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The VS Challenge: 855 VS's in Six Months

© VS Challenge
Experienced climbers and mountaineers, Mark S. Lewis and Ian Blessley are attempting to climb 855 routes graded VS (Very Severe) in South and West Wales in the next six months and hope to raise £100,000 for Tenovus, Wales' Cancer Charity and The Welsh Independent Society for Climbing and Mountaineering Trust (WISCM Trust). They estimate that this challenge will involve 100,000 metres of climbing. You can view the full list of routes at Mark's website www.markslewis.co.uk

They began on Monday 3rd September at Morlais Quarry in Merthyr Tydfil. On 5th of September Mark wrote on his blog:

"We headed back to Morlais and have now finished on the lower tier. It was very different to the middle tier and I would recommend it to climbers. We had to clean our routes in order to climb them. We removed grass and mud along with weeds and such stuff. I would recommend that some of the local climbing clubs head up there and spend a day cleaning the whole cliff. We didn't remove any trees or large grass ledges because they are referred to in the guidebook. This whole crag holds a host of great climbing and I reckon that there is a whole host of unclimbed routes here for the picking."

Sounds like hard work. So far they have climbed 3,009 metres of VS, not sure how many routes that is.

You can keep up to date on Mark and Ian's progress at www.markslewis.co.uk

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/vschallenge

The VS Challenge is being supported by Zero G Climbing and Marmot.


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18 Sep, 2007
Best wishes! 5 weeks was bad enough for us! Just one minor question, have you got your metres and feet muddled up? Hard Rock was 60 routes and 22,000 feet of climbing which averaged 367 feet per route which is 112 metres. 855 routes and 100,000 metres implies 117 metres per route which doesn't seem to make sense fo routes in South and West Wales.
18 Sep, 2007
That makes sense. Hopefully you'll get to spend more time climbing and less time walking/driving than we did. It's great to see you publicising lots of the minor crags. Hopefully it will encourage people to get out and keep the routes clean. I've hardly climbed anything in the area so next time I've got a spare Saturday or Sunday when I'm not heading further afield I may see where you're heading to that day.
19 Sep, 2007
I'm in Somerset but the Severn bridge is only 50 minutes from my house on a good day so a lot of the South Wales crags are perfectly reasonable as a day-trip. After this summer, straightforward single-pitch crags seem quite appealling for some reason :-)
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