The Skull*** E4 6a
[Morning sun, 2 kb]

Rockfax Description
Simply amazing. It has three pitches that are hard, the final of which is stunning.
1) and 2) As for Subsidiary Grooves.
3) 5c, 18m. From the belay, move right past the groove of Lubyanka and climb the next groove - all very technical and sustained - then traverse left to the triangular ledge belay on Lubyanka or combine with the next pitch for cleaner ropework.
4) 6a, 17m. From the right-hand end of the ledge make a mind-bending move to gain the hanging groove in the arete. Follow this with difficulty to a good ledge and another shared belay over on the left on a good spike.
5) 5c, 40m. The big one. Move up the slab above heading right below the big overhang/diagonal groove. Move right along here, stepping down slightly near the arete where the groove becomes more vertical. Regain the now-overhanging groove and bridge up in the most spectacular of positions until it eases into a slab. Continue on to a good belay above. © ROCKFAX

Ticklists: Extreme Rock, Top Five Pass E4's, North Wales Rock Graded List, Good E4s, ROCKFAX - Top 50 North Wales Climbs, UK Lonely Leads, Ultimate E4 ticklist.

Photo: Morning sun © Luke Brooks
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This climb is in 83 logbooks, and on 25 wishlists.

Great Route First two pitches were very green, the fourth pitch was confusing didnt realise you start under the groove arete so traversed the face wall until i could reach the arete and move round it into the groove. definitely made for a bold lead. but the final pitch was great if not abit cold
Michael Allday - AltLd O/S - 30/Sep/15

Lead P2 & 4. Chuffed with P2 - really strenuous, but I found a knee bar that allowed a rest and gear placement half way through the crux.
Ed Babs - AltLd O/S - 18/Aug/15 with Iain Moodie

James Oakes - Lead O/S - 29/Jun/15 with Gareth Hooson

bad day at the office :(
Fragmod - 2nd - 29/Jun/15

phil64 - 2015

Ian craigie - AltLd - 2015 with Tim Niell

Callum_Johnson - AltLd O/S - 23/Jul/14 with Uisdean

Uisdean hawthorn - AltLd O/S - 23/Jul/14 with Callum_Johnson

Absolutely incredible! Led all 3 hard pitches.
Alex Mason - Lead O/S - 02/Jul/14 with James Mchaffie

Pretty wild route, each pitch route rate as E4 6a in my mind (and not an easy one at that)
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing - AltLd O/S - 29/Jun/14 with Nick Bullock

Luxulyan - AltLd O/S - 25/Jun/14 with Tom Murrell

Amazing route! Led pitch 2. Got very cold belaying gwen on fnal pitch and set off with numb feet. Foot slipped on the last pitch just as I was latching the jug and I feel to the bottom of the groove with route stretch. Gutted but got back on and repeated all the hard bits on the pitch and the final move fine. Top class pitch.
shed_hed - AltLd RP - 21/Jun/14 with Gwen Lancashire

Stunning top pitch
Steve Crowe - Lead O/S - 21/Jun/14 with KM

led the 5c pitches, the top pitch is one of the best I've ever done
tim newton - AltLd O/S - 19/Jun/14 with rachel slater

Pitch 2 and 4. Last pitch was pumpy on my tired legs.
Rachel Slater - AltLd O/S - 19/Jun/14 with Tim Newton

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 18/Jun/14

Fell off the 6a pitch... A few times. Arms fried from Cloggy the day before.
Rob Pitt - AltLd dog - 18/Jun/14 with Jo Bertalot

Had to bail due to midges!
Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing - Lead dnf - Sep/13 with Si Verspeak

Toby Dunn - AltLd O/S - 28/Aug/13 with Dave Pickford

Brilliant! An amazing last pitch with a hundred metre void snapping at your heels, exciting even on second! Mike led the first hard pitch (bold, especially with that dodgy flake - putting gear behind it isn't a great idea, Mike didn't - then surprisingly strenuous. I got the crux and promptly fluffed it by doing it wrong in an overly strenuous way. Took four goes, on the last go I figures out the easy way - once again, being unable to read the route quickly let me down... Mike did the phenomenal top pitch - up till then it was a good route but that pitch made it brilliant. Boiling hot day so t-shirt weather on the crag.
Misha - AltLd - 13/Jul/13 with Mike H

After Jon forgot his harness, I fell on the first 5c pitch. Once we got to the belay of the pitch the midges decended and after changing plans a few times escaped up Main Wall being eaten alive.
Duncan Campbell - AltLd dnf - 12/Jul/13 with Jon Ratcliffe

datoon - AltLd O/S - 08/Jun/13 with K

khawk - AltLd O/S - 08/Jun/13 with DT

Safer than lubyanka. Amazing top pitch. A quarryman groove for mortals.
frank ramsay - AltLd - 06/Jun/13 with Aaron

Aaron Lines - 2nd - 06/Jun/13 with frank ramsay

jamesturnbull - AltLd - Aug/12 with aiden

Stone Idle - 2012

Hidden - Lead O/S - 29/Sep/11

Marcus - 2011

Hidden - 2011

GeoffG - 2011

Hidden - 2011

Hidden - 2011

Hidden - 2011

dan gibson - AltLd O/S - 05/Jun/10 with nick bullock

Luke Brooks - AltLd O/S - 23/May/10 with John Orr

soph - 01/Jan/10

Horrible starting pitches led to the 5c pitch which seemed really dangerous with loose rock and very poor protection. Abbed off.
mattyork2 - AltLd dnf - 31/May/09 with Andy Reeve

Seymore Butt - 2009

morganator - AltLd O/S - 01/Jun/08 with Sophie Whyte

tuftynick - 2008

Led top 2 pitches whilst my partner beat himself up with the club of defeat!
Rich Kirby - AltLd O/S - 16/Jul/05 with Ash

Hidden - AltLd - Jul/05

Hidden - Lead - 01/Jun/03

Hidden - Lead O/S - 11/Jul/99

The big loose flake at the top of the first hard pitch isn't there anymore. Neither are some of my fingers!!
Dave Musgrove - Lead dnf - 30/May/97 with Nigel Baker

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Jun/96

Dave Musgrove Jnr - AltLd O/S - 30/Jul/95 with Nick Ashton

1 point of aid
michael burrows - AltLd O/S - 30/Jun/95 with richard parry

1 rest on 6a pitch
Roget - Lead dog - 06/May/95 with jon

Hidden - AltLd - 1995

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 1995

Bulls Crack - Lead O/S - 1995 with RW

richparry - 1995

Glenn Sutcliffe - 1995 with keefe

Lead pitches 3 & 4 found the top pitch the crux!
Andy Edgar - AltLd - 1993 with Hugh Woodland

Hidden - AltLd - May/90

Hidden - Lead - 06/Aug/89

andybirtwistle - AltLd - 23/Jul/89 with Mike Arnold

PaulTanton - AltLd O/S - Jul/89 with Mark Hounslea

sadams - AltLd - 11/Jun/88 with Andy Mitchell

John led pitch 3 and 4 in one runout, I found it desperate with poor gear. When I arrived at the stance he looked up the top pitch and said your lead, I thought he was joking but no. It was akin to climbing a groove up the prow of a ship, some wild wide bridging led up to an old peg, stupidly I lassoo'd it from below bridged up to it and put my finger through its eye, it took me several minutes to calm myself down and leave go of it so I could properly clip a runner The position was awesome every time you looked to place your feet you were aware of a huge void!
Paula Hamilton-Gibson - 2nd - 15/May/88 with John Mckeever, Luke Steer

andy gittins - Lead - 1988

Hidden - AltLd - 1987

William Robertson - Lead O/S - 1987 with Emily, Steve, Shaun etc

I had to rest on the top groove. Take lots of Rock #4's.
charlesmfrench - AltLd dog - 11/Jul/86 with Ian Milne

Big fall when I pulled a hold off above the crux. Trevor Hodgson & Jimmy Jewel just above.
shark - Lead dnf - 14/Jun/86 with Steve Etherington

keefe - 01/Jun/85 with Johnny Adams

Hidden - AltLd - 30/May/83

Stayed up all night and was almost hallucinating at the top of this. Quite a trip. Quent fell off the top pitch and snapped one of the old pegs. I led the first two pitches. Great day out.
Ian Jones - Lead O/S - 1983 with Quentin Fisher

Hidden - Lead - 1983

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Jun/82

Peg used on top pitch (wet).
Mark Kemball - AltLd - 26/Jul/80 with John Jefferies

Marcus - 1980

Marcus - 1980

Marcus - 1980

Marcus - 1980

Hidden - 1980

Hidden - AltLd - 1980

Mike Owen - 13/Jul/77 with Chester Dent

steve L - AltLd - 12/Jul/76 with sharpie

I tried the crux free but could not avoid using 2 pegs (the standard at the time). Mick led the top pitch in fine style; I felt the guidebook drop out of my back pocket and watched it disappear forever as I followed...
petemeads - AltLd - Jul/75 with Mick Brady

Great Route First two pitches were very green, the fourth pitch was confusing didnt realise you start under the groove arete so traversed the face wall until i could reach the arete and move round it into the groove. definitely made for a bold lead. but the final pitch was great if not abit cold
Michael Allday - AltLd O/S - 0000

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Total votes cast 34
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