Rare Lichen, E9, for Nathan Lee & Oli Grounsell

by Duncan Campbell - UKC Apr/2014
This news story has been read 8,135 times

Close this photo
+Nathan and Oli beneath Rare Lichen, 119 kb
Nathan and Oli beneath Rare Lichen
UKC News, Apr 2014
© Mike Hutton

The bold arete of Rare Lichen (E9 6c) on Gribbin Facet (Clogwyn y Tarw) in the Ogwen Valley, North Wales has seen fast repeats from Nathan Lee and Oli Grounsell. 

Their first top rope session on the route had been at the end of March, quickly squeezed in before heading to a competition at the Indy Climbing Wall on Anglesey in the afternoon.

Keen to head back for the lead, Nathan took a weather gamble and went back to North Wales on the 4th April. Fortunately this paid off and the weather allowed them to return to Gribbin Facet and go for the lead. After a re-acquaintance with the sequence and gear, Nathan tied on first, making a smooth and successful lead, as described on his blog:

"Pulling on with warm fingers the holds seem better and more positive than on the top rope. Arriving at the awkward RP slot I feel solid. But after placing it it doesn't look right, no time to rearrange, press on. Moving around the arete I'm trying harder than I'd like to be, the RP in the back of my mind. Once round onto the front face you can relax, place the key RP's and enjoy an almost hands-off rest. The only problem is the rest is so good you don't want to leave. You could lower off your gear here. There was no chance of this however (You'd only have to do the sketchy bit again!) and pressing on the arête went like clockwork, tick-tacking up, enjoying the position and some of the best moves about."

Oli then followed suit as he described on his blog:

"Once my hands were warm I followed in Nathan's footsteps. With the bold lower half out of the way I began the final arete. The balancy moves felt easier without the weight of the top rope, and I knew I was in there straight away. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was able to savour and think about where I was on the last move, just as I hoped."

We have more details on this ascent to follow - stay tuned.


Nathan Lee is sponsored by: Boreal and Mammut

Oli Grounsell is sponsored by: Evolv, Indy Climbing Wall, Mammut and V12


Forums ( Read More... | 11 comments, 20 Apr 2014 )
In reply to UK chaps .I would guess many readers might think climbing only started at most about three years ago ....First with the use of aid and protection prior to the use of nuts ..that being for some of us in the...
USBRIT - 17 Apr 2014

Yeah I've wondered on some climbs how much '2 points of aid' etc actually made much difference. The Bat sprung to mind only because of reading 'The Bat and the Wicked'. In that case a variety of standing in slings at...
MB42 - 17 Apr 2014

I do wonder to what extent 'a few points of aid' might have helped on The Bat. Sitting on a sling on the Hoodie groove is not going to be of any help for the moves above, and on the main corner once past the roof it...
Michael Gordon - 17 Apr 2014

Times have changed, judging by guidebooks FAs in the pre-60s involving the odd point of aid weren't that frowned upon as theres quite a few listed. I reckon if Dave Macleod had put up Echo wall with 'a few points of...
MB42 - 16 Apr 2014

Oh come off it. USBrit is more in tune with what climbing is about - surely? This is a great effort by these lads - no doubt; but what constitutes 'news' these days?? I think that is the question that is being asked...a...
Greenbanks - 16 Apr 2014

Thanks for that obscure nugget of climbing history - I'm sure that there are some people who've started climbing in the last ten minutes who would've been unaware of it. Anything other insights you want to share? ...
Ramblin dave - 16 Apr 2014

This news story has been read 8,135 times
Return to News from April 2014
Share this article on Facebook
Share this article on Twitter