UKC

Lockwood's Chimney - Advice

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 Matty3126 03 Jul 2024

I'm North Wales for trad this weekend (ideally multi-pitch) but the forecast isn't great. I have read that Lockwood's Chimney is an option in the wet.

I'm accepting of the fact that that the chimney will be wet, filthy and it sounds like a bit of a thrash. Are there any gear placements in the chimney pitch? Or is it just a struggle all the way to the top of that pitch with no gear? It sounds very tight in there, is a big fall likely? Or are you more likely to just get stuck?

Any other wet weather route suggestions gratefully received!

 TomYoung 03 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

From what I remember, it's more of a crabwise shuffle sideways, couple of hard-ish chimneying moves to get over round a chockstone/change in height of the cave floor (that you can frig past with a sling if you really needed) then more shuffling afterward then it widens towards the end.

But it's been a few years so maybe someone will be along with more accurate info!

 CantClimbTom 03 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

Lockwood's "gotcha" is to ab down you need more than 1/2 a 60m rope!! So either take 2 ropes or do the extra climb and walk. You can always watch a YouTube of the climb - warning Beta 🤣 that will spoil your onsight if you watch, so don't let your sponsors know you saw it

https://youtu.be/F73bUhrBNlA?si=ylbIsC-1zYTClk39

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 veteye 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

I would go with a happy-go-lucky attitude and just have fun. I seem to remember there were some sporadic gear placements, and including a sling around a jammed stone. 

The walls were greasy in places. I doubt that you will get stuck, unless you are particularly portly. I remember thinking that it was strange to emerge after tunnelling through. 

We just walked down through the trees, after heading over the top.

I think that the subterranean route half-way up the hill off a road bend on Skye is more interesting, so go and try that some time (I cannot remember its name, but it's somewhere up the road to the north of the Storr).

Other places, obviously include Tremadog, but poss the Llyn peninsula, and Holyhead Mountain on Anglesey.

Post edited at 08:21
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OP Matty3126 04 Jul 2024
In reply to TomYoung:

Thank you for the info Tom. That makes sense and sounds reasonable!

In reply to CantClimbTom:

That's great, thanks! We have two 60m ropes so are all set for the ab. Although will also consider the walk off depending on the tat at the top and conditions. Thanks for the video, I'm ashamed to say I have watched it. The sponsors will never know...

In reply to veteye:

Thanks for the information. Good to know! I'm definitely feeling confident enough for us to give this a go and my climbing partner has given it the green light. Thanks for the other route suggestions, will definitely check them out.

Post edited at 09:08
 chris_r 04 Jul 2024
In reply to veteye:

> I think that the subterranean route half-way up the hill off a road bend on Skye is more interesting, so go and try that some time (I cannot remember its name, but it's somewhere up the road to the north of the Storr).

That sounds amazing. Going to have to search the UKC database to look for that one.

 Groundhog 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

My overriding memory of doing Lockwoods on a wet day at this time of year is the lush vegetation you have to fight through to get to the start and on the descent. You get absolutely soaked.

The crack pitch below the actual chimney is a tad greasy in the wet and felt hard for a V Diff to me. Well protected though.

Enjoy!

 Alkis 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

The chimney bit is surprisingly easy and feels quite secure even in the wet. The bit that was utterly nasty was the crack at the end of the first pitch, although I did do it in February so it was wet and green as opposed to just wet, I don’t know what it would be like now.

 Babika 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

I've done it 3 times and it's never been wet or filthy! The approach might be a bit muddy but should be fine. It seemed pretty clean and dry inside. 

Do take a headtorch and don't, whatever you do, climb out of the window by mistake and head up the outside face and one of our friends following us did.

We are still mystified how he thought this was the route

Good luck!

In reply to Matty3126:

I remember a bit of chimneying up in the darkness where you aren't really lying down but you're not standing up either, then you arrive in a passageway and it turns into walking/shuffling for the most part. Don't remember gear being a worry.

The approach pitch along the ledge through the jungle could well be the worst bit.

 nastyned 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I found the approach pitch the worst. The chimney was just awkward. Though if I'd remembered I was doing a traditional climb and was not at a climbing wall I'm sure I'd have found it easier. 

 CantClimbTom 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Groundhog:

The first time I was in those parts was also wet, I saw that horrible greasy crack thing and decided the climb wasn't right and I was in the wrong place either literally or metaphorically and we went somewhere else not Lockwood's.

OP l... Don't get put off the horrible first bit 

 birdie num num 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

Lockwoods is a good choice on a dreary day. It does have a couple of manky approach pitches starting in the wooded area below if you want the full experience. I'd carry on to the top and walk off personally. If you're down that way, go and have a go at the Gwynant Crack and enjoy being spat out by a very inviting looking severe

 ExiledScot 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Matty3126:

Didn't the original description say you should do it after the pub, with a full moon and no head torch? 

OP Matty3126 20:49 Mon
In reply to Matty3126:

Thanks all for the replies.

We did Lockwood's on Saturday. Pretty straightforward in the end but had great fun... once we finally found it. Rockfax description of the start is poor. The inside of the chimney was bone dry. Almost disappointingly so

We abseiled off the flake at the end of the 3rd pitch. The crag is quite vegetated in places and the ropes got really tangled up in a spiky bush/tree part way down. Not sure I'd recommend it when it is so green.

Post edited at 21:09
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Didn't the original description say you should do it after the pub, with a full moon and no head torch? 

And something about a large party of large men…?


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