/ Pembroke Routes with Fixed Gear - Feedback requested
For some of these routes the knowledge is good, others they don't appear to see any traffic.
I have personally clipped the pegs on 11 of these routes and always treated them with the respect I have always treated pegs in sea cliffs.
Other assessments of routes in the guidebook are being made from the Rockfax route database, and the UKC Logbook database. I am also in contact with plenty of active climbers and am gathering feedback from them. The routes below are all ones where the information is either completely absent, or a little old.
All feedback gratefully received - the more opinions we get the better.
Bristol Cream - Peg probably not crucial.
Rust - Relies on 3 pegs but there is other gear. I did this in 1998 and it was fine, but probably isnít now and I canít remember how crucial the pegs were.
Hollow Caves Bay
Knock Yourself Out
The Obsession Box
All have pegs. I have little info about repeats of these.
Star Wars Area
Empire Strikes Back
Eat, Drink and Beat Gary
Big in America
I think Big in America gets done but have no info on the gear.
There are lots of pegs in the Leap. Most donít appear to impact on the grades. Many of the West Wall routes have been climbed recently and had their grades re-confirmed.
Night-Seeker - no ascent since pegs gone.
Half Man, Half Beest - no information on repeats of this and it relies on three pegs.
Grey English Morning - I am pretty sure that the peg on this isnít crucial but again, my knowledge is somewhat dated.
I am leaving out the three routes left of Heugamont since they rely almost entirely on fixed gear and see few (no) ascents.
Orange Robe Burning - Peg helpful but not crucial.
Enter the Goat - Peg is back-up-able.
Ships that Pass - Peg helpful but not crucial.
Charisma - Probably E4.
John Wayne - Peg not crucial.
Rising Tide - Pegs not crucial but it was useful. It was an easyish E4, probably a bit higher in the grade now.
You Got Me Into This - No ascent since peg gone. Grade unconfirmed.
Shot by Both Sides - Peg not crucial.
Seaside Salamander - Peg useful but not crucial.
Tie me to the Tyburn Tree - Peg not crucial.
Space Face - none of the pegs are crucial.
Grezelda: The two pegs high up are in good nick, but even when they're gone it wouldn't make it dangerous, just very run out above a clean fall
John Wayne: The weird metal next to the peg is fairly ok, peg nackered. Without these 2 bits, probably hard E5 rather than steady E5
rISING tIDE: Agree that without the pegs, just top end E4. Pegs currently ok though
You got me into this: Apparently there's small wires near the missing peg
I haven't done this but I know people who have (5+ years ago) and irrespective of the pegs, it's thought to be E6.
I had a look across to this from Minotaur on Saturday and couldn't see any pegs low down. There's some tat high up, so maybe this is attached to a peg? Also, where on earth does it go on that lower wall?!
Did this again on Saturday. E6 6a? Will remain this grade when the peg goes. Even without the first thread. Take RPs.
Can't even remember there being a peg.
Thanks both, great feedback, exactly what is needed.
Half Man - I put the line on the 1995 topo after seeing it chalked up. I remember thinking that there were suddenly far more holds on the wall than I'd expected. The gear at the top is 2 threads and a peg, so it may have been the thread you saw. There is supposed to be one peg in the lower wall.
Not sure about 6a for the top move of Orange Robe - you are quite tall!
The peg on Enter the Goat seemed ok a couple of weeks ago. I can't remember seeing anything at the same level to back it up but there is gear a bit lower. I wasn't really looking so i could have missed something.
Rising Tide -
Pegs were not too bad 2 years ago. Take plenty of small cams and wires/ RPs. I remember putting some OK-ish gear in next to the pegs.
If pegs were rotten it would still be E4, just a tough one I think.
> Not sure about 6a for the top move of Orange Robe - you are quite tall!
Definitely one of those reachy 6a/6b moves. Slightly easier, but less obvious, but not as far as on the Minotaur...
There was also one on my Forbidden Fruit on St Govans East...
Yes there was. Not crucial though, I did the route a year or so ago. Still solid mind!
I've printed the list out and will take it with me on my next visit...
We have video of that route coming up Tom. Third ascent.
Unless it's been replaced in the last year, or possibly two years, - unlikely, I think - the peg on Enter The Goat is the original, and seems to be lasting better than many of its contemporaries; that is, however, purely from visual inspection of the sticking-out bit. I think it's probably a reasonable guess that it's outlived the goat! It is, for the record, an SMC (Seattle Manufacturing Corporation) shallow angle; I originally had the impression that it might be some type of stainless steel, but in the course of a recent conversation with one of the technical team at SMC (trying to source SS pegs) I gathered that they had never used stainless steel in their piton range.
There's a good, but inobvious, wire placement a foot or two (from memory) below the peg, ie about a foot above the obvious horizontal wire/smallish cam crack, and a probably less than adequate placement,if you can hang on, just above the peg; probably better to ignore it and keep going.
The route imediately to the left - Goats That Go Gnash In The Night? - has its own peg, somewhat lower that the ETG one. In practise I think it probably uses the same wires etc as ETG; the routes are very close together and I think that's what I did. So in that case it would be similarly protectable without its peg as ETG, but a little harder overall; perhaps E4 6a instead of E3 6a.
Does your new guide cover Craig Llong? I presume not looking down your list.
If it does, most/many of the harder routes here rely extensively on fixed gear. (Eg. 7 pegs in Impetus Now).
These are nearly all in a terrible state but some do have some fixed protection so could potentially see peg free ascents.
Some more feedback on Pemb routes
Bristol Cream: peg definitely not needed
Grezelda, Grezelda: Indeed safe, but runout without pegs
Big in America: I replaced the lowest peg years ago (probably crap by now). I have heard a rumour that the big block in the middle has gone
Eat Drink and Beat Gary: Did it years ago and do not remember any fixed gear being crucial (won't guarantee)
John Wayne - Peg is a titanium peg (probably the best peg in pembroke)
> Big in America: I replaced the lowest peg years ago (probably crap by now). I have heard a rumour that the big block in the middle has gone
Not sure if it has. I looked across at this a few weeks ago and couldn't help but notice a scary looking 'stuck on' block.
Howling Gale- without pegs probably touching E5. Myguess is that the pegs wouldn't hold a big fall from the easier section above the crux but could probably be lowered off.
No. Horrible place - keep away. Very nasty routes with pre-fudged gear on first ascents. Add two grades to most and lop a star or two of them.
Which stuck on block do you mean here? There is a huge stuck-on block which is right of the line, but left of Insignificance. This block has nothing visible holding it on, however it was there when I took the crag photo in the 1995 Rockfax as well!
I have reports from people who have done it that these pegs are not crucial.
Re: Howling Gale - I fell on the pegs a few years back, they didn't look in great nick then, but held a small fall. Not sure I'd like to test them again.
There's no gear near them, but bomber runners (a thread) in the break around 10 feet (if I remember correctly?) below. You'd be doing the crux some way above gear, and even after the hard move there's some way to the next gear. I can't imagine it would make E5 since it's fairly soft for E3 with the pegs and wouldn't be overly dangerous without, but certainly exciting. I don't really have the experience to offer a grade above E3 though.
To my mind the crux would go up to E4 (fingery 6a with good gear just below feet). It's if you blow it before the next break that you'd be in for a pretty nasty fall. You'd certainly be pretty scared on-sight.Bold E4/ just maybe bottom end E5
Forbidden Fruits- peg totally unneccessary though comforting. Good nut just above. No change in grade
Yes, I agree. Did that myself a couple of years ago.
> No. Horrible place - keep away. Very nasty routes with pre-fudged gear on first ascents. Add two grades to most and lop a star or two of them.
Oh. I quite like it there. And its the nearest to my folks so will be visiting on multiple visits shortly.
Interesting comment on "pre-fudged gear" - what does this mean? Pre placed do you mean? Are pegs not always pre placed?
When you say add two grades. Do you mean on the E side? If so I agree for a pegless ascent but if the pegs were replaced then the grade (at least for Impetus Now) would be fair I think.
Am looking to climb Impetus now but dont think id be able to get this without fresh pegs.
Well, I mean that, in our opinion, the routes were climbed and graded by someone who had intimately inspected the runner placements and placed the pegs in the preceding day or so. The nature of the rock means that finding gear is very hard (a lot of off-line runners, and odd placements). Basically, the descriptions as they were written up, seemed to apply to one person only. For anyone coming later the routes are desperate to onsight, hard to protect, loose in places, quite dangerous and no where near worth the stars given. I would have preferred descriptions that reflected this rather than making them sound like popular *** sport routes.
That was an approximation. Some of the routes are bound to be different and we only sampled a few (and had a bad day, as you can tell).
Sorry Alan - did not mean to sound as though i was having a go at you or your description of the Llong. I do love the place as feel it combines super exposed climbing with remoteness and hard grades. which mean in addition its always quiet and probably uninteresting for a Rockfax i suppose.
I didn't think you were having a go at all.
I was having a go at the people who write those ridiculous over-the-top descriptions for their routes though.
I am sure the place could be good if I got the chance to appreciate it as a local, but it is typical of many places which can be over-sold by guidebook descriptions leaving people who have made the effort with a bitter taste.
Surprisingly the rest of North Coast Pembroke seems to be packed with great crags with hardly any stars or glowing right-ups.
> Surprisingly the rest of North Coast Pembroke seems to be packed with great crags with hardly any stars or glowing right-ups.
I am hoping to check out Rainbow Zawn which is nearby - i think this has Suzies Plot on it and would love to at least have a look at this line. Was (is?) North Pembrokes hardest line?
Any areas youd recommend as I only know here and Carreg y Barcued (which is brilliant).
Do you reckon you should just maybe subtract one from the stars of any route at Pembroke whose grade depends on the quality or existence of fixed gear?
I did like Strap Up regardless, and I myself could do it safely at (albeit full on) E3 regardless, but I know what I go to Pembroke for (the same as everyone else btw).
However under my own assumption of grade overlap, or at the merest whiff of "coward" from the Pembroke adventure fraternity, I shall retract most of the above, despite them having to be legends on the scale of Penning for me to think they've got any more nouse than the rest of us.
er... no, I don't think that is a good idea.
Found another one - Always the Sun, reckoned to be E7 anyway, but it does have 3 pegs which are likely to be fairly crucial.
Didn't Martin Crocker replace those when he made his DVD?
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