another look.

Apr 12, 2012 - 08:48pm PT

Maybe this July. After Dream of Wild Horses, Cenotaph Corner, Centurion,...

Trad climber
Ridgway, CO
Apr 12, 2012 - 09:09pm PT
Gogarth must be incredible . . . that Mousetrap rock is totally psychedelic.

Lots of climbing history resides there as well! Check out Mountain #57 and 58 to see what I mean.

Apr 12, 2012 - 09:38pm PT

Possibly. In an ideal world. Robert N is headed for Scotland. I'm encouraged to go. There is a charter that takes you straight from Vancouver to Glasgow(I think) at reasonable cost.

And Robert says July is still winter in Scotland, according to the English.

Social climber
North Vancouver BC
Apr 13, 2012 - 01:47am PT
Andy , if ya go , bring back some photos and make sure you post em here. Most of the routes you mentioned are on my bucket list.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 13, 2012 - 10:06am PT
I have to agree: one of the most unusual pitches I've ever climbed.

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Apr 13, 2012 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for posting this. The story in Ken Wilson's Hard Rock hooked me long ago andI have dreamed of doing that route for a long time. Still on the list and hope to get it done before too long.

I know just the place to practice for it: sometimes questionable rock , unusual brain-like features, ocean view.


Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Apr 18, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Wicked cool Reilly. And I agree with kalimon, that rock is psychedelic.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 18, 2012 - 11:46pm PT
Wow. That is some of the most beautiful stone EVER!!!

Thanks Reilly!

Something else to put on the never ending checklist................

(For Jeremy) ( . )( . )

A long way from where I started
Apr 19, 2012 - 12:09am PT
122 posts? I posted a thread last week on one of the great rock climbs in the world and it got like 10 responses; sad.

Talk about weird. I was looking at this Mousetrap thread earlier today and thinking I should post something about the fact that it hadn't received enough attention. And now, looking at your comment above (on the stupid Ted Nugent thread) I guess I'd better get the finger out and actually post instead of just thinking about it.

So why is it that talk of Gogarth/Anglesey gets no response -- even with scrotum-shrinking pictures -- while a mention of the most forgettable walk-up in the universe will get hundreds of comments, as long as the word "Yosemite" appears in the post? Because most of the people who post here, even if they're strong climbers, can't see beyond the California border. And of the few that can, most are terminally focused on either Colorado or Southwestern British Columbia.

I don't know what it is that keeps most US and Canadian climbers from understanding that all the world's greatest climbs do not lie within a day's drive of their home town. But something sure does.

Maybe a parable will help:

In the mid '80s my then wife and I were visiting her parents in Oxford. One day she took me to visit an old family friend. The friend, an elderly woman, welcomed us into her home, and into what was for me a totally surreal experience. She lived in a shabby row house, with the only heat a tiny coal fire in one room. We sat all bundled up in front of two tiny lumps of glowing coal, drinking tea made with bridge sweepings, and accepted her sympathy for the hardship we must face living in such a primitive place as Vancouver.

She truly believed that Britain was still the center of civilization, and that her miserable surroundings were the pinnacle of comfort. Thirty years later, I see that same outlook here in the US. People who have grown up being told they live in the center of civilization will hold that belief all their lives, regardless of the fact that they've never set foot outside the country. If they had, they'd realize that in every field of human endeavor, people and companies in Europe and Asia have not only caught up, but forged ahead.

Climbing is no different. The US is the home of the best climbing in the universe, and Yosemite has the best climbing in the US. Gogarth? Are you serious? That's in England, right? There's no real climbing in England. It's all f*#king sheep farms and apple trees. The tallest cliff in the country is about thirty feet high, and anyway it rains all the time so who would want to climb there?

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 19, 2012 - 12:20am PT
You forgot Joshua Tree, Tahoe and the East Side.....

BWA HA HA hahahaaaa!!!!

(For Ghost) ( . )( . )

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Apr 19, 2012 - 01:04am PT
awesome post, fascinating looking rock.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Apr 19, 2012 - 01:41pm PT
Amazing stone bumpage!!!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 13, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
Bumpy seas bump...
Messages 1 - 16 of total 16 in this topic
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