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.
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