Preposterous Tales*** E2 5b
[Entering the cave., 3 kb]57m, 3 pitches. This route is a wild, crazy trip into the bowels of the earth. It starts as for Quoin, and traverses into the low sea cave to the right, thereafter firing up through a massive blowhole system, to arrive at the top blowhole exit (see photo right). Big, big adventure! Please note that the route is much harder when itís soaking wet. In perfect conditions it may only be HVS, in normal conditions it is around E2, and in wild conditions it is even harder and inadvisable. Check the blowhole exit before you commit, as this gives you an idea of how wet the route is likely to be - it does occasionally dry out, especially with a strong, dry southerly blowing. Head torches very much required (as is an easy-going sense of humour). But then again, thereís also that first ascent date! 1) 5b, 15m. Traverse rightwards into the cave, aiming for its apex. Ape into the cave to reach a good belay 4m inside, on a boulder choke. 2) 5a, 10m. Bridge inwards to where the cave widens. Committing but surprisingly easy moves across the left wall lead to a corner beneath daylight. Belay here. 3) 5a, 25m. Follow the corner above to one of the strangest finishes at Pembroke. © ROCKFAX
P Dearden, D Scott-Maxwell 01/Apr/1995

Ticklists: Victim Of Mathematics' Ticklist of Extreme Justice, The troglodyte squeeze specials, Pembroke Rockfax Top 50, Through Routes!, MIA logbook must haves!, CLIMB Mag's Top 100 routes in Britain, Unusual and Interesting Routes You Must Do VS- E2, UK Lonely Leads, Ultimate E2 ticklist.

Photo: Entering the cave. © Mark Kemball
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PUBLIC LOGBOOKS
This climb is in 132 logbooks, and on 76 wishlists.

Still buzzing :) what an epic 3d climbing experience which is wild and bold. Don't agree with HVS in any way or form but well worth the adventure. Possibly not the best after a chunderring hangover but out of the sun at least ;) For all of you wish list guys, in the style of the monty Python french guardsman, I sticka my fingers up at vous. Go and embrace the subterranean :)
nickstephens - AltLd O/S - 06/Sep/14 with Gareth Greeves

Pitch one and three
gg4419 - AltLd O/S - 06/Sep/14 with Nick Stephens

Awesome fun, though Helen thought type 2 fun. Pitch 2 wet but made no difference.
philhilo - Lead O/S - 23/Aug/14 with Helen E

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 17/Aug/14

Had a mare trying to lead the second pitch by going really low (high just seemed wrong?!) but it felt desperate so backed off it (Tim then went high) then I lead the last pitch. Caving!
Rachel Slater - AltLd O/S - 17/Aug/14 with Tim Newton

What a great adventure
brices - AltLd O/S - 27/Jul/14 with Mike

Ridiculous
dannyboy83 - AltLd O/S - 22/Jun/14 with Ben Ochner

What a journey! Sopping wet cave climbing of the highest order.. Probably the most adventurous route to date. led pitches 1 and 3
john lynch - AltLd O/S - 18/May/14 with Lewis Andrew

Brilliant adventure! Got quite cold by the end.
jonleighton - AltLd O/S - 16/May/14

Worth doing if you want an adventure, but don't do it for the climbing!
Adam Booth - AltLd O/S - 21/Apr/14 with Ed Booth

Wet! Caving!
Ed Booth - AltLd O/S - 21/Apr/14 with Adam Booth

Wow end of first pitch = mental and all of second pitch = mental!!! all in all, Mental!
Maken - 2nd O/S - 19/Apr/14

3rd time I've done it, led first and last this time to let Phil have the meaty cave pitch. This time it was definitely towards the HVS side. (Very dry)
Twisty - AltLd rpt - 19/Apr/14 with Phil Baxter

tonevert - 2nd O/S - 18/Apr/14 with Kevin Faux

Lead the second pitch through the cave. Great adventure! I'll have to tick more esoteric crazy fun stuff like this!
anguskille - AltLd O/S - 18/Apr/14 with Tom Fenwick

Didn't enjoy this route - poor climbing, but good adventure. I am a climber, not a caver it seems. P2 & 3 can be run together. You can also head up where the cave widdens, this'll be the HVS version...
Kevster - Lead O/S - 18/Apr/14 with Tony Johnson

Madness
fennerz - AltLd O/S - 18/Apr/14 with Angus Kille

Great fun!
arose - AltLd - 16/Mar/14 with Giles Cranston

Frank the Husky - 2014

Hidden - AltLd - 13/Oct/13

Out of this world, climbing in one of the most exposed settings ever
steve.warrington - AltLd O/S - 01/Sep/13 with Nik Goile

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 01/Sep/13

Just unreal. Spectacular route. We spent a long time talking ourselves into this. Led 1&3. Ed towed the end of our ab rope across P1 and we left it coiled on the ledge just in case. That made us feel a bit happier. The only real issue was where CC guide says "bridge up into the darkness". Don't. It's clearly a solid roof. Instead you go on into the cave a bit and turn hard right, stepping across. Took us ages to work that out. Other than that we found it all fairly steady, but it was dry. This would be a really really bad place for anything to go wrong.
Longsufferingropeholder - AltLd O/S - 31/Aug/13

Led P1 & P2.
Jim Slater - AltLd O/S - 28/Aug/13 with James

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 11/Aug/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 10/Aug/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 03/Aug/13

Jacob k-d - Lead O/S - 23/Jul/13

The Grist - AltLd - 21/Jul/13 with Sam Simpson

Sam Simpson - AltLd O/S - 21/Jul/13 with Mark Grist

Andrew1 - AltLd - 14/Jul/13 with Hulda

Hidden - AltLd - 14/Jul/13

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 01/Jul/13

Slightly scary, but a great experience
Alice Thompson - AltLd - 01/Jul/13 with Andrew Porter, Michael Porter

david wands - AltLd O/S - 08/Jun/13

Also With rob dyer. Lead the 1st and last pitches.
jonnyboy - AltLd O/S - 25/May/13 with Ben Wolstenholme

Rob84 - 2nd O/S - 25/May/13 with Mason, Ben Wolstenholme

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 06/May/13

Led all the pitches. Remembered the start being hardest before, followed by middle with the last being the easiest. This time the whole thing reveresed. It just got harder and harder - mainly due to the wet holds. There's normally a train of people to follow too, so with us being the first party it was a great adventure but also more interesting route finding. Take long extenders!
Twisty - Lead O/S - 06/May/13 with Greg Slee

started at 4, finished at 11pm... bit of an epic! Bron couldn't find the way on second, and we couldn't hear/see each other. Eventually Jacob and Sam turned up as another team and were able to show her the way. Then we ended up with 4 of us on the hanging belay, below the last pitch, in the dark, with 2.5 head torches to go round... Fun times!
jacobjacob - Lead O/S - 04/May/13

https://vimeo.com/48137489
Stanners - AltLd dnf - 20/Aug/12

We journeyed up into the bowls of the earth like a trio of parasites and it somewhat predictably shit us out again several hours later. Determined to return and finish this after psychologically recovering from the amount of stress endured, it is definitely a route which you can get yourself killed on.
Quarryboy - AltLd dnf - 20/Aug/12 with James Rich, Rob Stanfield, Comrade Shunt

Although I was technically seconding it still felt a bit like leading. The less said about this route the better!
JamesRich - 2nd dnf - 20/Aug/12 with Rob stanfield, Jack Bradbrook

Led the first and last pitches, soaking wet! Also forgot the headtorches so I was panicking a bit before the second pitch but we found the way to daylight eventually. Well done to Dave for an awesome first ascent!
Joughton - AltLd O/S - 10/Aug/12

character building, to say the least. lead P1 and 3
JamieSparkes - AltLd O/S - 05/May/12

CragDog - AltLd O/S - 05/May/12

fisrt and second pitches
barni - AltLd O/S - 14/Apr/12 with fra

benchwarmer - 2nd O/S - 14/Apr/12

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 17/Aug/11

P2, Preposterous route! awesome to have done it, not sure ill do it again though.
Ollie B - Lead O/S - 17/Aug/11 with L.Postlewaith

Hidden - AltLd - 15/Aug/11

led pitches 1 & 2. Top route.
Graeme Hammond - AltLd O/S - 15/Aug/11 with james pcc

One of the most traumatic climbing days ever. I had the old rockfax guide with it down at HVS. These days I consider myself a reasonably competent low e grade climber, however this felt more like caving than climbing. The second pitch was streaming in water so reversed back from the crux to the belay and reversed the first pitch. I would even suggest E3 just to discourage any aspiring E2 leaders...if it goes wrong down there you are in serious trouble...no one can throw a rope down and you can't abb off, there is no leader or second on this climb, in fact probably worse and more dangerous to second. I have no desire to go back in there again, ever.
HappyTrundler - AltLd dnf - 13/Aug/11 with Irish Pete

Great fun, easy climbing but soaking wet - the rain probably didn't help! Probably HVS if it was dry.
thomasadixon - AltLd O/S - 12/Aug/11 with Mike

Mark Kemball - AltLd O/S - 09/Aug/11 with Matt Gordon

Hidden - 2nd dnf - 29/May/11

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 27/Apr/11

GrantB - 2nd O/S - 27/Apr/11 with James, Robertson, ally smith

Hidden - Lead O/S - 27/Apr/11

Put simply; one of the best routes I've ever done. Done on a dry day when the weather had been good for a few weeks so conditions were pretty good, with only a small amount of slime on holds in the cave. Looking at other comments, it seems that conditions play a huge part in people's enjoyment of this route! The second pitch is a real adventure with fun (and slightly unnerving) route finding and great three-dimensional climbing.
Byronius Maximus - AltLd O/S - 27/Apr/11 with Alex Twist

Led P1 and P3 in reasonably good conditions. A simply brilliant outing. Some good banter and wacky maneuvers had us in fits of laughter the whole way though I regretted forgetting my helmet. One of the most enjoyable routes I've ever done, it's hard to recommend this kind of top notch weirdness highly enough!
jkarran - AltLd - 27/Apr/11 with Smith, Grant, Aly

Partner went all the way to the belay point and then came back. Decided it wasn't a good time to have a potential epic as it looked like a storm. Was down as HVS in our guide.
squicky - 2nd dnf - 26/Apr/11 with spidey

Had 1 fall coming into the cave, was too low and to a good swing into the cave! great fun and climbing isnt difficult if you stick to the route!! well worth a go.
ben1987 - 2nd dog - 24/Apr/11 with Adam Coles

Hidden - 2011

Paul Boggis - AltLd - 2011

mwatson - 2011

Adventure! Led 1st pitch.
Adam Coles - AltLd O/S - 2011 with ben park

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 25/Sep/10

lead 1st pitch, Virgil the 2nd and Joe the 3rd. Slimy but fun
hrgcb - AltLd O/S - 25/Sep/10 with Virgil Scott, Joe Prinold

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 31/Aug/10

All pitches
metal arms - Lead O/S - 29/Aug/10

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 17/Aug/10

Lead P2. Good to see it gets the crux on here. Slippery, dark and dangerous. Not to be repeated, and bollocks to HVS - two of us are steady at E2 and one on-sighting 7a/b, we all thought we were jam.
Dave Foster - AltLd O/S - 17/Aug/10 with Andy and Si

Hidden - Lead - 13/Jun/10

Stuck to the dodgy Rockfax description and came off about 8m away from the belay on P2. Took the most incredible fall swinging back through the cave. Prussiked out with a hex. Epics
Gareth Clendinning (UBMC) - AltLd dnf - 12/Jun/10 with James Kay

Hidden - 10/May/10

Hidden - 2010

Serious fun, the rockfax description seemed wrong, who knows! Such a feeling when you get out into daylight
irish paul - AltLd O/S - 18/Oct/09 with Sarah Joyce

Sarah Black - AltLd O/S - 18/Oct/09

Didn't finish. New rockfax guide is very misleading for pitch 2! Don't stick to left wall when it broadens out, go upwards and chimney your way on the right, then back left? Should've read the CC guide for a better description
Kyuzo - 11/Oct/09 with Joe Prinold

what a nasty route. we had a bit of an epic once in the cave, my partner went down and sort of across in the second pitch - which was apparently very dodgey (especially fot the second, me!) so he came back,not without difficulty and resting on a dodgy nut! why go out of the sun and away from the lovely friction to go down a greasy dangerous hole?!
ian d f - AltLd dnf - 12/Sep/09 with Pete H

Best route ever.
Richard Hession - AltLd O/S - 27/Sep/08 with Stu

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Sep/08

In my top ten clims of all time
Cowflinger - AltLd O/S - 23/Aug/08 with Dai Morris

Hidden - Lead O/S - 17/Aug/08

greenclimb - Lead O/S - 17/Aug/08 with Sarah

Hidden - Lead dnf - 31/May/08

Hidden - AltLd - 29/Aug/07

led 1st and 3rd pitch, scary stuff!
TGreen - AltLd O/S - 09/Jun/07 with James Cross

an adventure to be had simply for the feeling when you finally escape, top pitch is the crux with a slippery, thrutchy mantle before the sprint for terra firma.
Alex Mason - Lead O/S - 04/May/07 with Steve Ramsden

Ram MkiV - AltLd O/S - 04/May/07 with Al

feilx - AltLd O/S - 24/Mar/07 with Mike Soldner

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 2007

Hidden - AltLd - 2007

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 27/Aug/06

NeilGriffiths - 25/Aug/06 with Sean

lukea - AltLd O/S - Jul/06 with Al

Mike H - AltLd - 01/Jun/06 with Jamie Smith

lukea - Lead O/S - 16/May/06 with Al

Boy - 2006

nathanmanc - Lead O/S - 2006 with Chris Todd

Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH - AltLd O/S - 2006 with Bryony Weathers

Major Epic
chris wyatt - AltLd O/S - 2005 with barrie doyle

belay bunny turned bad - 2005

Graham, Carl, Silly route, very serious, could easily end up dead!
ASchwirtz - Lead O/S - 07/Jun/04

Simply amazing.
Just Another Dave - Lead O/S - 2003 with cathy?

No headtouch
PaulTanton - AltLd O/S - 27/Aug/02 with Dave Taylor

Hidden - AltLd - 27/Jul/02

Hidden - Lead - 2002

also harry
Billg - AltLd - 18/Sep/00 with Megan Beaumont

dickypips - 2000 with Steve James

haydng - 2000

Tim M - 2000

bullybones - 2000

Done years back. Memory fades but it didn't seem to be E2.
andy_pemberton - Lead - 2000

Hidden - Jun/99

Truly awesome! Don't get any beta (apart from both should bring headtorches!). Just do it!
nickdonohue - AltLd - 31/Aug/98 with Derek Ashworth

Hidden - AltLd - 02/May/98

ChrisJD - Lead - 1998 with rc

Dave Rumney - 1998

Hidden - 1998

Came out after the range had closed. Was hard to explain to the guard at the gate that we were underground and had lost track of time...
phardman - AltLd O/S - 1998 with Jon Bibby

Nicknamed the "preposterous snails" alluding to the time taken to complete the route. A very hot day - suitable subterranen route.
Rich Kirby - AltLd O/S - Jun/97 with Stewart Lancaster

Marti999 - AltLd O/S - Jun/97

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 03/May/97

Hidden - AltLd O/S - May/97

Hidden - AltLd - 1997

Hidden - AltLd - 1997

RichardMc - AltLd - Aug/96 with Steve Gould

michael burrows - AltLd O/S - 07/Jul/96 with mark ryan

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 1996

HVS when I did it!
Tim Sparrow - AltLd - 1995

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
charlielow, hutchay, andrewmcleod, Justin T, French Erick, Alex the Alex, Phoebus, Maciekman, gurumed, alias dave, arose, Siderunner, sgl0jd, JonmapDL, gibsond, MattT88, cbeard, jonnybull, Dan Geh, Aaron Lines, tlmarjot, vertigo714, vanderz, UnkArl, pr1984, Mr Powly, tgeh, Alan100, elephant0907, slacky, mloskot, iceaxejuggler, gjh, Dan Lane, Pete Randall, vincentvega, Ralphie_coombs, Barney, andybuckley, Woodiee, Danhan, Dr Caterpillar, pembrokeshirecaver, Ropeboy, Mark Walter, gareth r, Cardi, andymoin, climber130887, Alaric, Oliver Sherman

Voting
Total votes cast 104
hard E30 of 27
E30 of 27
easy E30 of 27
hard E23 of 27
E219 of 27
easy E20 of 27
hard E13 of 27
E12 of 27
easy E10 of 27
hard 5c0 of 28
5c0 of 28
easy 5c1 of 28
hard 5b3 of 28
5b19 of 28
easy 5b2 of 28
hard 5a3 of 28
5a0 of 28
easy 5a0 of 28
3 Stars44 of 49
2 Stars1 of 49
1 Star0 of 49
0 Stars1 of 49
Bag of .....3 of 49
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Style of ascent

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dnf