Gaz elected to climb the route in a 'sporty' style by pre-placing a selection of wires on abseil to have insitu protection for his ascent. The route was originally climbed by John Dunne in 1996. John placed most of the gear on lead, but there was a certain amount of stuck wires and a peg.
"I climbed it with all the gear in place so as a sport route really. All the old insitu wires are gone now and the peg is possibly very poor after 14 years in a sea cliff. All the wires are good and it is a safe route." commented Gaz after his ascent. The route is very steep and physical, making placing protection very strenuous.
Super-fit Steve McClure made the first repeat of this route some years ago.
Steve commented after Gaz's ascent that it is a logistical pain to remove gear between attempts (abseiling and jumaring in and out of a hugely overhanging sea cliff) and the most logical way is to climb it like Gaz did:
"That's the way I'd climb it now. Good effort to Gaz." he said.
The route takes the main challenge of the perfect, steep limestone wall at Bosherston Head in Pembrokeshire and features hard climbing of around F8a+.
The route was first conceived as a bolted line, but never completed until it was climbed in a more trad style by John Dunne on 1996.
Pembroke was going through a time of controversial first ascents and bolts were used on some routes. All these bolts have now long since been removed and all Pembroke climbs are now bolt free. John's name for the route; The Big Issue refers to the debolting of the line.
Route Time Line:
- Pre 1996 - route bolted by Pete Oxley
- 1996 - First ascent (placing gear) by John Dunne
- 2000 - First repeat (placing gear) Steve McClure
- 2000 - Repeat (on insitu gear) by Adrian Berry
- 2010 - Repeat (on insitu gear) by Gaz Parry
"I would say the climbing is HARD F8a+ with lots of bad feet and side pull pockets. Ste Mac said "beware of the peg, it is old and short", just like him I suppose. The meat of the route is the 20 moves to pass the peg and continue to the high break. Even the last move to the jug is droppable."
Gaz would like to thank Mike from the Castle Climbing Centre for holding his ropes.
Pembroke (Mar 2018)
More Info On Bosherston Head, Pembroke:
Bosherston HeadPembrokeshire, WALES
Most Popular Climbs:
- Keelhaul E2 5c
- Star Wars E4 5c
- Poltergeist HVS 5a
- Baker's Door E1 5b
- Preposterous Tales E2 5b
- Intensive Scare E2 5c
- Sunny Corner HVS 5a
- Quoin HS 4a