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 UKC Articles 16 Dec 2021

Eben Muse shares a list of fantastic Welsh cracks to (quite literally) get stuck into...

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In reply to UKC Articles:

No Ferdinand (E2 5b)! Shocking!😉

 Andy Reeve 16 Dec 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

What a list! Plenty I haven't heard of, thanks.

I think the article is missing the link for a logbook tick list. Maybe this one

In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks guys! First climbing article I've written (in English).

Here's the accompanying ticklist (featuring Ferdinand of course, it's only not in the article because my experience of it is looking at it, and deciding to come back when I'm less knackered):

Very happy to make additions and thrilled to hear recommendations!

 Flavio 16 Dec 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice one Eben! This got me very excited for some crack climbing again

A few more recommendations from me, at least ones I can remember for Wales:

Foil (E3 6a) Quality finger crack

Atomic Hot Rod (E5 6b) Never done it but looks amazing and desperate

Grond (E2 5b) Classic hand size

Fingerlicker (E4 6a) Dreamy and unique finger jamming first pitch

Comes the Dervish (E3 5c) Another classic finger crack

Neb Direct (E4 6a) Like an "easier" version of Cobalt Dream, i.e. desperate!

Pretty Girls Make Graves (E6 6b) Haven't done it but hear it's a finger width crack

Winking Crack (E3 5c) Infamous OW on top-out, at Gogarth also T-rex was also unique, shame it fell down

Pigott's Climb (HVS 5a) Last sections is a superb slippery corner from hands to OW

The Corner (HVS 5b) Joe Brown classic with bomber hand jams all the way

Vember (E1 5b)November (E3 5c) All kinds of jamming required 

Curving Crack (VS 4c) All types of wide techniques, chimneying and thrutching

The Grooves (E1 5b) I remember this as 100m of quality hand jamming and thrutching

Cracking Up (E2 5c) Striking line, starts fingers and ends in offwidth!

In reply to Flavio:

Thanks Flavio, a great few additions there (although a few are in the extended ticklist which I failed to link). We've never met but you're one of those people who always seems to appear on obscure (crack) routes that I'm looking at on UKC!

 ianstevens 16 Dec 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice to see some other pervert has done Come Inside (5.9). An absolute horror show.

 Flavio 16 Dec 2021
In reply to ianstevens:

I've failed to find Come Inside twice, first time I got lost, second time was blocked by the high gated fence... anybody know how it is approached now?

In reply to UKC Articles:

I’d be interested to see what folks would make of I’m fairly certain it’s not VS. 

In reply to ianstevens:

Like I said...! I lost the coin toss! 😆 At least it's quite protectable!

In reply to Flavio:

I couldn't possibly confirm but I've heard rumours that it might be beyond the fence... Near peppermint tower!  

 Offwidth 16 Dec 2021
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Spanked us on a goodish day so tough even for YMC VS standards. Herford's was pish in comparison (YMC MVS).... must be E1 given snowdonia grades. 

In reply to Offwidth:

Some other good ones are;

The Mau Mau (E4 6a) Tricky

Manatese (E4 6a) Hard 

The Wow Wow (E4 6a) Harder

Neb Direct (E4 6a) (I'm two rounds in at the moment, round three next year)

Mangoletsi (E3 6a) Classic Pant Ifan roof pulling

Pincushion (E2 6a) More of the same

Igam Ogam (E1 5b) Great e1, lots more cracks up there.

Cumbrian Yan (E6 6c) Direct to Igam, new this year

Super Crack (f7A) Fun in the woods, take some tape

Strawberries (E7 6b) Flavio should get on this!

Ysgo Crack (V1) Nice Llyn climbing

The Path to Rome (E3 5c) Sideways crack climbing

Post edited at 17:36
 ianstevens 16 Dec 2021
In reply to Flavio:

It was years ago when I went there, but I’d guess that you would allegedly hypothetically access it by going over/uparoundanddown the fence

 ianstevens 16 Dec 2021
In reply to myrddinmuse:

> Like I said...! I lost the coin toss! 😆 At least it's quite protectable!

I vaguely remember being more worried about the combination of the slate shower and having to remove my helmet to get in it than the protection - but it’s all relative. Just incredibly hard work for a crack chump!

 PaulJepson 17 Dec 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

I noticed that Doom is on the ticklist. Does that qualify as a crack climb? Only done the first pitch and bailed because it was both filthy, loose and rubbish but none of it looked like a crack climb to me. 

Edit: On the sporty side I'd also add Rattle Those Tusks (6b)

Post edited at 13:29
In reply to UKC Articles:

Superb article, and good to see hoseyb, once of these parts, getting some love.


 Spillers 17 Dec 2021
In reply to myrddinmuse:

Nice article Even!  I wrote in to Climb magazine in 2010 about a miserable time thrutching about on Monolith Crack before retreating.  So pathetic I won a pair of boots . Great day out!

 Martin Bagshaw 18 Dec 2021
In reply to myrddinmuse:

Dinorwig Unconquerable (E3 5c) would fit on your list quite nicely.

 Stone Muppet 12 Jan 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

If you're looking for more misery in the style of Monolith crack but harder, don't forget Wales has a good amount of caving to offer! It's only a few metres long but I found ascending the squeeze chimney 'crux' of Aggy Outer Circle to be very, uh, character building last weekend. Being a few hours from the surface certainly adds to the commitment. And the Darren crawl may not be as tight or vertical but is certainly a quick way to clock up mileage wriggling through holes.

Photo of the Aggy thing here, though the pair in the that photo appear to be descending not ascending

Post edited at 09:59
 Ian Parsons 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Stone Muppet:

< .... a quick way to clock up mileage wriggling through holes. >


 profitofdoom 12 Jan 2022
In reply to Ian Parsons:

> < .... a quick way to clock up mileage wriggling through holes. >

> "....moleage...."?


 Ian Parsons 12 Jan 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

I don't know whether specifically male or not - but those cavers can certainly make a hell of a mess of your lawn.

 skinne 20 Jan 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Fantastic stuff, thanks for sharing, I've enjoyed reading your logbook entries either on climbs I've done, or have been looking at, and as you say, keep coming across Flavio too. We may yet bump into each other.

I, perversely, enjoyed Monolith Crack, so much so that I went back, to make an offering of another climbing partner to the squeeze god. It was definitely harder the second time, was convinced that I was stuck more than twice, but somehow deflated my buttocks or something to make sidewards progress... 

 Offwidth 20 Jan 2022
In reply to skinne:

I couldn't quite get in the cleft of Monolith and tried very hard... wiggling with deflated lungs not knowing what's to come is scary!! I then climbed the outside as an offwidth (about HVS?) but made it look so hard that my partner said "I'm not following that", so I reversed it. Before an ignominious abseil escape I had a look and discovered the lovely De Selincourt's Variation which I wasn't aware of and I'd recommend (sadly not in the logbooks). After the struggle on pitch 2 just stay in the light and climb the outside wall on the right.

 PaulJepson 20 Jan 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

That crag seemed to have right weird grading. It must have been sand-bag city with the old guidebook. Last year I did Zig-Zag (upgraded from S to HS, worth at least VS 5a), Yob Route (upgraded from VS to HVS and felt top of the grade at that; bold sections with shonky gear and a safe HARD move at the top which could be 5b), and Herford's Crack (upgraded to HVS but I think more VS 5a). There looked to be bail-gear on Monolith when I was there but not even the promise of swag could have got me on it. 

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