This year Rab have teamed up with four of their athletes to produce lists of lesser-known but highly worthwhile routes from around the UK. In an effort to get people out of their comfort zones and into some less polished, less familiar venues, we are offering prizes to those who go and seek out these less popular lines.
The second of our lists comes from Welsh climbing stalwart Libby Peter. Based in North Wales, Libby's list uncovers a world of secluded sea cliffs and quiet inland valley crags often invisible beside the well-tracked circuit.
Claiming your prize is simple (in theory). We've hidden three waterproof pockets on three of the routes from Libby's list. Climb the route, retrieve the pocket and you'll find details inside of how to claim your prize.
For those that get there after an even more eager climber has already retrieved the pocket or who find that their chosen route isn't one of those with an accompanying prize pocket, never fear, you can still win a prize. Simply take a photo of yourself on any of the routes from the list and upload it to the 'Rab Routes' UKC gallery. We will pick our favourite entries to receive a prize. Bonus points, as always, for creativity and gurning.
1. 'Bramble Buttress' (VD), Craig y Gesail, Tremadog
Seeking out this route will probably take you to a whole crag you've not visited, even though it's next door to the ever-popular Tremadog cliffs. Seldom busy, sometimes a smidge vegetated (the clue is in the title!), but always guaranteed to bring a smile to your face - especially the top pitch. One for a family outing. Take trainers and saunter off, or take an extra ab rope and go find the top of some of the equally classic but lesser-known VS offerings hereabouts.
2. 'Reade's Route (Summer) (S), Crib Goch, Llanberis Pass
Lofty and alluring, you'll have spied this buttress glowing in the evening sun high on Crib Goch while you were languishing on polished holds down at the Cromlech boulders. And you'll have wondered 'what goes up there?' Now you know. Every bit worth the hike, every bit worthy of classic status. In fact, it's exactly because of the effort invested that the sense of satisfaction is all the greater. Save it for a sun-filled afternoon, and you can't fail but be impressed with the pure magic of rough mountain rhyolite beneath soft fingertips.
3. 'Fisherman's Friend' (HS), Porth Dafarch, Anglesey
A little route that will give you a big smile. Tear yourself away from the beach at Porth Dafarch, faff about trying to find it, faff more rigging an abseil but then relax and claim your prize. There are no nasty surprises on this gem of a corner climb. Brittle-looking yet solid. Lichen-festooned yet clean. And runners galore taboot. Avoid bank hols (because of parking) or days when a fret threatens to engulf the coast, otherwise, it's a route for all seasons.
4. 'The Ramp of Pink Emulsion' (VS 4c), The Range, Anglesey
A mini multi-pitch adventure that everyone raves about these days. Less committing than it's Gogarth big brothers, but no less scenic. Serious too for the second, unless you firkle in plenty of gear. Check the tides, check the swell and have yourself a memorable day at the sea-side. It's one I've not actually done but can't wait to!
5. 'Gallop Step' (HVS), Clogwyn y Bustach, Gwynant Valley
This two-pitch gem famously starts and finishes on the ground. Reason enough to seek it out. It's also a queueless outlier so you'll most likely have it to yourselves. Go as equals and place as many runners as you can muster; otherwise the second gets the raw deal. Combine it with a swim in the lake, or one of the VS/HVS cattle themed combos on it's more popular neighbouring crag Clogwyn y Wenallt.
6. 'Man from Uncle' (E1 5a), Trinity House Walls, Gogarth South Stack Anglesey
Pick a sunny late afternoon when you fancy something a bit different from the usual on Castell Helen. Finding the ab point, and negotiating the traverse around to the headland is slightly faffy, but don't let this put you off. The situation is wonderful, the climbing absorbing, and the rock solid. Mostly.
7. 'Ferdinand' (E2 5b), Clogwyn y Wenallt, Gwynant Valley
Elegant and brutal, short but protracted. The battle will only be won if your instinct for 'hanging in there' is finely tuned. This Wenallt crack line may look innocuous, but suitors seldom find it so. Take comfort in the fact that you won't be the first person to be spurned, and enjoy the ambience and fine lake view instead. Marvel at Joe Brown's tenacity, and make a mental note to come back when you're feeling more robust.
8. 'When the Lion Feeds' (6c+), Hornby Crags, Great Orme
A twenty metre Orme sport route with delusions of grandeur, and a good stepping stone to the monster feel of Castell a Gwynt. A fluffable roof followed by steady away face climbing leads to an equally as fluffable top sequence. Superb, scenic, and out-there feeling without actually being hard to get to. One of Dave Lyon's many works of art.
9. 'What a Difference a Day Makes' (E4 6a), Craig Cwm Glas Bach, Llanberis Pass
Hidden from the road and wonderfully secluded but easy to find, this is something of a local's testpiece and stepping stone to the Cromlech biggies. Despite being festooned with holds it is somehow really hard to hang on in there. Placing good gear is fiddly and saps your energy making onsights frustratingly elusive. Despite all that it's a compelling line, best saved for a day you're feeling fresh and forceful.
10. 'Afterburner' (E5 6a), Gallt yr Ogof, Ogwen Valley
Location. Location. Location. Another crag you'll have craned your next to view while speeding down the Ogwen Valley from Capel Curig. It glints attractively in the morning sun. If you've ever wondered whether the stern walk is worth it – the answer is a resounding YES. Immaculate, quick-drying rock with less vegetation than you would imagine. I failed on this route first visit, but I still think of it as a beauty. And of course, you get to eye up it's more famous neighbour Heart of Stone – one for your E7 tick list for sure.
N.B. the prize pockets will be discreetly placed, will avoid interfering with the climb itself and will be visible only when on/finishing a route. Any unclaimed prize pockets will be removed after the end of September, so there's only a limited time to claim your prize. This will also be the deadline for submitted photos, so hurry up out there and happy hunting!
Login as Existing User to subscribe, which will show the climbs you've already ticked.
|Add||Climb name||Grade||Height||Crag name|
|Bramble Buttress||VD **||?||Craig y Gesail...|
|Reade's Route (Summer)||S **||?||Crib Goch|
|Fisherman's Friend||HS 4a *||25m||Porth Dafarch|
|The Ramp of Pink Emulsion||VS 4c||31m||• 3||The Range|
|Gallop Step||HVS 5a **||?||Clogwyn y Bustach|
|Man from Uncle||HVS 5a *||25m||Gogarth South Stack|
|Ferdinand||E2 5b ***||?||Clogwyn y Wenallt|
|When the Lion Feeds||6c+ **||20m||Lighthouse Crags|
|What a Difference a Day Makes||E4 6a **||?||Gravestones/ Hidden...|
|Afterburner||E5 6a **||?||Gallt Yr Ogof|
All winners will be offered their choice of size and colour in one of Rab's latest jacket - the Mantra.
As temperatures hit record highs, the last thing on our minds is the rain. However, deep down we all know it will make a reappearance! Made from flexible Pertex Shield Pro 3L fabric, the Mantra is a lightweight, fully-featured hardshell. Perfected for movement, it's soft feel fabric is comfortable and highly breathable while also being able to stand up to long hard days in the mountains.