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Seals breed in Parliament House cave during the autumn months and climbers should take particular care not to disturb them during the time from late August to late October when the young seal pups can be eailsiy sepreated from their mothers with devastating consequences.

A large (huge!) rockfall occured at the back of Parliement House Cave in 2017 which affects some of the routes in the cave and further rockfalls are likley! 

62m, 3 pitches.

Rockfax Description
An superb route, and probably the most coveted E5 on the Main Cliff. The third pitch is a totally 'out there' experience that will live with you for a long time. Start at ledges 18m past the Gogarth pinnacle, just right of an arete and where the higher platform drops in height.
1) 5c, 20m. Move up and right into a scoop, then traverse back left to a small ear-like flake. Head up and slightly left to a ramp and follow it left to the arete. Arrange what gear you can and make a hard pull over a bulge to reach easier ground and a belay below the chimney groove of The Rat Race.
2) 6a, 15m. Move up into the chimney/groove as for The Rat Race and arrange some high runners. Drop back down and make a dramatic traverse left on sloping holds and pinches to the arete. Pull round on a nipple of rock and somehow gain the groove on Alien. Follow this more easily to reach the belay below the horrid looking chimney on The Rat Race.
3) 6a, 30m. An amazing pitch. From the belay, move out left onto a spike in the rib. Launch up the diagonal crack soaring across an imposing headwall, first below it, then making a hard transition to above it. Traverse out left below an overlap and make a strenuous move over the left-hand end of it. Carry on up easier ground until you can step left into the groove of Dinosaur and bridge up this to a belay on a spacious ledge.
4) 5c, 30m. Finish up Dinosaur or Cordon Bleau. © Rockfax

UKC Logbook Description
An audacious line and the quintessential Gogarth E5. The difficulties are not as great as they can seem on first acquaintance, especially if one of the easier options is taken on the middle pitch. Start on the large ledge just left of the Gogarth pinnacle, as for Rat Race, Ordinary Route.
1. 18m. 5b. Climb diagonally up and right into a scoop then back left via a flake heading towards the arête. From a ramp on the arête, trend diagonally back right to belay under the curving overlap.
2. 12m. 6a. You are aiming for the Rat Race second belay. There are several ways of getting there:
(a) 6a. The first ascentionist’s line: pull up to stand on the big juggy spikes, then traverse horizontally left with hands just above the next roof into the groove of Alien. Up this. Exposed, hard, and strenuous.
(b) 6a. In the spirit of the original: Continue 10’ further up the wall from the juggy spikes. Move round the arête, level with an obvious rugosity, into the disconcertingly holdless groove. Unexpectedly on-off for a couple of moves.
(c) 5c. Cop out straight up or rightwards to join Rat Race. The line of least resistance, but you will have not have climbed Positron.
3. 30m. 5c. Make sure your belayer is positioned so they can see you on the headwall, it's quite easy to snag the ropes in the crack otherwise. From the spike on the arête, follow the crack across the headwall for a few feet. Steep. Get the gear in, scuttle back to the spike and regain your composure. Admire the view, watch the seals and make a mental note to avoid leading the chimney pitch should you ever find yourself on Rat Race. Re-rack your gear, tighten your boots and indulge in any other procrastination your second will tolerate. Once you have lost any benefit of the warm-up, commit to the wall again. The crack fades, forcing a harder move up. Traverse horizontally left for 10' to the small overhang. Get on with it here: it’s easier than it looks. Good gear can be had at the overhang but it’s still steep and fiddly to place. One more awkward move up round the left side of the overhang and it’s all over. A few more feet on the same line and you are in the Dinosaur grove. Stitch together an adequate belay and focus your camera on the traverse to the overhang for the 1978 guide cover-shot. Finish up Dinosaur, Cordon Bleu or, for more of the same, the last pitch of Ordinary Route.
Alan Rouse, Pete Minks 1971 (5pt aid). FFA A.Sharp
According to Alec Sharpe this was 'an extremely strenuous and sustained route up very steep rock. The top pitch is phenomenally impressive and is one of the hardest routes at Gogarth'. In fact it is a little disjointed, pitch 2 being short and artificial. Pitch 3 is the highlight. Stevie Haston soloed this years ago.

Alan Rouse and Peter Minks. FFA Alex Sharpe. Mar/1971.


Extreme Rock , Top five E5s , Very good routes in the UK , North Wales Rock Graded List , Main Cliff Big E5s , CLIMB Mag's Top 100 routes in Britain , UK Lonely Leads , James' 2015 Summer. , Ultimate E5 ticklist , James' Summer Ticklist , CUMC First Ascents , Stanners lifetime Onsight attempt list , 30 For My 30s , Post Quarantine Blowout , Welsh climbs to last a lifetime , Another lifelist? , Lines that inspire - E5


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High E6
Mid E6
Low E6
High E5
Mid E5
Low E5
High E4
Mid E4
Low E4
Votes cast 37
High 6b
Mid 6b
Low 6b
High 6a
Mid 6a
Low 6a
High 5c
Mid 5c
Low 5c
Votes cast 37
Votes cast 34
Style of Ascent
Alt Leads
Not Set
Ground Up
Flashed (β)
Not Set
Route of Interest
The Band of Westies

Grade: E5 5c ***

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