Choss-masters Pat Littlejohn and Steve Sustad have breached the previously unclimbed back wall of Paitsh on the Lleyn Peninsula with an epic adventure now named No Country for Old Men (XS).
The team (with a combined age of 110!) completed the 180m, 5 pitch rubble-fest in mid August, but not without a few 'heart in mouth' moments.
Pat described his ascent:
"We were on it for nine hours, the last two being spent trying to find a way to finish. Having tried all possibilities, including shouting to Steve's girlfriend to drop us a toprope - but she'd got bored and gone for a walk, the only option seemed to be to abseil 250ft into the sea and swim out. The sea was choppy and uninviting by this time, so I made an all-out bid for the top up some horrible unprotected shale."
The route crosses the existing lines of Nighty Night (XS) and Controlled Explosions (E5) at the level of their first belays, then continues left for another three pitches. Both those routes climb the right hand side of the huge tottering cliff, avoiding the challenge of the central area. This huge central section of Paitsh is one of the largest unclimbed rock features in Wales, and it is unclimbed for a reason...
However Pat thinks the route is destined for classic staus:
"I plan to go back and clean the finish and who knows it may end up as a classic. Great situations anyway... Really keen to do it again once the exit is clean."
- You can read more about Pat's mountain guiding on his website: www.alpin-ism.com