57m, 3 pitches.

Rockfax Description
This route is a wild, crazy trip into the bowels of the earth. It starts as for Quoin, and traverses into the low sea cave to the right, thereafter firing up through a massive blowhole system, to arrive at the top blowhole exit (see photo right). Big, big adventure! Please note that the route is much harder when it's soaking wet. In perfect conditions it may only be HVS, in normal conditions it is around E2, and in wild conditions it is even harder and inadvisable. Check the blowhole exit before you commit, as this gives you an idea of how wet the route is likely to be - it does occasionally dry out, especially with a strong, dry southerly blowing. Head torches very much required (as is an easy-going sense of humour). But then again, there's also that first ascent date!
1) 5b, 15m. Traverse rightwards into the cave, aiming for its apex. Ape into the cave to reach a good belay 4m inside, on a boulder choke.
2) 5a, 10m. Bridge inwards to where the cave widens. Committing but surprisingly easy moves across the left wall lead to a corner beneath daylight. Belay here.
3) 5a, 25m. Follow the corner above to one of the strangest finishes at Pembroke. © Rockfax

P Dearden, D Scott-Maxwell 01/Apr/1995

Ticklists: Victim Of Mathematics' Ticklist of Extreme Justice, The troglodyte squeeze specials, Pembroke Rockfax Top 50, Through Routes!, MIA logbook must haves!, CLIMB Mag's Top 100 routes in Britain, Unusual and Interesting Routes You Must Do VS- E2, Ultimate E2 ticklist, UK Lonely Leads, MUMC Ticklist, The Best of Pembroke, Type 2 Fun, The best the UK has to offer for mere mortals (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), The best the UK has to offer for beasts (apart from the lakes cos its always wet), James' Summer Ticklist, Becky's ticklist.

blaza1 10/Jun AltLd dog

Pulled on a bit of gear to work out where to go, great route

with Edgar Kennard
JoeCoxson 02/Jun AltLd O/S

Up there with th maddest routes ever. I was ready to back off from the second pitch from wetness and the description making no sense at all, but a committed approach got us through. Definitely type-2 fun at times ...

with aiyer
aiyer 02/Jun AltLd O/S

Type II... The penny drops when I finally realise what 'ape into the cave' means...

Hidden 07/May 2nd
Hidden 01/Apr 2nd
thebigeasy 28/Aug/17 AltLd O/S

Awesome. Don't think you can call your self a trad climber until you have done this!! Soaking wet. Don't know how this ever dries out.

with Ryan
Hidden 28/Aug/17 AltLd O/S
andyinglis 30/Jul/17 AltLd O/S

Crazy route but also some of the finest perma-wet rock I have climbed in years...! The pitch grades are wack.

Neil Adams 30/Jul/17 AltLd O/S


Alex Mason 27/May/17 Lead rpt

10 years later... A dark, intense, commmitting, slippery trip.

with Jemma Powell
Ali D 16/Apr/17 AltLd O/S

lead P1 and 3. completely mental

Hidden 16/Apr/17 AltLd O/S
Hidden ??/2017 -
msoldn ??/2017 AltLd O/S
with feilx
The old James turnbull 23/Oct/16 AltLd O/S


with aiden
mattnuttall 30/Aug/16 AltLd dnf

hell's bell's... attempt 2 went better than last year's aborted adventure - we found the thing... and got as far as being deeply committed high on the very steep, very wet left wall of the cave on P2 - Rockfax suggests you keep to the left... I suggest you don't... retreat by jumping backwards for a sling I had threaded round a very old stuck nut (wires completely corroded) very nearly took whipper into darkness and possibility of having to be lowered into water below. Reversed P2 and P1 to arrive at base of Bosherston Head in the last of the evening light... Nice :-)

Andrew Wilson 30/Aug/16 AltLd dnf


mike lawrence? 15/Aug/16 AltLd

i thought this would be a great soft tick but it was like squirming into a devils cathedral. Never again.

Hidden 14/Aug/16 AltLd O/S
MichaelGallimore 14/Aug/16 AltLd

Well that was exciting! Led P1 P3

Ed Babs 09/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

Led P1 & the scramble out if the blowhole. All wet in the cave. Initially calm sea got up a bit whilst we were in there. Unnerving 'Boom!' every few seconds. Communication difficult. Head torches essential. You should let someone know you are doing this as the consequences of failure are serious. Alex really enjoyed it, but I needed to do a couple of 'normal' climbs afterwards to restore my faith in the joy of climbing.

with AlexD
AlexD 09/Aug/16 AltLd O/S

Hooray! Finally got on/in this! Almost slipped off entering the cave after proclaiming it'd be pretty impossible to fall off here, or words to that effect! Luckily managed to get myself wedged just in time! Led p2, questing into the darkness, and most of p3 till drag necessitated a belay below the blowhole (praise the sun!). A lot more intimidating than expected, gear was tricky and it felt a big responsibility protecting the second. A definite step up from Benny at Swanage!

with Ed Babs
cdpuk 22/Jul/16 AltLd O/S

Julian P1, Pete P2, me P3. The very definition of Type 2 Fun. Started at about 17:30 and topped out at around 22:10! Doing it in a 3 is possible, but not recommended. Despite the recent heatwave and dry conditions for the best part of two weeks, the cave was damp and slippery everywhere. The sea was calm but the shape of the cave had it creating the most immense BOOM every few seconds. Headtorches are essential and radios strongly recommended. Rope twists on P2 required me to [safely] untie, remove the twists, and get back on. Totally agree with giving it E2 due to the seriousness of the route; route finding is not completely straightforward, it would be very tricky to reverse, calling for rescue is impossible and even swimming would be unthinkable.

Pete Randall 22/Jul/16 AltLd O/S
Hidden 22/Jul/16 AltLd
mike fenwick 25/Jun/16 AltLd
with Ben Pearce
ian d f 04/Jun/16 AltLd O/S

Led half of p2 and p3. Adventurous

pearson9596 04/Jun/16 AltLd O/S
with ian d f
pimpy 30/May/16 AltLd

led last pitch

with Ferdia
ferdia 30/May/16 AltLd O/S

such an unlikely route, incredible place to be. intimidating and lonely enough even though we had malc and clare's voices somewhere ahead in the dark to keep us company. led first 2 p;itches

with Will Grayson
outdoors.nick 30/Apr/16 2nd dog
andy dunn 16/Apr/16 AltLd O/S
with Tom, J
elliptic 16/Apr/16 AltLd
with Tom R.
JulesV 27/Sep/15 AltLd

Starting at sunset with a team of 4 and 3 headtorches was perhaps not the best of plans. Memorable though!

with Rich Smith, Theo Botha, Will Boxen
gurumed 26/Sep/15 Lead O/S

Lead all pitches. I'll never be the same.

with Brian H
Hidden 26/Sep/15 2nd O/S
richsmithinbristol 26/Sep/15 AltLd O/S

Harrowing misadventure. Climbed into the cave as the sun set; emerged several hours later, thankfully all four of us intact. Retrospective fun.

with billb
billb ?/Sep/15 AltLd O/S

Done with 4 of us and not enough head torches after susnet. I think it was fun?

andy_pemberton 18/Jul/15 Lead
with Steve Gibson
dan gibson 23/May/15 AltLd O/S
with Eszter
debsb ??/2015 -
adie84 ??/2015 -
pete johnson 13/Sep/14 Lead O/S

Slimy wet greasy soapy slippy minging marvellous. Not sure Kev enjoyed it!

with Kevin Sales
gg4419 06/Sep/14 AltLd O/S

Pitch one and three

nickstephens 06/Sep/14 AltLd O/S

Still buzzing :) what an epic 3d climbing experience which is wild and bold. Don't agree with HVS in any way or form but well worth the adventure. Possibly not the best after a chunderring hangover but out of the sun at least ;) For all of you wish list guys, in the style of the monty Python french guardsman, I sticka my fingers up at vous. Go and embrace the subterranean :)

with gg4419
philhilo 23/Aug/14 Lead O/S

Awesome fun, though Helen thought type 2 fun. Pitch 2 wet but made no difference.

with heg
tim newton 17/Aug/14 AltLd O/S
Rachel Slater 17/Aug/14 AltLd O/S

Had a mare trying to lead the second pitch by going really low (high just seemed wrong?!) but it felt desperate so backed off it (Tim then went high) then I lead the last pitch. Caving!

brices 27/Jul/14 AltLd O/S

What a great adventure

dannyboy83 22/Jun/14 AltLd O/S


with beneole
john lynch 18/May/14 AltLd O/S

What a journey! Sopping wet cave climbing of the highest order.. Probably the most adventurous route to date. led pitches 1 and 3

with Lewis Andrew
jonleighton 16/May/14 AltLd O/S

Brilliant adventure! Got quite cold by the end.

Adam Booth 21/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

Worth doing if you want an adventure, but don't do it for the climbing!

Ed Booth 21/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

Wet! Caving!

Twisty 19/Apr/14 AltLd rpt

3rd time I've done it, led first and last this time to let Phil have the meaty cave pitch. This time it was definitely towards the HVS side. (Very dry)

with Phil Baxter
Maken 19/Apr/14 2nd O/S

Wow end of first pitch = mental and all of second pitch = mental!!! all in all, Mental!

tonevert 18/Apr/14 2nd O/S
with Kevin Faux
anguskille 18/Apr/14 AltLd O/S

Lead the second pitch through the cave. Great adventure! I'll have to tick more esoteric crazy fun stuff like this!

with fennerz
Kevster 18/Apr/14 Lead O/S

Didn't enjoy this route - poor climbing, but good adventure. I am a climber, not a caver it seems. P2 & 3 can be run together. You can also head up where the cave widdens, this'll be the HVS version...

fennerz 18/Apr/14 AltLd O/S


with Angus Kille
gi 16/Mar/14 AltLd
with arose
arose 16/Mar/14 AltLd

Great fun!

with gi
Frank the Husky ??/2014 -
Hidden 13/Oct/13 AltLd
steve.warrington 01/Sep/13 AltLd O/S

Out of this world, climbing in one of the most exposed settings ever

Hidden 01/Sep/13 AltLd O/S
Longsufferingropeholder 31/Aug/13 AltLd O/S

Just unreal. Spectacular route. We spent a long time talking ourselves into this. Led 1&3. Ed towed the end of our ab rope across P1 and we left it coiled on the ledge just in case. That made us feel a bit happier. The only real issue was where CC guide says "bridge up into the darkness". Don't. It's clearly a solid roof. Instead you go on into the cave a bit and turn hard right, stepping across. Took us ages to work that out. Other than that we found it all fairly steady, but it was dry. This would be a really really bad place for anything to go wrong.

Jim Slater 28/Aug/13 AltLd O/S

Led P1 & P2.

Hidden 28/Aug/13 AltLd
Hidden 11/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 10/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Hidden 03/Aug/13 AltLd O/S
Jacob k-d 23/Jul/13 Lead O/S
The Grist 21/Jul/13 AltLd
Hidden 21/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
Andrew1 14/Jul/13 AltLd
with Hulda
Hulda 14/Jul/13 AltLd
with Andrew1
Alice Thompson 01/Jul/13 AltLd

Slightly scary, but a great experience

with Andrew Porter, Michael Porter
Hidden 01/Jul/13 AltLd O/S
david wands 08/Jun/13 AltLd O/S
Rob84 25/May/13 2nd O/S
with Mason, Ben Wolstenholme
jonnyboy 25/May/13 AltLd O/S

Also With rob dyer. Lead the 1st and last pitches.

with Ben Wolstenholme
Twisty 06/May/13 Lead O/S

Led all the pitches. Remembered the start being hardest before, followed by middle with the last being the easiest. This time the whole thing reveresed. It just got harder and harder - mainly due to the wet holds. There's normally a train of people to follow too, so with us being the first party it was a great adventure but also more interesting route finding. Take long extenders!

with Greg Slee
Hidden 06/May/13 AltLd O/S
jacobjacob 04/May/13 Lead O/S

started at 4, finished at 11pm... bit of an epic! Bron couldn't find the way on second, and we couldn't hear/see each other. Eventually Jacob and Sam turned up as another team and were able to show her the way. Then we ended up with 4 of us on the hanging belay, below the last pitch, in the dark, with 2.5 head torches to go round... Fun times!

Stanners 20/Aug/12 AltLd dnf

JamesRich 20/Aug/12 2nd dnf

Although I was technically seconding it still felt a bit like leading. The less said about this route the better!

Hidden 20/Aug/12 AltLd dnf
JBO 10/Aug/12 AltLd O/S

Led the first and last pitches, soaking wet! Also forgot the headtorches so I was panicking a bit before the second pitch but we found the way to daylight eventually. Well done to Dave for an awesome first ascent!

Hidden 05/May/12 AltLd O/S
CragDog 05/May/12 AltLd O/S
benchwarmer 14/Apr/12 2nd O/S
barni 14/Apr/12 AltLd O/S

fisrt and second pitches

with fra
Ollie B 17/Aug/11 Lead O/S

P2, Preposterous route! awesome to have done it, not sure ill do it again though.

with L.Postlewaith
Hidden 17/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
Graeme Hammond 15/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

led pitches 1 & 2. Top route.

Hidden 15/Aug/11 AltLd
HappyTrundler 13/Aug/11 AltLd dnf

One of the most traumatic climbing days ever. I had the old rockfax guide with it down at HVS. These days I consider myself a reasonably competent low e grade climber, however this felt more like caving than climbing. The second pitch was streaming in water so reversed back from the crux to the belay and reversed the first pitch. I would even suggest E3 just to discourage any aspiring E2 leaders...if it goes wrong down there you are in serious one can throw a rope down and you can't abb off, there is no leader or second on this climb, in fact probably worse and more dangerous to second. I have no desire to go back in there again, ever.

with Irish Pete
thomasadixon 12/Aug/11 AltLd O/S

Great fun, easy climbing but soaking wet - the rain probably didn't help! Probably HVS if it was dry.

with mwatson
Mark Kemball 09/Aug/11 AltLd O/S
with Matt Gordon
Hidden 29/May/11 2nd dnf
jkarran 27/Apr/11 AltLd

Led P1 and P3 in reasonably good conditions. A simply brilliant outing. Some good banter and wacky maneuvers had us in fits of laughter the whole way though I regretted forgetting my helmet. One of the most enjoyable routes I've ever done, it's hard to recommend this kind of top notch weirdness highly enough!

with Smith, GrantB, Aly
Hidden 27/Apr/11 Lead O/S
Ally Smith 27/Apr/11 AltLd O/S
with jkarran
GrantB 27/Apr/11 2nd O/S
with jkarran, Robertson, Ally Smith
Byronius Maximus 27/Apr/11 AltLd O/S

Put simply; one of the best routes I've ever done. Done on a dry day when the weather had been good for a few weeks so conditions were pretty good, with only a small amount of slime on holds in the cave. Looking at other comments, it seems that conditions play a huge part in people's enjoyment of this route! The second pitch is a real adventure with fun (and slightly unnerving) route finding and great three-dimensional climbing.

with Twisty
squicky 26/Apr/11 2nd dnf

Partner went all the way to the belay point and then came back. Decided it wasn't a good time to have a potential epic as it looked like a storm. Was down as HVS in our guide.

with spidey
Adam Coles 24/Apr/11 Lead
with ben1987
ben1987 24/Apr/11 2nd dog

Had 1 fall coming into the cave, was too low and to a good swing into the cave! great fun and climbing isnt difficult if you stick to the route!! well worth a go.

Paul Boggis ??/2011 AltLd
mwatson ??/2011 -
scott titt ??/2011 -
Adam Coles ??/2011 AltLd O/S

Adventure! Led 1st pitch.

hrgcb 25/Sep/10 AltLd O/S

lead 1st pitch, Virgil the 2nd and Joe the 3rd. Slimy but fun

with Virgil Scott, Joe Prinold
Hidden 25/Sep/10 AltLd O/S
Hidden 31/Aug/10 AltLd O/S
metal arms 29/Aug/10 Lead O/S

All pitches

Hidden 17/Aug/10 2nd O/S
Dave Foster 17/Aug/10 AltLd O/S

Lead P2. Good to see it gets the crux on here. Slippery, dark and dangerous. Not to be repeated, and bollocks to HVS - two of us are steady at E2 and one on-sighting 7a/b, we all thought we were jam.

with Andy and Si
Hidden 13/Jun/10 Lead
gnc760 12/Jun/10 AltLd dnf

Stuck to the dodgy Rockfax description and came off about 8m away from the belay on P2. Took the most incredible fall swinging back through the cave. Prussiked out with a hex. Epics

with James Kay
Hidden 10/May/10 -
Hidden ??/2010 -
Sarah Black 18/Oct/09 AltLd O/S
irish paul 18/Oct/09 AltLd O/S

Serious fun, the rockfax description seemed wrong, who knows! Such a feeling when you get out into daylight

with Sarah Joyce
Kyuzo 11/Oct/09 -

Didn't finish. New rockfax guide is very misleading for pitch 2! Don't stick to left wall when it broadens out, go upwards and chimney your way on the right, then back left? Should've read the CC guide for a better description

with Joe Prinold
ian d f 12/Sep/09 AltLd dnf

what a nasty route. we had a bit of an epic once in the cave, my partner went down and sort of across in the second pitch - which was apparently very dodgey (especially fot the second, me!) so he came back,not without difficulty and resting on a dodgy nut! why go out of the sun and away from the lovely friction to go down a greasy dangerous hole?!

with Pete H
Richard Hession 27/Sep/08 AltLd O/S

Best route ever.

with Stu
Hidden 21/Sep/08 AltLd
Cowflinger 23/Aug/08 AltLd O/S

In my top ten clims of all time

with Dai Morris
Hidden 17/Aug/08 Lead O/S
Paul ablitt 17/Aug/08 Lead O/S
with Rushy
Hidden 31/May/08 Lead dnf
Hidden 29/Aug/07 AltLd
TGreen 09/Jun/07 AltLd dog

led 1st and 3rd pitch, scary stuff!

with James Cross
Alex Mason 04/May/07 Lead O/S

an adventure to be had simply for the feeling when you finally escape, top pitch is the crux with a slippery, thrutchy mantle before the sprint for terra firma.

Ram MkiV 04/May/07 AltLd O/S
with Al
Hidden 30/Apr/07 AltLd O/S
feilx 24/Mar/07 AltLd O/S
with msoldn
Hidden ??/2007 AltLd
Hidden 27/Aug/06 AltLd O/S
NeilGriffiths 25/Aug/06 -
with Sean
lukea ?/Jul/06 AltLd O/S
with Al
Mike H 01/Jun/06 AltLd
with Jamie Smith
lukea 16/May/06 Lead O/S
with Al
Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH ??/2006 AltLd O/S
with Bry
nathanmanc ??/2006 Lead O/S
with Chris Todd
Boy ??/2006 -
belay bunny turned bad ??/2005 -
Hidden ??/2005 AltLd dog
chris wyatt ??/2005 AltLd O/S

Major Epic

with barrie doyle
ASchwirtz 07/Jun/04 Lead O/S

Graham, Carl, Silly route, very serious, could easily end up dead!

Just Another Dave ??/2003 Lead O/S

Simply amazing.

with cathy?
PaulTanton 27/Aug/02 AltLd O/S

No headtouch

with Dave Taylor
steveb2006 27/Jul/02 AltLd

Just before doing this bump into John Sumner and here of his somewhat harrowing story - this is on our minds while we journey into the gloom on this route and its strangely apt name. Dave leads p1, Paul Tatton p2 and me p3.

with Dave Taylor
Hidden ??/2002 Lead
Billg 18/Sep/00 AltLd

also harry

with Megan Beaumont
Bullybones ??/2000 -
dickypips ??/2000 -
with Steve James
haydng ??/2000 -
andy_pemberton ??/2000 Lead

Done years back. Memory fades but it didn't seem to be E2.

Tim M ??/2000 -
Hidden ?/Jun/99 -
debsb ??/1999 -
nickdonohue 31/Aug/98 AltLd

Truly awesome! Don't get any beta (apart from both should bring headtorches!). Just do it!

with Derek Ashworth
Hidden 02/May/98 AltLd
Hidden ??/1998 -
Dave Rumney ??/1998 -
Hidden ??/1998 Lead
phardman ??/1998 AltLd O/S

Came out after the range had closed. Was hard to explain to the guard at the gate that we were underground and had lost track of time...

with Jon Bibby
Rich Kirby ?/Jun/97 AltLd O/S

Nicknamed the "preposterous snails" alluding to the time taken to complete the route. A very hot day - suitable subterranen route.

Marti999 ?/Jun/97 AltLd O/S
Hidden ?/Jun/97 AltLd
Hidden 03/May/97 2nd O/S
Hidden ?/May/97 AltLd O/S
Hidden ??/1997 AltLd
Hidden ??/1997 AltLd
RichardMc ?/Aug/96 AltLd
with Steve Gould
michael burrows 07/Jul/96 AltLd O/S
with mark ryan
Tim Sparrow ??/1995 AltLd

HVS when I did it!

pauldrew ??/1995 AltLd dnf

Failed to find route inside cave - was graded HVS 5a at the time.

with Paul Glossop
duncan ??/1995 AltLd O/S

Date approximate, shortly after FA. No description other than 'traverse into the cave and climb out', from DS-M in the pub. Hot and sunny day, mostly dry, great fun, felt about HVS.

with Dan Donovan
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High E3
Mid E3
Low E3
High E2
Mid E2
Low E2
High E1
Mid E1
Low E1
Votes cast 33
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
High 5b
Mid 5b
Low 5b
High 5a
Mid 5a
Low 5a
Votes cast 33
Votes cast 54
Style of ascent
Alt Leads
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Not Set