PODCAST: Factor Two - Episode 1: Becoming the Master

by Wil Treasure Nov/2017
This article has been read 11,009 times

In this new podcast series, Wil Treasure shares stories from the climbing world through interviews with both well-known and lesser-known characters. In-depth, personal accounts that aren't read from a page on a variety of themes. Settle down with a cuppa and have a listen...

Episode 1: James McHaffie and Jerry Moffatt talk about their differing experiences on Master's Wall, Clogwyn Du'r Arddu.


Every generation of climbers looks to improve on the performances of the last. The saga of the Great Wall on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu provides one of the best examples of this in British climbing. The climbers aimed to improve the style and the difficulty of the lines: Joe Brown abandoned his efforts with a peg at his high point. Pete Crew surpassed it using pebbles for aid in the thin cracks of the top pitch. A young John Allen freed the line in 1974.

In the early 80s the eyes of the best were drawn a little rightwards - the new line would eventually become Dawes' masterpiece Indian Face, but before that John Redhead famously tumbled from its upper reaches. He marked his highpoint with a bolt.

Jerry Moffatt was making a name for himself as a bold and strong climber. He inspected the line and, offended by the bolt, chopped it and headed rightwards to create Master's Wall, one of the boldest and hardest routes around at the time. The next step in this progression? To onsight the line. In 2000 a 19-year-old James McHaffie attempted the feat. It's an experience which has lived with him ever since.

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