267m, 11 pitches. The cave pitch, which is absolutely amazing, is easy compared with the Great Chimney!

Important Tips for the summer ascent that the guidebook route descriptions skip: 1,Full Waterproofs and headtorches essential for all parties - especially in bad conditions as you can't see very well in the cave.
2, Be very experienced in multi-pitch climbs b4 doing this, whatever your rock standard. Give yourself a whole day - it'll take hours longer than whatever you expect it to take.
3,The great chimney is mis-marked in the recent edition of Classic Rock as being near where the Door Jamb is - it's quite a bit higher.
4, You'll need to be John Dunne to climb the Door Jamb out of winter. If you avoid it on the right, try to traverse on the early vegetation terraces even though footprints going upwards will suggest otherwise. Alternatively there is a good rock traverse ledge at the foot of the buttress but you'll have to down climb into a big flake and then lower yourself onto a ledge to get back into the gully: you'll be below the right hand chimney pitch (awkward).
5, The Great Chimney is lightly over-looked by most guides as simply 'awkward' - it's a lot more than awkward! Only 100 Classic Wales climbs gets close by saying it is 'ferocious'.
6, Do not take a rucksack on your back for the Great Chimney pitch, even though it looks alright from below: if your second is quite a weak climber and can't take it, get to the top of the chimney, anchor direct from your harness to a sling on the massive flake directly above the chimney, pull all the spare rope through from your second - clove hitch the middle of the rope to your harness, take your figure of eight knot out of your harness - weight the end of the rope with a hex, drop it down to your second, tie the rucksack on and pull the it up. That done, tie back on again.
7, In the cave there is some knotted rope to 'help' you get to the ledge. Only use this if it's really wet or iced in winter. Instead the original 60's route description was correct when it said climb the opposite side of the cave (righthand wall) to that of the rope and tat on good ledges and then traverse across the inner chockstone to reach the ledge traverse - or just climb direct to the ledge but it's harder and you'll be tempted by the tat.
8, protect your second on the ledge by: sling on inner chockstone and couple of cams before dip. After the low dip on the ledge, there is a place to put an absolute bomber wire in the roof you've just dipped under - nearly any size will do as i recall. 8, If you have low visability, when you exit the gully, do not head immediately left over the wall as this leads to the cliffs. Head right/straight forward for 60-100 yards until a clear and well-walked path is met and then head left to return to the col.
Good luck

Thomson, Simey, Clay, April 1900 Apr/1900

Ticklists: Classic Rock, North Wales Rock Graded List, Classic Chimney - England and Wales, North Wales 100 Classic Climbs, Enigmatic Affection: The Dark Art of Chimneying.

Hidden 30/Jun Solo O/S
Hidden 30/Jun Solo O/S
Gibbo 06/Jun AltLd

Without doubt the worst route I have ever done.

with Ollie Keynes
olliebristol 06/Jun AltLd
Mike Bayley ??/2015 -
Mike Bayley ??/2015 -
Hidden ??/2015 AltLd
Babika 22/Sep/14 2nd

A botanical excursion. Numerous pitches grasping at bundles of fronds whilst "climbing" vertical lillies. The guidebook doesn't seem to mention any of this...pretty ungradeable and quite terrifying at times as the feet paddle in muck. Wellingtons with crampons might have helped. Lots of short wet, slimy chimneys with no gear. The Cave Pitch is fantastic but ignore point 7 above. Everyone does the left wall on the tat. Nobody does the right wall.

with jamie skinner
DaveB61 13/Sep/14 AltLd
MikeDowsett 13/Sep/14 AltLd

Character building! Now that is a day out in the mountains! Great fun if a little harrowing at times. Well done Dave for persevering with the Great Chimney Pitch. Dave led all of the awkward chimneys and cave pitch.

caradoc 10/Jul/14 Solo dnf

I very rarely give up on a route but this one was so unpleasant I turned back after the 4th pitch. I squelched through copious amounts of veg, put my foot in the hidden carcass of a dead sheep, climbed the odd bit of slimy rock then decided that was enough. It might have been better with a partner although I'm not sure black humour could have improved this 'climb'. Is this a classic? A classic of what? Character building? It's just a revolting gully that would normally be avoided but someone called it a classic and put it in a guide book.

1-2-3-40 05/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

Quite dry, but still got wet. An adventure, some of the route description is now not possible to follow, but the way is easy to follow. Probable VS to most people.

carl_123 21/Jun/14 Lead O/S

A waste of a time.

Si ??/2014 -
Allanfairfechan ??/2014 -
nj.harris ??/2014 -
thedatastream 26/Jul/13 AltLd

Unfinished Business - A Climb For Jon. HVD my arse.

BenedictIEP 26/Jul/13 AltLd

Type 2 Fun!

j.buckley87 26/Jul/13 Lead O/S

Great adventure, "The Chimney" pitch is a beast, one of the hardest VDiffs I've been on but all good fun.

Alex Thompson 26/Jul/13 AltLd rpt

Returned to complete the route in honour of Jon's memory. Dry sunny day made it a lot more pleasant. Mainly soloed/moved together in trainers. Ben had fun leading the chimney, so I took the lead, it would be worth of VS on its own elsewhere! Cave pitch was straightforward, but fun even as the dampest section of the whole climb. Rewarding day out, will need to return for a winter ascent!

beds74 02/Jul/13 Lead

Did I enjoy this.....can tell you my 2nd didn't...I led all the pitches in the wettest conditions, 50 mph winds on top, low cloud, so done authentically. (Is that an extra tick? ;-) Found it a little confusing in places to find the route, particularly after pitch 5. Aided one small section as it was just nails in big boots with moss and grease! Every pitch a battle and the end is fun....erm...Had to use tat a little as only a ghost would have made it up that wall in the wet! The awkward undercut chimney doesn't exist in my mind ignore the description in the North Wales guide and just carry on up to the last pitch. The gear is better than it looks from below. Good luck. Only tackle it if your confident, or like me wanted the tick for the Classic Rock! And yes I enjoyed it.

with Craig Hartley
JasonV 08/Jun/13 Lead

climbed in the dry (cheating?) - cave pitch a beauty.

with Matt
andy_e 04/May/13 2nd O/S
Joel_e 04/May/13 2nd dog

Horrible, wet, mossy gully climb, climbed in B2 mountain boots and full waterproofs

Hidden ??/2013 -
TheAndyBarker ??/2013 -
btc 20/Oct/12 Lead O/S

Deifinitely a character building climb...! Big boots until the Great Chimney

with Gabby
Harri777 28/Jul/12 AltLd


with Chiz
Hidden 28/Jul/12 AltLd dog
wilkie14c 23/May/12 Lead

Amazonian adventure! 3.5 hours in flippers

with Dave Clarke
JGW ?/Apr/12 AltLd

First climb outdoors in a while. It brought back to me all the things I love about climbing - delicate moves, exposure, warm dry rock... The chimney pitch felt about VS - good lead by Matthew

with Matt Tilley
Hidden ??/2012 -
Hidden ??/2012 -
TheAndyBarker ??/2012 -
TheAndyBarker ??/2012 -
captain dringo ??/2012 -
Hidden ??/2012 -
Alex Thompson 20/Aug/11 AltLd dnf

Horribly wet, suffering from mild hypothermia. Left cursing Thomson & Ken Wilson...

Graham Westbrook 23/Jul/11 AltLd O/S

Beast of a climb! Chimney pitch in wet/slimy conditions was harder than Mur Y Niwl!

Hidden 23/Jul/11 AltLd dnf
craigjfjones 04/Jul/11 AltLd

Quality!! Very keen to see it in winter nick now

lithos 29/Apr/11 AltLd

Dry ! Cave pitch is great fun and easy, chimney is hard ! PB,DD,S+C

Simon Caldwell 29/Apr/11 AltLd O/S

Rob led the Chimney pitch (the hardest VDiff in the world), Rob and I both led the Cave Pitch, various people led the rest. A fantastic route which I even enjoyed at the time, possibly because it was dry!

with Pete B, Dave D, Rob, Carmen
Bob ??/2011 -
Tobias at Home ??/2011 -
Tobias at Home ??/2011 -
dan-8990 09/Oct/10 AltLd O/S


with AO
The Green Giant 08/Oct/10 AltLd O/S

wet shit hole!

with Dan with the van
Hidden 01/Oct/10 AltLd
Hidden ?/Sep/10 Lead O/S
Slick 27/Jun/10 AltLd

Less said the better - maybe it will seem more classic in the morning!

Egons Issy 27/Jun/10 -

pre-Alps training! Rich lead cave pitch

with Kate Standeven, Kevin Vans-Colina, Richard Nicholson
Lawrence Eccles 17/May/10 Solo O/S

Chimney pitch is the hardest. Feet feel like they could slip at any moment. Using pretty much just hands, and looping arm through in-situ rope, I got my foot up into the crack at the back allowing for a hands off rest. I was glad for my long reach as I grabbed the finish hold and swung onto it. The cave pitch started nerve racking as the hand holds are not great and the foot ledge is rather wet and it is dark. on reaching the arete feature the climb becomes easy although I still used a knee to get onto the boulder.

aipattison 05/Dec/09 AltLd dnf

bit of an epic...

with Henry
sweenyt 05/Dec/09 AltLd dnf

had a bit of an epic.

with UBMC
decs 19/Aug/09 -

Great fun. Perfect weather for this one (piss wet and windy). Classic adventure. Chimney is the hardest bit.

with Sam
sgl 19/Aug/09 AltLd

in the rain

with duncan
towdman 28/May/09 AltLd

Beautiful day, 6 hour climb including a couple of tea-breaks, interesting route finding, occasionally holds consisting of decaying vegetation and then I got to lead the Cave Pitch for a finale. Quite an adventure. Punctured front and back tyres 1/4 mile from car park on the way home. Many thanks to Ped and Sue at the Red Lion in Ty'n y Groes for putting us up at such short notice!

Daniel Armitage 28/May/09 AltLd O/S
with Paul Armitage
A Crook 04/May/09 Lead O/S

Dirty, moss filled, water fall full of dead animals. Absoluelty superb yehaa

Hidden ??/2009 Lead
Hidden 20/Dec/08 AltLd β
david morse 20/Dec/08 AltLd

A banter filled expedition of the most pristine calibre. Enhance enjoyment by picking the shortest day of the year, dont start the route until 12.30, and ensure hurricane winds and zero visibility greet you at the top. dont forget headtorch, map AND compass, victory bottle of stella, and full, working waterpfoofs. Probably VDiff climbing but VERY wet, on the verge of ghyll scrambling. Final pitch must be one of the most enthralling experiences in north wales, as close to a scottish winter experience you can get with no snow. Get involved!!

with Todd,Lea+Ric
Hidden 20/Dec/08 AltLd O/S
cheeky 28/Sep/08 AltLd

This climb is cold, wet, mossy, dark, slimey, green, scarey, in know way anywhere as easy as a Vdiff but definately one of the best climbs and mountain days out you will ever have!!!

mark4344 28/Sep/08 AltLd

A true adventure. It felt like climbing into a lost world due to amount of vegetation, moss and slime all the way up. Chimney pitch way beyond VD, poss upper end of VS. Don't ever expect dry conditions, it would take several Napalm strikes for pitches to be dry and free of moss! as for a clean lead, we climbed for survival. A definate must do and save for a rainy day, as this route will never be dry.

with Matt Payne
jimorothy 17/May/08 Lead O/S

Epic and amazing (though you won't think that while you're on it). Agree with comments below - can a V-Dif include a brutally hard overhang in a very wet, mossy, snotty, slimy chimney with nothing for your feet and a leap of faith to get to the top? It'd be a shame to grade it VS though - XVD is bang on! Obviously a lot of climbers must miss the Great Chimney/converging walls pitch out, a shame as 1, it's the crux and 2, the amount of swear words you excrete going up it, especially if raining and you're wearing a big rucksack, will impress any Turrette's sufferer! The superb cave pitch is easy in comparison! Original grade XVD - Thomson sure wasn't kidding! Belter.

with Rachel Crolla
tedburt 04/May/08 AltLd O/S

Climbed in rain

with Aaron Burdett
Hidden ??/2008 -
Hidden ??/2008 -
BALD EAGLE 11/Nov/07 AltLd
with Will Wykes
Hidden 27/Oct/07 AltLd
Dom Whillans ??/2007 -
Hidden 30/Sep/06 -
Caralynh 30/Sep/06 -

Grade? Impossible to say! Unless there is a system that copes with slime, vegetation, and dripping, greasy vertical walls, with dead sheep en route. Style? Various, and whatever worked at the time. Also scene of first proper leader fall, from the top of the great chimney, down about 5m.

Jonny M 09/Sep/06 AltLd dog
with Andre Knirsch
Hidden 09/Sep/06 AltLd rpt
PanzerHanzler 08/Jul/06 2nd O/S

Mike Bailey, Mervin Lamacraft & Adrian Fagg

with Mervyn Lamacraft
Ian McNeill ??/2006 -
DanH9883 ??/2006 Lead
with Julia
Steve Lenartowicz ??/2005 -
with Clare
jimshrimp 14/Jun/04 Lead

An interesting climb for it's grade. Heavy on atmosphere. The Converging Walls pitch from deeply suppressed memories was a little 'out there'. And I dislocated my knee for the first time whilst on the crux of the Cave Pitch. Luckily i didn't come off, it popped back in, managed to complete the lead, and the long walk back to the car!

lukewilliams 24/Mar/04 2nd
Hidden 12/Feb/04 AltLd β
DerwentDiluted ?/Oct/02 AltLd
with J. Ellson
Hidden 09/Jun/01 Lead O/S
Hidden ?/Jun/01 Lead O/S
IanGilbertJones 11/Mar/00 Lead O/S
alan moore ??/2000 Solo
runestone ??/2000 -
Gman ?/Dec/99 AltLd dnf

Wet and slimey. Backed off after 4 pitches.

with Dan
Dave Musgrove Jnr 06/Jun/98 AltLd
with Stuart Magill
ColdAndWet ??/1998 Lead
Hidden 09/Aug/97 AltLd O/S
Hidden 18/Jun/96 AltLd
Hidden ??/1996 AltLd
Rob Davies 01/Sep/95 AltLd

Very memorable on a wet day - "We're going to get wet, so let's do something where we couldn't possibly get any wetter."

with Dave Ellis
Hidden 23/Aug/95 AltLd
Budge ?/Jul/95 AltLd O/S
with Mike Pyecroft
Ian Archer 24/Jun/95 AltLd
with CDW
chris d williams 24/Jun/95 -
cornishben ??/1995 AltLd O/S
Hidden 05/Dec/93 AltLd
RichardP 09/Jun/91 AltLd O/S

Climbed with big boots, and rucksack whilst dodging the rain

with Steve Massey
phardman ??/1990 -
babymoac 25/Nov/89 Lead

Fopllowed by Chris B & deek on another rope. Ronan was carrying the beers - though he didn't know it.

with Ronan
Nick Biven ??/1989 AltLd
biggianthead 20/Jun/87 -
with M
Hidden 09/Aug/86 AltLd
Hidden 28/Jun/86 Lead
wynaptomos ?/Feb/86 AltLd O/S
nigehughes ?/Sep/82 AltLd
with Jim Hindman
leland stamper 07/Nov/81 Solo O/S
Nevil ??/1981 -

Do not know year

Nigel Bond 23/Sep/78 AltLd
with Tony Cuddy
mikej 29/Jul/77 AltLd
with Mike Byles
Hidden ?/May/77 -
Chris Craggs ??/1975 -
uphillnow ??/1965 Lead
with John Sargeant
oldmanofmow 08/Feb/58 AltLd

Well iced throughout. Lower pitches easy. Door Jamb turned on right wall very icy, a very worrying long stride on to a very icy hold. On belay below Door Jamb a great block of ice fell on to the belay ledge 1 min after I had vacated it. Great cave difficult in near darkness. Alternate leads with Max McGlashan. RUMC meet

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Votes cast 28
Votes cast 29
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