Welsh Rock

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Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 13, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
A few early pictures from Trevor Jones' and Geoff Milburn's book "Welsh Rock"

Welsh geology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_Wales

Clogwyn Du'r Arddu:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=457
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clogwyn_du%27r_Arddu

Rock-type: Rhyolite - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhyolite

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
... and then a few more:
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Nov 13, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
These pics are certainly bumpworthy. Thanks much.

The first climbing books I checked out from the local library were British, and featured lots of Welsh and English rock. The pictures were all of the variety designed to make the palms sweat -- leaders in nails edging up imperceptible holds on hemp ropes with no protection in sight.

John
perswig

climber
Nov 13, 2013 - 10:26pm PT
So many good photos - page 217 shows great micro and macro scale.

Lots of character in the portraits, too.
Dale
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Nov 13, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
Oh...Welsh rock

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
More Welsh Rock.

Clogwyn du'r Arddu, The Black Cliff, has got it's own book - by Peter Crew, Jack Soper and Ken Wilson:


Some pioneers:


"Colin Kirkus (19 June 1910-13 September 1942), was one of the most influential climbers Britain has ever produced.
Jack Longland described the greatest rock face in Wales, Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, as "Colin’s Cliff". Kirkus' series of new routes on "Cloggy" was unparalleled until the emergence of Joe Brown, 20 years later. Kirkus also climbed extensively in the Alps and made a pioneering Alpine-style ascent in the Himalaya in 1933. He was killed in the Second World War in 1942.
Kirkus left the world of mountaineering two tremendous legacies: firstly his pioneering climbs in Wales and elsewhere, and secondly one of the finest instruction books ever written "Let's Go Climbing!"."

http://thosewhodared.blogspot.no/2011/06/colin-kirkus_16.html
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2013 - 04:14pm PT

Clogwyn du'r Arddu - East Buttress

Joe Brown climbing - Clogwyn du'r Arddu
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Fun climbing in Wales.....a little spice and lots of weather and history.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:34pm PT
We drive up to the pass. Even by a Seattleite's standards it's bloody wet.
We stare up at the Corner.

"Alan, it's pissing."

"Ach, Reilly, it's nay pissing. It's only a bit o' the damp."
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:36pm PT
Awesomeness!

These are the kind of inspiring photos I grew up with.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2013 - 04:49pm PT

"Alan, it's pissing."
"Ach, Reilly, it's nay pissing. It's only a bit o' the damp."

Haha... that's the spirit... that's the spirit...


Alun Hughes: UPSIDEDOWN WALES

An award winner before it was even finished, Best Film at LLAMFF 2008 - now much worse...

A lifelong epic of the most trivial proportions - humour finally triumphant over gravity...

He wants to climb those roofs pretty badly, and that's what happens....

Interview With Joe Brown

A rare interview with the greatest rock climber of all time, Joe Brown, 'The Human Fly'. A relaxed Joe tells George Smith the story of his sixty year love affair with Welsh rock, from his first ascents on Cloggy in the fifties - putting up routes that redefined the sport of rock climbing in Britain - to his more recent Welsh explorations at Tremadog, Gogarth and Dinorwic quarry. Using first ascent photos that have never been published before Joe chats candidly with George about his motivation and his spirit of adventure.

"Joe's love of the fun and adventure of climbing is as fresh as ever in this fascinating interview. His description of the techniques of placing chockstones for critical runner protection and the film of sliding down the mountain railway track are valuable additions to the history of climbing technologies." Ken Wilson.

"Fantastic, incredibly funny I thought." George Smith

Quotes:

"Like salad after a diet of chips" Ed Douglas

"Dead sound and 'there'" Jim Perrin

“My daughter laughed out loud right through the film – until I told her it was a documentary” Mick Johnstone.

"My dog died last night but then I saw UpsideDown Wales, and I'm alright now" Anita Grey.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 15, 2013 - 04:52pm PT
Joe Brown the "greatest rock climber of all time".....no, but quite likely the most influential.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 15, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
When I was twelve I went on my first formal outdoor trip, organised by my school to a 'Field Study Centre' - an outdoor camp where you were introduced to Mountain walking, climbing, canoeing and the like.

This would have been 65. The climbing was all in big bendy boots, the kit basic (hemp waist lengths and Tarbuck knots).

Any how, scattered around the canteen were old climbing magazines with lots of articles which mentioned Joe Brown. At the time the only Joe Brown I knew was a well known lead singer in a skiffle band - 'The Bruvvers'. I was mighty impressed that somebody could be so variously talented!

This misconception lasted several months, before the penny eventually dropped.

The doppleganger .....no Welsh climbs for him!


Steve
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2013 - 06:10pm PT
Hehe... great story Blakey... was it a disappointment when you learned the truth about singer and climber Brown?
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 15, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
More an embarrassment, at least I hadn't run around saying 'jeez,this is amazing, our best rock climber and he's got a number one hit!'
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Blakey

OT: The misunderstanding embarrassment I remember best from my childhood was connected to Manchester United. They were my favourite team from the age of eight. When I was eleven someone had to be firm and clear to convince me that my pronounciation of the United part of the name was possibly wrong. In my version the un part of United sounded as the un in "untold", the i as the i in "in" and the ted part as the tedd in "teddy". No one was able to convince me about the "junaitid" version before I listened closely to TV...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 10:36am PT

Clogwyn du'r Arddu routes (ukclimbing.com):
http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=457

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Wade Icey

I'm trying to connect Wales and the Led Zeppelin cover picture you posted from "Houses of the Holy", but haven't been able to do so. Both Robert Plant and John Bonham were born close to Wales, but not in Wales. Aubrey Powell who is behind the cover art was English, but not Welsh, and the fascinating rock structure in the picture is from Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. How do I connect? Irish rock? ;o)

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 11:54am PT

Joe Brown and when he started climbing...
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 11:55am PT

Easy climbing at Cloggy
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
Brilliant images Marlow! Thanks for reminding us of our history. As a budding rock climbing youth I couldn't wait for each new copy of Mountain Magazine . . . still have my entire collection starting with #57, the Gogarth issue.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 12:11pm PT

Kalimon
Could you scan and post?

"The sea cliffs of Gogarth, situated on the western tip of Anglesey are the stuff of legend. These beautiful and atmospheric crags have been a key destination for each generation of climbers since they were first discovered in the mid 60s." (Simon Panton)

Meanwhile at Gogarth:

Gogarth on UKclimbing.com: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1850
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
My then Irish gal and I moved up to Tregarth, 7km from Bangor, for three months (I had taken a job as a press officer for Cornelyn Manor, an outdoor management development and team building company based outside of Beaumaris) until the 1990 recession hit the UK (so back down to London). Climbed a bit in Snowdon, but did do some in Cloggy (mainly Pedestal Crack and Terrace Crack, I led, Marie, not really a climber, belayed and followed).

I always wanted (still do) to climb Cenotaph Corner.

And A Dream of White Horses in Gogarth is also on my tick list. Considering I lived for over 17 years in Dublin/Dalkey, a "short" three-hour or so ferry trip from Dun Laoghaire, I should have made the journey to climb on Anglesey. Oh well…

… there is always tomorrow.

Now Jennie and I are in Wexford three miles from the Europort in Rosslare Harbour. Perhaps someday I will make it to Lundy Island, the Devil's Slide has always been on my tick list, I know that it is not Welsh rock.

And winter in Glen Coe and Ben Nevis for ice climbing. It's just a bit tough though being a 24/7 carer for Jennie.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 12:38pm PT

From Ed Drummond's book "A Dream of White Horses"

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Are we dreaming?


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Reilly

Cool, is that really Reilly at Gogarth? And is Dave really Reilly?

Edited:

Awesome link to Mousetrap E2 5a - Gogarth/Anglesey. I'll let Jeremy speak:

"RADNESS!!!
That rock is WILD MAN...WILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Reilly is almost always behind the lens, for obvious reasons.

While it is nice to dream it is actually better to go mouse catching although
the mouse can be surprisingly coy*...

Mousetrap


*E2,5a versus HVS although I don't really recall Mousetrap being 5a
because it was such an astounding setting.
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
I feel this thread will generate some great old photos - come on Blakey. I've got some scans but the bulk of my old photos are still slides and are unfortunately packed away somewhere as we are moving house.

Here's one of Big Ron attempting the FA of Strawberries at Tremadog the weekend before he succeeded. Interestingly, until he actually did it, it was commonly known as Peaches - the crackline to the right of it is called Cream.


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Jaaan

Awesome photo... and the guy in the lower right corner doesn't make it any less spectacular...
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 17, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Nice shots Reilly and jaaan!

For Marlow, some crude scans . . . hope they work.

These are images I have scanned from my original copy of Mountain Magazine #57.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 17, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Kalimon

Thanks a lot. ... the taste of climbing history in progress...

What an article! ... to be continued in Mountain 58... lol...
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2013 - 02:25pm PT

Hazel Findlay climbs The Cad at Gogarth
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2013 - 02:27pm PT

Nicolas Favresse, trad climbing in Wales
[Click to View YouTube Video]
duncan

climber
London, UK
Nov 18, 2013 - 03:40pm PT

The hugely underrated Tim Freeman flashing Neb Direct (a hugely underrated E3 - solid 5.11+?) in 1980.

The guy in the white top watching the proceedings is Jerry Moffatt, who failed to follow Tim that day. He must have got a bit better as he flashed Phoenix 4 years later.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 18, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
Duncan.

Thanks for posting up!
tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Nov 19, 2013 - 05:29am PT
i am in wales now, watching the wet snow come down. it is fun to see wales pop up on the forum. i'll have to wait until i have access to a bigger screen to read the articles.
i spent eight days here in august with beautiful weather. my favorites were gogarth, comes a dervish and everything at tremadog!
cheers, j
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 19, 2013 - 06:55am PT
Jaan (AKA: Jon)

I've done my share of Gogarth adventures, but sadly not many photo's (if any have survived at all).

The Strand, Gogarth, Winking Crack, The Moon, T Rex, Dream, Concrete Chimney Big Groove, Bloody Chimney and Strike etc, etc.

However, the most exciting memory was having lunch on the slopes above Dream, relaxed and leaning back against a Mini sized block, along with the Carlisle lads, Steve Clegg, Pete Bottrill - I thing Armstrong was there and maybe Jeff Lamb.

Anyhow, we were soaking up the sun, feeling all studly when the block decided to go. Several of us were using it as a backrest and it just broke free, accellerated down the slope (faster than a real Mini would have managed) and took to the air.

Thankfully it cleared the rock (it's all overhung somewhat thereabouts) and crashed into the Zawn. In the confined space of the Zawn the noise was like a bomb detonating. There was one team on the last pitch of Dream I think, who felt it go by and were pretty shaken, but the easiest way off was to finish!

Even lunch at Gogarth is exciting!

Steve
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 19, 2013 - 09:51am PT
1977, North Wales.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2013 - 10:51am PT

rmuir

Thanks for posting up!

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2013 - 10:52am PT
Gogarth


"Imagine a sea cliff that covers the whole headland of the large island of Anglesey, on the west tip of Wales. Imagine coves, inlets, and caves, overhanging walls, fins, and arches, cormorants skimming white-tipped waves, and fat seals swimming in the turbulent Irish Channel. Every bay has a different character and color. The stone is variously crumbling, solid, sandy, muddy, lichen-covered, and guano-sprayed.

Imagine that on some walls you find bomber protection in solid quartzite, if you can hang on long enough to place it. But imagine that on others you will be plugging cams into sand and nuts into clay, clipping rusty pegs, wrapping slings around quartz protrusions, placing sky hooks for protection, and fiddling in RPs as if your life depends on it (and it will). Imagine a half dozen such pieces equalized for your belay anchor. Imagine that there is only one bolt on the whole cliff—and that is a chopped, rusty relic.

The crumbling brink is an easy stroll for climbers and sightseers alike, but your experience below will be far beyond anything comprehensible to the tourists—or even to many climbers. When you finally pull the lip with a thousand-mile stare, you will find that you were not imagining it at all. Your abseil rope had simply transported you to another world, to Gogarth, the biggest, baddest trad cliff in the U.K."

Nick Bullock
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Nov 19, 2013 - 10:59am PT
Ah Steve, shame about the lack of photos. I'm sure Duncan must have some. On the subject of Gogarth, I remember going to Gogarth with Jimmy Jewel one day, to climb on the Main Cliff...

Now, for STopians unfamiliar with either, Jimmy was famous for soloing at his leading limit of about E5, and was the star of an Alun Hughes film called Total Control. He died while soloing a very easy route at Tremadog in 1993. However, my tale is in the 70s, long before these shenanigans. Secondly, most of Gogarth, including the Main Cliff, starts directly out of the sea and the climbs are reached by 'walking' down a very steep path from a gearing up spot where you leave your packs, and then traversing along the crag just (sometimes!) above the waves.

... anyway, Jim and I arrive at the gearing up spot and look down at the crag. The sea is calm and the rock shady... perfect. I'm just putting my harness on when Jim grabs my arm and shouts 'look!' A couple of hundred metres or so out to sea are two ENORMOUS waves, barrelling towards the crag. We watch as they hit the crag and explode practically to the top of it and then drain off like a Niagara. The sea is immediately flat again but the crag is just soaked to the point that it'd need a day to dry off. If we'd been on it or indeed on the sea level traverse, we'd have been killed. The only explanation we could come up with was thet it must have been the wake from a ferry or some other big ship.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 19, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Jaaan, wakes don't do that, trust me. The same thing happened to me on a
sea kayak trip on a remote headlands on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
There are just rogue waves out there looking to send you to your wake. It
was just a few years after the above occurred that I was at Gogarth. It was
November and while the seas weren't large you can be sure I had my weather
eye peeled while we were hot-footing it to the base of the climbs. Gogarth
is a very sobering place. I didn't even bring my camera because I didn't
want to be tempted to dilly-dally.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 19, 2013 - 11:27am PT
The place does have it's own 'vibe'. I recall the 'path' down to the main cliff, passing under the Strand as being particulalry spooky. You were much more comfortable once you got off the path and established on the rock.

I've seen the wake from the Irish Ferry funnel into Wen Zawn...... It only just missed washing a couple of blokes off the boulders.

Other days traversing the base of the Main Cliff heading for Big Groove above a flat calm sea, blue skies and watched by seals - magical!

Steve
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
From the article posted by Kalimon adding to the wave phenomenon:

"I had climbed the first pitch of Spider's Web and I was messing about the second pitch when I realized that we couldn't communicate - the noise was too great. I started to traverse back, when I reached the arete, the first of a whole lot of big waves was just coming in - God knows what caused them, there was no wind. Anyway, this one completely buried Fred the Ted. I almost fell off laughing, saying "Never mind Fred, I'll probably get wet next", not for a minute thinking that I would. The traverse back to the ledges by Genuflex was being buried by the waves, so we went up Archway fifty feet. ------- I saw a big wave coming in. By the time I had realized just how big it was, it was too late to do anything. It came sailing into the zaum, right over the top of me - I was completely soaked. I went back up the chimney to Fred, who'd been hit by the spray from the wave. I said: "We'll have to go straight up and try and climb out. I'll just put pegs in wherever I can". I started off and couldn't put anything in. I laybacked round three little overlaps, then got a good runner and went around the corner to start bringing Fred up. He took absolutely ages, and was three times under water, yet he must have been fifty or sixty feet above sea level. I couldn't understand how he managed to take so long on a layback, but what he'd done was fiddle little nuts in and come all the way up on those and I couldn't get a bloody runner in.

Joe Brown and Brian Fuller ("Fred the Ted") on Archway.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Nov 19, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
great stories.

One pic from Gogarth, circa 1981:


Terrifying climb. Rated E4. Poor protection, dicey belay anchors.

Other routes I've done at Gogarth are superb, Strand, one or two on the main face (Citadel--awesome quality)

There's other sea cliffs in Wales. Southern coast, near Cardiff (where I lived for a while), is Ogmore. Not for the faint hearted. Tidal range is over 30 feet, so it's best to be on the sharp end, and failure on a lead can mean a hanging bivouac.





Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
Crunch

Great pictures and great atmosphere... I can imagine what it's like to be there...
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Nov 19, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
Gogarth before photoshop when we actually had to stick pictures together. :D

I'm in this picture 5 times.

rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 20, 2013 - 01:39pm PT

Unfortunately I've got only a picture or two to post about this, but I do have a story to share.

Back in 1977, three of the Stonemasters made the journey to GB to check-out the fabled areas of our collective past. Gib Lewis, Rick Accomazzo, my partner-to-be, Candi, and I eventually met up in Yorkshire to mash into our tiny British Austin Woolsey and chug up the M40 to the M42, along the M5, to the A5. ...through the hamlet of Betws-y-Coed, and across the stark Llamberis Pass into the valley of Llamberis. We were—eventually—headed onto the Continent, so we had rock gear, alpine gear, big boots and EBs, haulbags and mountain tents, and a roof rack fairly bulging with gear to dirtbag and climb throughout GB, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. Candi and I had booked a Freddy Laker flight for fifteen weeks during, this, our first Grand Tour and we were in it for the long haul.

Now just above the town, in Gwynedd, was the 400 year-old Welsh cottage named Bigil owned by Al Harris--a madman to beat the band. This, was to be our destination for the next week or ten days.

There were few Americans in Wales in the summer of 1977. We were brash, bold, and just a wee bit cocky. With our California sensibilities and heretical chalkbags, we were gonna take Europe by storm. Before we arrived, Gib and Rick had spent a night with Ken Wilson, the editor of Mountain Magazine, and--in a fit of bravado--Rick let on that we had our sights on Big Things®. Somewhere along the line, The Great Wall of Clogwyn D'ur Arddu and The Right Wall of Cenotaph on Dinas Cromlech were let on--one pint too many I suppose... The press was now on to us, the cat was out of the bag, and so we arrived in Snowdonia pre-announced.

Now, as you approach Bigil, you notice that it's a typical Welsh cottage surrounded by ugly, shaggy sheep painted weird runny colors grazing on the damp, green hills—built low to the ground, the slate roofs nearly touch the prevailing slope, and long piles of stone forming fences separating one quaint farm from another. Stepping across the threshold, you need to stoop a little beneath the massive slate beams, and it feels like you're stepping back in time. Until—that is—you enter the living room and see an entire wall of day-glo Sixties posters and the disco ball hanging from the ceiling along with the strobes, the blacklight, and the colored flood lights. Harris has turned rusticana into Brit party house extraordinaire! This, mind you, is a climber's house.

The first noisy night did it for us, and during the remainder of the stay Candi and I retreated to our mountain tent pitched in the yard. Only then could any sleep be assured... Gibo and Rick would not be so clear-headed in the days yet to come.

In Llanberis, we did run into Jack Roberts. Perhaps it was the day we ran into Don Willans drinking proper ale in the pub. Maybe it was the day I bought a whole rack of Wild Country cams from Mark Vallance, which, it turns out, was the founding year for the company.

...too many memorable events to recount here, but one of the choice ones was the sea girdle of Gogarth. It was an off day, as the weather was too thick to consider something in the highlands. I'm not sure how it came about, but the Brits arranged to show the Californians a bit of fun. The cast of characters included Ken Wilson, Al Harris, Tim Lewis, Joe Brown, and Gib, Ricky, and Robs. Can you sense a sandbag is the offing?

It was cold and Welsh-damp as some of us jumped into Brown's late-model Volvo and we drove across Holyhead to the Gogarth headlands. The logistics were interesting: Al Harris couldn't swim, so Tim wore a wetsuit in the event that Al fell into the North Sea. (!) It was understood that this was a no-holds barred, +5,000' traverse, to finish above Wen Zawn just beyond Dream of White Horses. The goal was to be the last one still dry by the time we topped out.

Rick and Gib had started a mental chess game somewhere north of London; it had be going on for days. Mid-crux Ricky shouts out, "Rook to queen bishop six!" Unfazed, Gibo has the next move pre-worked. Brown is smooth and confident, having probably done this daylong escapade before. We're each forced to follow each other's lead as we up the ante. Easy sections interspersed with steep faces and yawning caves dangling above the fatally-cold, thrashing North Sea. The Stonemasters have our chalk-bags but they're about as helpful as a kiddie's pacifier. Harris is looking green, and--at one point--Tim "jumps in" to spot another tricky bit for Al.

Joe has sneaked on ahead. Al and I are pretty close together when a gigantic stone whizzes by Harris' ear causing a huge plume of spray to erupt. Brown is laughing his fool head off...

Hours later, we summited to our cars waiting on the cliff top, smelling of wet wool, sea salt, and spent adrenochrome. Smiles as wide as seagulls' wings.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2013 - 02:02pm PT
rmuir

What a story... a dirtbag treasure for a lifetime... very well told...
crunch

Social climber
CO
Nov 20, 2013 - 02:12pm PT
great story, rmuir!

I've done the stone tossing a few times. There's usually detached blocks on the sea-cliff tops. It's hilarious when you are the stone thrower (and there's a skill in finding flattish slabs and getting them to land on a flat side for maximum, belly-flop-style impact).

But man, it's utterly, nerve-shreddingly unnerving when it's the other way round, when you are struggling a bit, mid-crux, totally absorbed, when you hear that "Ka-Boosh!" explosion behind and below you!
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 21, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 21, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 21, 2013 - 05:48pm PT
Whats a good guidebook to the whole area of Wales for an American coming over? I was just there, stayed in Mold at the Druid Inn. Didn't look like much good rock near there. Previously I have been up in Snowdonia, but without a guidebook its hard to know what to climb. I did hike up and check out Cloggy in the rain. Awesome and a little spooky feeling.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 21, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
BBST
LongAgo

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
Spent some time in the 70's and 80's rambling around England and Scotland. Dream was a wonderful climb, especially so with the rock and sea clashing below.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Nov 21, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
That picture of "dream of white horses" is an enduring classic....funny i did it with my wife 17 years ago and the sea was like a mill pond, you could have skipped a rock on it. We did suffer from the elements however....that rare British malady, sunburn.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Nov 21, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
And for history buffs, here's an old 60's article about young dumb Americans coming to Britain with only climbing shoes and a grin, meeting up with the Wales protection rules - "no pitons, yanks!" (even though we had none with us) and going forth with what was handed us - machine nuts threaded onto hemp rope, a system eventually adopted/adapted by Royal Robbins and others into American climbing, here you go:

http://www.tomhiggins.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=20&limit=1&limitstart=0

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 21, 2013 - 07:14pm PT
I've still got a few steel nuts collected from alongside the Cloggy railway tracks. Never got around to filing out the threads...
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Nov 21, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Whats a good guidebook to the whole area of Wales for an American coming over? I was just there, stayed in Mold at the Druid Inn. Didn't look like much good rock near there. Previously I have been up in Snowdonia, but without a guidebook its hard to know what to climb. I did hike up and check out Cloggy in the rain. Awesome and a little spooky feeling.

Studly you can't go wrong with Paul Williams' Rock Climbing in Snowdonia.

http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Climbing-Snowdonia-Paul-Williams/dp/0711224080
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 24, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Marlow here is the second part of the Gogarth Saga from Mountain #58.


Enjoy!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Excellent. Thanks!

Very well written by Alec Sharp. History writing at it's best.

And what do I know? I have climbed a bit with Ben Campbell Kelly, but didn't know he had been involved to such a degree at Gogarth...
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Nov 24, 2013 - 04:08pm PT
Here are a few additional pages from Mountain #57 regarding the emergence of the E-grades.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 24, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Kalimon

TFPU! A fantastic resource...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 25, 2013 - 12:22am PT
What is the biggest rock in Welchland.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 25, 2013 - 06:03am PT
Shameless plug for a book that is for sale.

Nunn, Paul. Rock Climbing in the Peak District. London: Constanoble, 1975. First printing of first edition. Hardcover. Fine. DJ good. $4.95

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2112346/Climbing-book-collection-for-sale

Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 25, 2013 - 06:37am PT
Mike M,

The largest is I think Lliwedd - don't even try to pronounce it........
Some routes around 150+m, I think, slabby generally rambling scrambly easy stuff, though there's a couple of harder lines. Mind you Great Slab on Cloggy must come close to that length - So I stand ready to be corrected by someone - probably Jaan!



Steve

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 25, 2013 - 08:43am PT
Hah hah, Lol

The largest is I think Lliwedd - don't even try to pronounce it

Blakey, try pronouncing Mynydd Llandygai, a small tiny hamlet where my late dog Ci (Welsh for dog, phonetically pronounced "key", Ki in Brittany, France) was from when we lived in Tregarth. We went from north Wales to London to California to Ireland and he is buried in the Wicklow Mountains (May 15 2001).

I got him when he was five weeks old, just weaned. The vet in Bangor said he only had one other person with a dog named Ci, an Englishman's dog (they are very wary of the English in north Wales. (First time my then Irish girlfriend and I walked into the pub in Tregarth, a small village, we heard English being spoken, then they all looked at us and started speaking only Welsh. They finally copped on that Marie was Irish and me an American and became friendlier.)

I replied to the vet that of course, a Welsh person is not going to name their dog, "dog". I was going to name him Madra (Irish for dog) but I thought that too feminine, but it actually is a masculine diminutive.

Ci did do a bit of scrambling with me in Wales, California and Ireland, but no actual climbing. Great dog, 3/4 border collie, 1/4 Lab. Actually he could climb a 5.3ish (D, Diff) gully in Dalkey, if I spotted him from behind.

He died at 10-1/2 of a very rare disease, sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis, none of the vets in Dun Laoghaire, and then the UCD veterinary school, ever saw the condition before, bar one professor, Chris Bellinger, an Aussie. It was his third case in 35 years he had seen practicing in Oz, USA and Ireland. Nothing could be done. He had five surgeons working on him, but… I kissed him goodbye, the injection from the surgeon, the breathing stopped and the flatline after 15 seconds.

Back to climbing, I did a lot of bouldering and some short routes and top ropes in Llanberis Pass when living outside of Tregarth.


EDIT
Sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis, is where the connective tissue in the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) starts getting "sticky" and then adhering (encapsulating) to the various organs - stomach, liver, bladder, etc - and then hardening (sclerosing). Rare in dogs, very rare in cats but more common in adolescent Polynesian girls apparently. Professor Bellinger gave me a copy of a study of five cases (four dogs, one cat) from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.


EDIT
Apologies for the thread drift everyone. At least it wasn't political.
Alan Rubin

climber
Amherst,MA.
Nov 25, 2013 - 10:21am PT
While Paul Williams' guidebook is a "classic", it is now quite dated. The most up-to-date "selected" guide to the area is North Wales Rock by Simon Panton, published by Ground Up. It is a good, well-illustrated book and is available on Amazon as well as elsewhere.

Another classic book on Welsh climbing that I don't believe has been mentioned on this thread is Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdinia by Tony Smythe and John Cleare. The book, first published in the late '60s/early '70s is largely a black and white photo essay by Cleare one of the first and best of the "modern" climbing photographers. It documents a very important era in Welsh climbing as Pete Crew and the Alpha Club were establishing themselves as the successors to Joe Brown and the Rock and Ice who had dominated Welsh climbing for well over a decade, though as the photos show, Brown was in the midst of a "rebound" and in the end outlasted most of the Alpha. This was the period of the first routes on Gogarth--initially the "secret crag" of the Alpha. The black and white photos really seem appropriate for the often somber Welsh atmosphere and are very well-composed. The accompanying writing by Smythe (son of famed climber/writer Frank Smythe) is quirky, but interesting as well. For some of my generation over here this book was the first true insight into an already legendary climbing scene that had previously largely been known only through semi-mythological campfire tales.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 25, 2013 - 04:54pm PT
Hi Marlow, Patrick, Alan,

I decided to poke around in my guidebook library and what should I find but a 1940s Lliwedd guide,

See below!




We had a copy of Cleare's book in the school library, I could only dream of ever doing such stuff...there was a memorable bit of prose 'falling upwards in a shaft of light'..... that captioned one unfathomable photo.

At the expense of a small thread drift, we too currently have a Border Collie (not Welsh). A great compainion for my wife Bronwen - (Welsh name see).... A failed working dog - too wilful, not biddable as they say around here. Scared of sheep, cats, frogs, chickens - pretty much anything really!


Steve
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 26, 2013 - 12:09pm PT
Where do you live Steve? That does not look like Sierra Vista.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2013 - 12:13pm PT
That does not look like Sierra Vista.

HaHaHaHaHa! That's the wet side of Sierra Vista!
You know, where they can still loose the hounds. ;-)
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 26, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Patrick, Reilly,

My simple subterfuge is exposed..... I live in a small UK village in Northumberland, imaginatively called 'Wall' as it sits on and is probably made up of masonry taken from Hadrian's Wall.

I lived in Sierra Vista AZ for eighteen months or so, 2002 - 2004, when I was the the Course Director for the Military Intelligence Officer's Career Course.

Regards,

Steve

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 26, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
Patrick, pm Steve and get him to regale you with his Bletchley Park tales! ;-)
I've a good Fort Huachuca tale but I don't want the Thread Drift Police onto me.

edit:
a propos of Bletchley Park this week saw the passing of one of its greats:

Mavis Batey,Codebreaker Extraordinaire,RIP


edit 2:
Marlow, my tale would also very likely get me brought up on charges by the PC Police
and nobody wants to see that happen, I'd never see the light of day, so
you'll have to wait until we have that bottle of akvavit in Aandalsnes
you promised me.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 26, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
The thread drift police is very tolerant when great storytelling is involved...
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Nov 26, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Steve that makes sense, that is a quintessential-looking English village.

I couldn't see if the cars in the background were right or left-hand side but the car on the left on the grass, that is definitely a UK license plate.

Now where did the rock for the houses/cottages come from? A Welsh quarry perhaps? ;-)

Okay, I know they are brick houses.

And the silver car, upon looking closer with a magnifying class, another Brit car licence plate.

You mean you came to work in the States for an intelligence course, do we have intelligence in the States (ask Werner)?. I always thought that the George Bush Center for Intelligence is a bit of an oxymoron. Okay, dad was not stupid as Dubya.
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 26, 2013 - 06:14pm PT
Back on thread,

Three images from David Jones' Rock Climbing in Britain, an 80s photo book





Steve
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Nov 26, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Nov 26, 2013 - 09:13pm PT
Just ordered Rock Climbing In Snowdonia off of Amazon.com. Thank you Andy. Stoked!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 27, 2013 - 11:06am PT
The feature Rick is about to stand on in the first photo is the 'Ochre Slab' which is a bottomless fin that juts out at right angles to the face. Very peculiar. You scoot up that to a 'cave stance' which had varying degrees of rusting tat when I did it. You then wander off left, up and down until you reach a finishing crack that sees some failures.

A real classic at around 10c.

Steve
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 27, 2013 - 01:49pm PT
Some photos from Cleare's book, culled from the net......




Steve
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
Steve

That's some of the coolest historical climbing photos I've seen. The first one is a dream. TFPU!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Nov 27, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia is an ageless classic . The book includes that striking photo of Drummond on Great Wall, bathed in a dim light, with only blackness above.

Rob owned a copy of RCIAIS and we pored over it before our visit in 1977. I was reading it recently and it notes that Byrn Bigil, Al Harris’ house beautifully described by Rob above(I had clean forgotten the disco ball in the living room!), was rented by Peter Crew in the 1960s before Harris took up residence.

Another book on Welsh Rock that is well worth the time is Snowden, by Jim Perrin. It is a history (and not just climbing) of Mt. Snowden (the highest point in the British Isles). For those who haven’t been over there, Cloggy, the best Welsh crag, rises close to the summit of Snowden.

One chapter is called “Colonizing the Vertical” and makes the point that the British class system was enforced even in climbing guidebooks, which were originally produced by the elite of British society. Perrin cites instances of first ascents by the wrong sort of people being ignored or not believed. Quite a fascinating book and Perrin is always a joy to read.

I made a diminutive first ascent in Wales in 1977, on the Fachwen boulders near LLanberis. A photo of it appeared on a bouldering site recently.

http://news.v12outdoor.com/2013/03/11/harriss-arete-6b/

Not exactly a “wall” by Yosemite standards, I’ll admit, but then I didn’t name it! I can’t quite tell,but it may be the same route that Jack Roberts is on in the photo posted earlier in this thread by Rob. That photo was taken by Al Harris with my camera.

The sea cliff traverse Rob mentioned with Joe Brown, T.I.M. Lewis, Al Harris, Gib, and Rob (Ken Wilson was not there to my memory) was one of the highlights of a memorable summer.

Crunch: Harris was a master of the rock dropping technique you mention, employing large, flat rocks that caused a terrifying whoosh on the way down and a veritable geyser of cold seawater rising up to meet you. Harris demonstrated his skill while I was in the middle of a Tyrolean traverse bridging a small cove. I can still hear his maniacal laugh!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Nov 27, 2013 - 04:57pm PT
Rick,

Do you mean this one? It's the only pics I'm familiar with of Drummond on Great Wall.

It was taken by Ken Wilson and is from Hard Rock.

Steve

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Nov 27, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Just checked it. Plate 31 of RCIAIS of Crew, not Drummond, on Great Wall.
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Nov 27, 2013 - 07:40pm PT
I don't have the book but is it this one Rick?

Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Nov 30, 2013 - 11:52am PT
That's the one. According to the book, the photo is Crew on Great Wall in 1965. The caption says that the climb was originally called "Master's Wall," in light of the attempts to climb it by Joe Brown. Crew inspected it, and inserted chockstones for protection, on rappel,then renamed it Great Wall after his success.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2013 - 11:10am PT
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
Hey Marlowe, the photo of John Redhead on Cardiac Arête graced the cover of one of the Tremadog guidebooks. What you don't know is that it is my route! I was standing next to Paul Williams when he took the shot. I was quietly smiling to myself as JR was doing it all wrong! Of course he got away with it - just made it much harder for himself! Here are a couple of not very good shots of the first ascent on the 7 December 1980...


Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Jaaan

Fantastic... history as it emerges... Redhead's position is desperate, while you're quite relaxed...
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Dec 1, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
And here it is......

Slightly earlier, or later in the sequence Jon - did he fall after the first shot?


He looks like he's going the right way here, mighty impressive if he pushed on through clamping and beer pumping!

But then he was pretty impressive.

A fantaastic route to have on your CV!


jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Dec 1, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Thanks Steve! I was sure it was the same shot, but obviously not. No, he didn't fall off, as far as I can remember. While climbing JR's route to the left, Sexual Salami, I'd noticed the line of Cardiac Arête. Sometime later I placed two not so great pegs in it (one was a thin blade that went in about an inch max and I had to bend it down and tie it off) and led it. A while later Phil Thomas in a fit of ethics removed all the pegs at Tremadog, including CA's. Later someone replaced CA's with two bomber ones - why were mine so crap?! I think that's how it stands now.

Later again I noticed a line left of Sexual Salami and went up there with Paul Williams (this might or might not have been on the occasion that Paul photographed JR on CA). I took several falls off the overlap crux onto a #0 RP and eventually it ripped through the rock, at which point I gave up. We walked around to the top of the crag to rap down for the gear... and bumped into JR and Jim Perrin. There was no hiding the chalk and the gear hanging under the overlap! I told JR to go for it as long as Paul and I could tag along. JR fired it easily. I followed. Then Paul. Then we all pulled Perrin up it! I'd wanted to call it Science Friction but JR thought Hitler's Buttock was a better name. Here's the crux (following JR) that I'd fallen off so many times (in my best onion seller's shirt and false moustache).

Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Dec 3, 2013 - 05:23pm PT
I'll have to check out my copy of Hard Rock for some pix.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Dec 3, 2013 - 05:54pm PT
So it was blowin' a ton at Anglesey and the Pass was the proverbial flat rock
so Tremadog it was - just a bit o' the damp to keep the bloom on yer cheeks
and ceertainly no need of chalk. Oh, wait, nobody had started using that shite
yet so we had to route find all on our own.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Dec 10, 2013 - 12:50am PT
Climbers in Action in Snowdinia

Still on the shelf here, not wasted away much. Read sections sipping a brew from time to time. Some tales and portraits in the climbing library hold up well, others fade. It's all in the characters not the feats, I find, as time goes on.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 19, 2014 - 01:38pm PT

Wales, Dinas Cromlech: FA of The Girdle in 1956 by Joe Brown and Don Whillans
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2014 - 02:01pm PT

North Wales Limestone - an article by Andy Pollitt in Mountain 90, 1983
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 2, 2014 - 03:11am PT

Ron Fawcett talks about soloing (UKC Article):

I loved Tremadog. In those days it wasn't just an excellent place to climb when the weather in the mountains was bad. It was a crucible for some of the hardest routes being done in the country. The first new route I did there was Cream, done with Pete [Livesey] during the international climbing festival in 1976 when I turned twenty-one.

Pete played his trick of snookering me into falling as I followed him up the second pitch. The following year I'd got rid of the aid point on Void, an excellent new climb on the edge of the powerful looming buttress most famous for Joe Brown's route done in 1960 – Vector. But what I loved most about Tremadog was soloing there. The routes seemed to be made for me, long, flowing sequences on routes up to 250ft in length. The first ascent of Lord of the Flies is how people remember my contribution to the Rock Athlete series, but the opening credits of each programme showed me soloing a route called Tensor, on Craig Y Castell, just above the village of Tremadog itself. Sid used the footage in slow motion, and in doing so caught something of the strange mixture of feelings you get while soloing high above the ground, of being calm but utterly focussed. I see myself totally absorbed and living intensely; it's what I love about the sport.

My own soloing had started from the early days at Haw Bank and Crookrise, more out of necessity than any addiction to danger. I worked out colossal circuits of routes on all the crags near my home, and would run up onto the moors to get to them. When I moved to Ilkley, I brought that habit with me, and over the years developed a sequence of routes I felt comfortable soloing, like North-west Girdle, Western Front and Wall of Horrors at Almscliff, and something similar at Ilkley and Caley too. Long days at Tremadog were just an extension of this process.

There were times in my climbing career when I did fall soloing. Early on there was the moment at Gordale when a hold broke and I landed close to the group of picnickers. After that, I hobbled up to Malham on crutches and mates would top-rope me so I could keep fit until my ankle healed. Also, there was the bizarre moment when I just let go of the rock at Crookrise, while chatting to Al Evans. I became adept at jumping off, and could get away with the most amazing falls. I jumped off from high on a route at Ilkley once, spraining an ankle, only to discover someone had swiped my trainers while I was climbing. I had to hobble home in my EBs.

Soloing was a big part of the climbing scene in the 1970s, especially in Wales. Eric Jones was just one of several guys doing it regularly, along with his friend Cliff Phillips and other stars like Pete Minks, Richard McHardy and Alan Rouse. It was seen as the deepest, scariest game in town and was undoubtedly addictive. For those routinely using psychoactive drugs, as some in the Welsh scene were, naturally manufacturing your own high through extreme physical experiences was obviously appealing. I can't claim that's what inspired me. I got a buzz from the danger of it, I can't deny that, but most of the time I was in control.

Not always though. I remember trying to solo Positron around this time, one of the best-known routes on the steep main wall at Gogarth. It was a crag where I felt completely at home. Gogarth isn't like the limestone climbing I was used to in Yorkshire; it's more open handed, like gritstone, and with my big hands I felt very comfortable on it. I did major free ascents on the main cliff wall around then, Citadel and Mammoth among them, and in the summer of 1980 the first ascent of an E6 called The Big Sleep.

Still, soloing Positron was a sobering challenge. Al Rouse had taken a huge fall from it on the aided first ascent, getting into the meat of the third pitch, on the steepest part of the wall, after trying every piece of gear he had behind the flake he was hanging from. Next day he went back with the right size of Moac nut clenched between his teeth, managed to get it placed and then clipped in for a rest. This was the point I reached, only without the Moac and without a rope to clip it into either. Launching out onto that huge, leaning white wall is imposing enough tied on, but with just a chalk bag at your waist it takes a lot of self-control.

I'd done Positron before and knew I could climb it, but suddenly I was assailed by doubt. I felt my momentum crumble. I knew at once I had to be anywhere but hanging off that flake in the middle of an overhanging wall a hundred feet above the sea. There was just one clear thought looping round my head: 'How the f*#k do I get off this?' Could I possibly survive a fall from here? I looked at the sea, sucking in and drawing back from the base of the cliff. If I landed in the sea would I have a chance? Two or three times I bunched up on my footholds, preparing to jump into the great void below me, but each time couldn't commit. Eventually, I scuttled back down, fingers weakening and a rising tide of panic in my chest, to a large spike just above the belay and wrapped both arms around it. And there I stayed, clinging to the spike like a drowning man hugs the spar of a wrecked ship. Slowly the adrenalin subsided and my arms relaxed. I reached the belay and traversed into Rat Race, an easier route, and climbed this instead to its junction with Cordon Bleu, which at VS was easy enough for me to down-climb to the bottom of the main cliff. Positron was soloed, four years later, by Stevie Haston.

Ron Fawcett in Pushing the Limits: Extreme Rock 1984. A Leo Dickinson film.
[Click to View YouTube Video]

From the "What became of Brit climber Ron Fawcett" thread.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Mar 2, 2014 - 05:38am PT
hey there say, marlow... this is great, not sure if i saw it first time, out, or not...


really enjoy seeing it... hope to see the pics, more, later this week...

thanks for sharing...

my friend, that is welsh, may know of some of these places, though, she has not been back, since her younger days... and of course, she never went climbing...

will share with her...
jaaan

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Mar 2, 2014 - 06:16am PT
Watching Ron's rather sketchy footwork on both Strawberries and the Prow reminds me of how utterly crap those old red and yellow Hanwags were! We all bought them following Ron's lead and thought they were wonderful - the Emperor's new clothes, of course. Great big clumpy things with cardboard soles. Just goes to show how strong Ron was!
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Mar 4, 2014 - 05:38pm PT
Did The Prow in about 1980 when it was still A2. Those were the days in winter down in Miller's Dale when the only sound you could hear was the ring of peg hammers. The route now goes free at 7C+ (5.13a). Description below is from UKC/ROCKFAX.

50m, 3 pitches. One of the historic landmark routes of the Peak. The way to climb it these days is in one giant pitch from the ground for an amazing 8a tick, although it is still a good 7c+ tick done in one pitch to the belay of Body Machine. Climb up the Body Machine start then traverse rightwards past a belay and up the technical wall to a big hole in the break. Move slightly right again and then straight up the tufa line via superb moves. Enter the massive groove line above and get a sneaky rest at the Body Machine belay. Finally climb up to the giant roof and exit via very powerful moves to a belay up and right. © ROCKFAX
FA. Ron Fawcett, Gill Fawcett 1982 (over 3 days). Followed the line of some of the aid route 'The Prow Route' (Bob Dearman, J.Gerrard 1963) although not the start or middle section.

Sorry Marlow that was a slight detour into the Peak District. Now back on topic and over to Wales.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2014 - 02:19pm PT

Dave MacLeod & Tim Emmett climbing sea cliffs in Pembroke
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2014 - 04:54pm PT

Johnny Dawes, who in 1986 became the first man to climb an E9 grade route - 'Indian Face' in Snowdonia, talks to Peter Beaumont
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2014 - 01:24pm PT

Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia. A Twenty-First Birthday Celebration, by John Cleare in Mountain 117, 1987.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 11, 2014 - 04:14pm PT
Marlow....thanks for helping internationalize this forum. Americans are known for being isolationists but climbers tend to be much more cosmopolitan.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
May 11, 2014 - 06:17pm PT
Yes! Californians like to climb in other places sometimes too.

It makes us even cooler when we come back to California.

Plus, Wales is a great place to train for climbing in California.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 11, 2014 - 06:42pm PT
Oh, yeah, this is sooo California!

Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
May 11, 2014 - 08:11pm PT
That second picture (Mousetrap) is still on my wish list. One day maybe.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 11, 2014 - 08:15pm PT
Maybe you need to add a little cheese to your diet Andy.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2014 - 09:37am PT

Gogarth Renaissance. Andy Pollit in Mountain 117, 1987.

Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2014 - 12:53pm PT

Mountain Rescue Reel 1 & 2 (1949)
[Click to View YouTube Video]
Posted by Mouse on it's own Welsh thread.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 22, 2014 - 12:57pm PT
I was at Gogarth in '78 and didn't even know I was a renaissance man. LOL!














I was just skeered.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 6, 2014 - 11:56am PT

Martin Boysen's new biography: Hanging On.

‘I kicked off my shoes and prepared to climb in stocking feet, aware of an enormous sense of occasion as I laid hands on the rock and stepped up on the first rounded hold. It was not a hard climb but that was unimportant. I felt instinctively at home and at the finish experienced such a surge of happy elation that I knew then I was committed to climbing.’

Martin Boysen’s passion for crags and mountains springs from his deep love of nature and a strong sense of adventure. From his early days on rock as a Kent schoolboy after the war, he was soon among the most gifted climbers of his or any generation, famed for his silky technique.

Boysen made a huge contribution to British rock climbing, especially in North Wales; he discovered Gogarth in the 1960s and climbed some of the best new routes of his era: Nexus on Dinas Mot, The Skull on Cyrn Las and the magisterial Capital Punishment on Ogwen’s Suicide Wall.

For more than two decades, Boysen was also one of Britain’s leading mountaineers. A crucial member of Sir Chris Bonington’s team that climbed the South Face of Annapurna in 1970, Boysen was also part of Bonington’s second summit team on the South West face of Everest. In 1976 he made the first ascent of Trango Tower with Joe Brown. Along the way, Boysen climbed with some of the most important figures in the history of the sport, not just stars like Bonington and Brown, but those who make climbing so rich and intriguing, like Nea Morin and the brilliant but doomed Gary Hemming. He joined Hamish MacInnes hunting gold in Ecuador, doubled for Clint Eastwood on the North Face of the Eiger and worked on director Fred Zinnemann’s last movie. Wry, laconic and self-deprecating, Martin Boysen’s Hanging On is an insider’s account of British climbing’s golden age.

 See more at: http://www.v-publishing.co.uk/books/categories/biographies/hanging-on.html#sthash.lW0ANgn3.dpuf

An interview: http://vimeo.com/98519080

OR

Trad climber
Sep 6, 2014 - 12:59pm PT
When I was a kid reading the stories of Brown and Whillans I would daydream about climbing in Wales and Scotland…. Ending each day at some cozy climber pub drinking with new climbing friends swapping tales of gripping leads. Still sounds nice as I type this.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 6, 2014 - 01:03pm PT

Climbers from the island are known for still doing that - ending a day of climbing at a pub sharing stories and a couple of beers...
Sredni Vashtar

Social climber
out in front
Sep 6, 2014 - 01:19pm PT
I only climb for the beer and tall stories

Sadly we get few perfect climbing days and lots of wet which makes for better drinking

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 6, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
Martin Boysen is one of the best natural climbers I have ever seen. I've climbed with Martin and his main ropemate Rab Carrington several times in the last ten or fifteen years in the States, Britain and Australia.
Injuries and an aging body have made the approaches to climbs more difficult for Martin but once he gets on the rock he floats up like Peter Pan. Long, flowing moves with an "occasional" pause to place pro...poetry in motion.
Sredni Vashtar

Social climber
out in front
Sep 6, 2014 - 01:42pm PT
He grew up in Kent, climbing at Harrison's which is the uk equivalent of Stoney point, over used sandstone with glassy smooth first moves

Its such a great spot
OR

Trad climber
Sep 6, 2014 - 01:58pm PT
Climbers from the island are known for still doing that - ending a day of climbing at a pub sharing stories and a couple of beers…

True that. Not that we did not do that here. My first trip to the Valley I was 21. It was spring, the weather was sh#t. Me and my buddy left our soggy tent in Camp 4 and took a seat at the Mountain Room Bar. Place was almost empty. A few people asked us to join them at their table and we drank and listened to tales for hours….got smashed. Only after the party shut down did I realize it was TM Herbert and friends.
The same scenario in a Welsh pub with Whillans or Brown would have been an awesome experience.


Edit…. Sorry, I should stop hijacking this thread. Great climber pubs around the world with relating tales could be its own thread!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 6, 2014 - 03:14pm PT


I'd like to get there someday...!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2014 - 10:10am PT

James Pearson at Pembroke
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Neil Mawson's Pembroke
[Click to View YouTube Video]
There's an article in the latest Climb Magazine.
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 22, 2016 - 01:21pm PT

Left Wall of Cenetaph Corner Llanberis. North Wales.

[Click to View YouTube Video]

An early ascent of Left Wall by Rowland Edwards and Eric Jones, filmed by Bob Godfrey in 1964. And a bit of pebble and nut history.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 18, 2017 - 02:42pm PT
Thanks to Marlow and others for building this thread!

Of particular entertainment value is the Mountain Rescue Reels from 1949.

Knot-craft befitting an Eagle Scout, not a running belay in sight, hobnail boots on rock, initially the sense that all goes well and controlled on these outings, unless of course, fatigue sets in, and then the ragdoll whipper. Blast! Just when I thought I could point out what wankers modern climbers are!

For a short film, it shows decent production values for the time. However, were I the director, just for dramatic tension, I would've had that partner take a good face plant on his speedy descent going for help, and for sure, that evac team needed to be moving double time on the approach!

The Bob Godfrey short, capturing early nutcraft on Left Wall, (post just above), is of great historical value!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Dec 18, 2017 - 03:24pm PT
This one lacks the charm of the era specific climbing scenes and the indulgence in operational details of the lead-follow scenario so well depicted in the 1949 version, but it's the next link in the theme:

[Click to View YouTube Video]
rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Sep 2, 2018 - 02:05pm PT
I found this old photo of Ricky and me on the last bits of Quartz Icicle…

Thinking back, I do believe that most exposed route I did in all of Wales was Willan's route, Vember (E1 5B), on Cloggy. I did it on a subsequent visit to Snowdonia back in 1980. Done in 1951, Vember is a really necky lead! Steep, too…

rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Sep 2, 2018 - 04:16pm PT
Our 1977 attempt on the Right Wall of Cenotaph… Ricky on the necky lead with very dodgy pro.


When he ripped from his high point, he lifted me a good 10' in the air, he did.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
Sep 4, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
Yikes Rob! Haven't looked at those shots in a while: 41 years ago.

Regarding Right Wall, the nuts were surprisingly good as far as I got, but tiring to place. You'll recall that we had little idea of where the line actually went, as we were trying to do the route without top-down inspection. That is why when I realized that my arms were failing, I decided to take the risk and go for what looked like the next resting spot a ways up. I was correct, as the nuts held, but those twin nine mil ropes stretched like bungee and the fall was a bit longer than expected.

Is it an exaggeration to say that I stopped at a point so close to the ground that I could have shaken your hand at the belay?



rmuir

Social climber
From the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Sep 4, 2018 - 06:46pm PT
While I'm certain we could have shaken hands, that would not have been wise.

With that old-school hip belay, it would have meant we'd both have taken the plunge! 🤣
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