/ Gogarth route recommendations?

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Kevster - on 20 Sep 2012
Hi,
I have 2.5 days at gogarth coming up.
I have been there, but can't remember anything about it or the routes. Obviously there are many routes with reputations.....

My mate wants A Dream Of White Horses, he leads upto HVS.
I lead upto E3 on a good day, on limestone E1 comfortably and want quality.
High tide will be mid morning, and low mid afternoon. It'll be a weekend.

What must do routes/crags should we fill our time climbing?
What length ab rope is best?

Cheers, Kev

MHutch - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

While you're bagging Dream, do Britomartis and Concrete Chimney (both HVS), or Quartz Icicle (E2) if you're feeling good. All absolute quality routes.

Strand would be another recommendation if you need non-tidal. There are HVSish routes on the upper tier for your mate, too.

Gogarth (the route) is a bit marmite - loved by some, though, and you could swap pitches with your mate at the required standard.
AJM - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

Everyone I've spoken to says that Strand is nice (walkin). In the same area I enjoyed Emulator (I think, the E1 corner that's either emulator or imitator) as well as Gogarth on the main cliff.

At Castell Helen I enjoyed North West Passage (50m rope to access should work). There are a number of VS-HVS things your friend will probably enjoy leading.

If you fancy some classic adventure then Red Wall (long rope, 80m or so, allows you to do it in one, or you can approach on 2 abseils for which a 50m should do) or Mousetrap (probably ok with a 50-60m rope) are probably the trade routes.

If you are near Dream then whilst I've not done them people say that Britomartis and Concrete Chimney are other HVSs well worth doing. If you abseil into those then a 50m rope will get you to the ledges on Dream/CC (above the first pitch of Wen) I think.

Other things apart from the Strand on my wish list (so not done but interested in doing):
- A whole bunch of other E2-ish sorts of things on the upper tier whose names escape me
- Rat Race & perhaps Big Groove (if the belays aren't sketchy, have heard some tales!)
- Moon and Wendigo on the south stack crags
- Atlantis-true moments-free bird and perhaps Kalahari.
{Moon and a-tm-f are traversey though so maybe less suited to your friend seconding. }

GrahamD - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

The Strand is a must do on upper tier - just a walk in.
I think Concrete Chimney is the stand out route in Wen Zawn.

You should look at one of the E1s on the main cliff for the full atmosphere - Wen Zawn is great but doesn't have the same scale. Whilst at it o route on N.Stack gives some nice variation.

On s.Stack, True Moments / Freebird is classic but maybe not best with a weaker second as there is a tricky traverse bit.
highclimber - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: NW Passage, The Strand, Dream would be a good first outing to GG
nawface - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

As said concrete chimney, same zawn as dream. The main pitch is quality. Same for Quartz Icicle. Careful with the wind, Wen Zawn can get the wind howling through it.

Get on main cliff. Emulator is great and could be done while waiting for the tide to drop.

Castell Helen is also a good shout as already said, Consider 1st pitch Atlantis into second pitch of North West Passage. Think it's a 60m ab into the belay ledges. Blanco is a good HVS there.

That would be a great 2.5 days.
Kevster - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to nawface:

Thanks, there seems to a commonality to some of the venues/suggestions.
More suggestions welcome.
Hat Dude on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to nawface:
> (In reply to Kevster)

>
> Get on main cliff. Emulator is great and could be done while waiting for the tide to drop.
>

Emulator is good & you could carry on up Bezel on the upper tier at VS 5a

stonemaster - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: South Sea Bubble? Good luck.
GrahamD - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

As fill ins at the end of the day (especially if at N.Stack or Wen), there are a couple of good single pitch HVS/E1s on Holyhead mountain.
Kevster - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

I have been to holy head mountain, got to say that I'm more up for the sea cliffs. But it is one to keep on the back burner.
neilh - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:
Resolution on the main face --- superb.You should just be able to sneek onto the start beore high tide.
Owen W-G - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

Recommended full on days out:

Day 1
Start at Castell Helen right by car park (ab in required, can split the ab at the massive half height ledge if not long enough, but think 60m will comfortably see you to the bottom) do Rap (2 pitch VS) and NW Passage (2 pitch E1), then stroll over (leaving ab rope in car) to the non-tidal right hand side of the main cliff (mostly single pitch-ish, not really the full on Gogarth MP adventure) for any of The Strand/Aarvark (both essential E2 pitches) and Initiator? (the VS next to Aardvark/Emulator)

Day 2
Wen Zawn (ab rope needed, can't comment on length) - warm up on Britomartis easy HVS, followed by any of Dream, Concrete Chimney (better than Dream IMO), Wen (crap compared to previous 2), all HVS, Quartz Icicle E2 if you are up for it. Maybe check out N Stack Wall (the one where the Cad is) for the good E1/E2 there if you've time/tides are right.
Owen W-G - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:

Just seen the tide times.
Can't remember about Castell Helen but if morning high tide rules that out, an alternative quick warm up can be had at Holyhead Mountain enroute to the main cliff. It's traditional to do Breaking the Barrier (E1) and one of the VSs in under an hour, then go for Strand/Aardvark/Initiator before aiming for a low-tide finish to the day at Castell Helen. That would be full on!
conorcussell - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: For a real main cliff feel you should do nightride. Easier 1st and 3rd pitches around VS for your partner to lead and a mega E1 (should be E2) main pitch. The Strand as everyone else is saying is also fantastic!
Owen W-G - on 20 Sep 2012
Bring loads of big extenders and slings for Dream. At least 8 ideally
Kevster - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Owen W-G:

Sounds pucker. I have a rack and extenders that a big waller would consider comprehensive.

Seems like a 60m ab is likely to be enough (we do have a 100 too).

middlevern - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to AJM: I would say don't even think about doing red wall if your partner only leads HVS - you really want them to be fully comfortable on way out there e2 (at least) ground. It moves around quite a bit and the gear is still quite dubious. Seconded for mousetrap. They are both really full on places.
My suggestion if you wanted something harder but which is really great would be resolution direct - amazing climbing and great position. Superb hanging belay before final pitch. Way better than gogarth (though that is good too, and pretty straightforward).
Have fun!
kevin stephens - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

For s first visit to Gogarth something at the far end of the Main Cliff is a must so you can enjoy the approach traverse and take in the whole Gogarth experience. Hyperdermic E2 and Scavanger HVS would fit the bill nicely
AJM - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to middlevern:

I can't quite recall, but I think my partner when I did Red Wall was probably leading HVS/E1 at the time. He certainly hadn't done E2 because Mousetrap a year later was his first! The climbing on the blunt end isn't actually hard, so if you are experienced on the ground (ie you know what sort of thing obviously shouldn't be pulled on!) and are experienced with exposed positions and the like I wouldn't rule it out. It won't be suitable for all HVS leaders to second, but some would waltz it - I'm sure Kev can judge which his is. Mousetrap does wander a bit more, but of course the climbing is even easier...
kevin stephens - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to AJM:
Mousetrap used to be graded HVS and didn't seem unreasonable at that
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to kevin stephens: I've not done Mousetrap, but I certainly wouldn't recommend Red Wall as a first visit simply because it's loose.

Wen Zawn/Britomatis area and Main Cliff would be good venues. Both very exciting, with solid rock and great routes at HVS-E2. North West Passage is another good suggestion, but perhaps not quite harassing enough to give a full Gogarth experience!
climbingpixie - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to middlevern:

I agree with AJM - I have HVS leading mates who I'd feel happy to take on Red Wall because the climbing isn't too hard and they're competent with less than perfect rock and exposure. One thing for the OP to be aware of though is that the first pitch, although only 4c, feels about E1 due to the quality of the rock so might be best for him to lead all of it. And definitely run p2 & 3 together - though that's probably obvious when you get to the 'belay' between the two. It's also non-tidal and the approach could be done in one ab if he takes his 100m ab rope.

OP: All the routes I've done at Gogarth have already been mentioned so I'll just add another vote for Concrete Chimney (amazing, better climbing than DOWH) and point out that if you're around South Stack waiting for the tide to go out then you could do worse than doing Anarchist on Left Hand Red Wall as it's non-tidal and better than going to Holyhead Mountain (not that Holyhead Mountain is bad, it's just not Gogarth).
AJM - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to climbingpixie:

I used that belay! ;) I'd run out of kit by then, the previous pitch was so "well protected" that I managed to fill it with all of my quick draws. Pus equalising all those pegs took a fair bit of gear in itself...
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to AJM:

I really think that taking a Gogarth newbie to Red Wall would be an act of cruelty. There's great solid rock with bags of atmosphere all round, much of non-tidal so why would you want to take someone to climb chimneys made of sand and broken biscuits? I didn't mind Red Wall as a perverse curiosity, but much I'd rather do some proper climbing.
nawface - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

the comment about doing a route like Scavenger to get the traverse is a great shout. Took my friend on Nightride for his first Gogarth route. He loved the traverse.
Si dH - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:
DoWH and Concrete Chimney are both brilliant. CC quite a bit harder but both HVS. Quartz Icicle looks great too but not done it.

At Main Cliff, Emulator, the Strand and Gogarth are all really good. Don't under-estimate the top pitch of the latter - I did all those in a day and that was the last pitch...I nearly came off! The 3rd or 4th pitch, up a VS corner, is really great. You can ab off the Strand from 3 good new pegs so need to carry shoes on it (usually a problem at Main Cliff).

At Castell Helen Atlantis/True Moments/Freebird has already been mentioned - for info the first pitch is a great HVS pitch so your mate could lead that. I only got that far then had to bail due to weather though. Escape form half way is easy up VS ground.

If you get caught out for tides and Upper Tier is wet, there are some really good routes on Holyhead Mountain. My favourite was Bran Flake.
AJM - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

If you don't like loose rock you won't like it. To some people it gives the kind of adventure that is quintessentially Gogarth and memories that last long after the memories of more conventional routes will have faded. Let's face it, for some people routes like that are their favourite Gogarth ticks.

Love it or hate it, no big must-do list for Gogarth would be complete without at least one of the South Stack adventure routes. That's why I've suggested it.
Jon Stewart - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to AJM: I know what you mean, and I agree that sampling South Stack choss at some stage is an essential part of the Gogarth experience. Just not to begin with, considering how much good rock there is.

In some ways I found Red Wall a bit boring since it's mainly just shuffling around in the sand and choss, rather than actually climbing. Let's face it, most climber like to pull on holds! Toiler On The Sea was my first route there - I'll never forget it.
Pagan - on 20 Sep 2012
In reply to AJM:

> If you don't like loose rock you won't like it. To some people it gives the kind of adventure that is quintessentially Gogarth and memories that last long after the memories of more conventional routes will have faded. Let's face it, for some people routes like that are their favourite Gogarth ticks.

Nicely put - totally agree. I'll remember Red Wall and Wendigo for years after I've forgotten tedious jug ladders like Toiler On The Sea - in fact, I've forgotten just about everything about that other than that it was, err, a tedious jug ladder.
Kevster - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Pagan:
Thanks for the chatter there. Quite insightfull without giving the Beta away.

So I assume FULL rack of draws is the way forwards AJM?
2 sets of nuts? or just lots of slings...

My second is gunning for his first 7a sport at the moment. So I am sure he has enough climbing skills, but caution noted too.

Thanks, Kev
AJM - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

Kev,

Use your own judgement, but for Red Wall/Mousetrap I don't think we regretted taking as many 120cm slings as we owned (in fact we regretted not owning more!), plus many draws (I probably had about 20 - useful for runners and also to provide the means to equalise many point belays, you probably won't have only 2-3 pieces in!), double rack of nuts, set and a half of cams - I worked on the theory that quantity developed a quality all of it's own and so chucked in gear pretty much wherever I saw it, so I got through a lot of runners.

For more conventional Gogarth probably fewer slings and draws, although I still find I use a fair few cams from memory (I carry a load of wires by default so never really think about how many I take).

Hope this helps,

Andy
Al Evans on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to stonemaster:
> (In reply to Kevster) South Sea Bubble? Good luck.

If you do SSB you may as well do Nice n' Sleazy and Talking Heads as well, they make a nice trio while gazing at The Cad etc.
MHutch - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

Yes, full rack of draws. And I'd say doubling up on nuts will be a good move. Something like Strand will gobble up shedloads of gear. Dream has a hanging/semi-hanging belay off flakes as well, so taking lots of slings will make life easier for you and your second.
Jon Stewart - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Pagan:
> (In reply to AJM)
>
> [...]
>
> Nicely put - totally agree. I'll remember Red Wall and Wendigo for years after I've forgotten tedious jug ladders like Toiler On The Sea - in fact, I've forgotten just about everything about that other than that it was, err, a tedious jug ladder.

If you thought Toiler was tedius, I'm surprised that you managed to get to the top of The Strand before you became so bored that your retinas gave up processing the incoming light and your motor neurons refused to command your muscles to contract in protest at the enormous size of the holds, solidity of the rock and amount of worthwhile protection.
Kevster - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
Sounds like the Strand is a path.... sold! Though it is high on the list anyway, so only a matter of time.

Ta Al too.
Pagan - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> If you thought Toiler was tedius, I'm surprised that you managed to get to the top of The Strand before you became so bored that your retinas gave up processing the incoming light and your motor neurons refused to command your muscles to contract in protest at the enormous size of the holds, solidity of the rock and amount of worthwhile protection.

Bravo sir!

There was a point though - just because you didn't enjoy Red Wall (and that's fair enough, it's not to everyone's taste) that's not a reason not to do it on a first trip to Gogarth. It's a classic for a reason and looking at the OPs logbook he was climbing rarely traveled Lundy E2s the other week so he obviously has an adventurous streak - Red Walls might be right up his street, maybe more so than The Strand and its forgettable ilk.

Re. the rack debate - North Wales Rock gives some info but personally I'd take a double set of wires, a set of micros (offsets and/or RPs), lots of cams and as many slings as I could lay my hands on for most things. If I was going into Mousetrap Zawn or Red Walls I'd take more slings and maybe some hexes too, the larger ones especially can be quite useful.
Kevster - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Pagan:
Thanks, sounds like I don't have to unpack my rack from last week really. Maybe a few more slings.
I suspect the second will have a shout too on the likes of red wall.
Pray for good weather!

Night, Kev.
Mark Reeves - on 21 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: You must do the route Gogarth the first and classic of main cliff, also emulator is good down there. Both E1 classics.

If you do dream then try britomartiz another HVS very close to Dream. I always prefer the concrete dream. Concrete chimney then the last classic pitch of dream.

Finish your half day by doing either north west passage or true moment free bird at castell helen.
matt perks - on 22 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: Spider Wall is also a very good HVS at Wen Zawn. Same access as Britomartis so doing both is a good option for minimising ab rope faff.
stonemaster - on 22 Sep 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Yes indeed. Have gazed at the Cad and wished the eyes have been dug out with a rusty piton. How the heck anyone even conceived of that line....brrr. Nice n Sleazy and Talking Heads on the other hand looked tasty but ran out of time. Ta for the reinforcement. Something for the future...:)
mike lawrence? - on 23 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: If your partner wants a full on trad experience that they'll never forget then i'd second Kevin Stephens idea that you should check out tides and aim to traverse along the foot of the main cliff to one of the routes in the middle of nowhere. Alternatively if you really want to feel you are in the butt end of nowhere then i think abseil down into Easter Island and traverse across towards the main cliff and climb one if the E1's. I've never felt so apart from the rest of humanity! Technically i would think routes there would be well within both your capabilities but wow what a great day you might have... Personally i've never understood the point of climbing on Holyhead mountain unless you are a real local and popping along for a couple of hours.

mike
GrahamD - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to mikelawrence aka jonnienomates:

That long grass slope above the Easter Island abseil is something else, isn't it ? The bottom of N.Stack wall also has a really cut off feel presumably because of the small stances and lack of crowds.

Holyhead Mountain is a superb venue a) if you just have to fit in one last route even though the sun is low or b) you have a mixed ability group which would otherwise have eliminated a trip out there.
Al Evans on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to mikelawrence aka jonnienomates)
>
> That long grass slope above the Easter Island abseil is something else, isn't it ? The bottom of N.Stack wall also has a really cut off feel presumably because of the small stances and lack of crowds.

If you walk round the corner into the cave, there used to huge numbers of scarey seals honking at you, they might not live there anymore though :-(
Kevster - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Al Evans:

Just looking at North west passage & A/TM/FB at castell helen, I realise they are E1/2 are there any easier pitches or are they consistent throughout?

Thanks.
AJM - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

First pitch of both about HVS I think - done nwp and that's prob about right, and have heard the same from mates re a-tm-fb
GrahamD - on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

You can take a choice of pitces to get from sea level back up to the ledge from VS to HVS. The next pitch is a tricky traverse where the main difficulty is.
Martin Haworth on 24 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster: My recommendations would be to consider the following options:
Day 1: Main Cliff: Resolution Direct then Nightride
Day 2: Anarchist (E1 on Red Wall) followed by The Sind (E3 on Yellow Wall)
Day 2.5: Kalahari

Owen W-G - on 26 Sep 2012
In reply to Kevster:

Can we get a match report?

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