Climbed Avalanche - Red Wall - Longland's Continuation on Saturday - a great day out.
Topping out above the final slab pitch I touched a sizeable perched block in the short top gully which moved alarmingly and nearly toppled down the pitch. It could have done serious damage to my belayer directly beneath. Another touch by a leader topping out could send it down with alarming potential consequences.
We contemplated trundling it but decided not to as there could have been parties below on what was a superb day for the climb. I'd recommend that someone trundles it on a bad weather day. It's only a few metres from the top of the route, but it's too heavy I think to lift out without several people and/or some specialist equipment.
If anyone with knowledge of where the route tops out is taking a bad weather walk across Lliwedd in the next week or so I'd recommend they do the deed.
I'll also try to contact Llanberis Mountain Rescue to alert them.
There are a lot of loose blocks on Lliwedd - and mountain crags in general. Most of them have been there for a long time and will keep being there for a long time if people take care. There seem to be a spate of posts about loose blocks at the moment, with all sorts of conscientious citizens wondering who the appropriate authorities to contact are, etc. The only surprising thing is that people are surprised to find loose rock on mountain crags and their desire to have others go trundle all these thousands of loose blocks that have been peacefully coexisting with climbers up until now.
I would also thoroughly recommend that no one walking along the top of Lliwedd decides to trundle a big block down a popular route, whatever the weather, under the presumption that rain is hardly going to make it easier for passersby to sense who may be climbing below them.
Sorry Chris, but I think this one is special. I've been climbing 50 years including a large number of outings on UK mountain cliffs and I don't think I've ever found a serious accident so waiting to happen. I've never reported loose blocks before and I have, of course, found many. This one is right where a climber (including me on Saturday) is likely inadvertently to place a hand while making the final easy moves. I touched it and was very lucky I didn't send it down directly onto my belayer. It's now even more precariously balanced than before.
Your reference to a "spate" of recent posts on here about loose blocks perhaps refers to the large block on The Fang at Gowther Crag. Perhaps also to the huge pinnacle on Shadrach. Both of these have been well dealt with following reporting but would have remained accidents waiting to happen unless someone had reported them.
Yes, you are right that trundling is generally to be frowned upon. Perhaps there might be parties climbing on Lliwedd in rotten weather though I think it's not very likely, especially midweek. I will, as I suggested, alert mountain rescue.
Fair enough - sometimes they need to go and perhaps this is one of them. Apart from a few posts on here, there are lots on other mediums...!
Perhaps I'm a little sensitive on this subject after having a team above me on that same route wiggling a big block backward and forward immediately above me, exclaiming "this one's loose!" as though they expected me to say, "Oh, well just pass it down to me then..."