New HXS 6c on Craig Dorys for Jack Geldard

© Jack Geldard

Jack Geldard making the first ascent of The Bigger Bang, HXS 6c, Craig Dorys.  © Maddie Cope
Jack Geldard making the first ascent of The Bigger Bang, HXS 6c, Craig Dorys.
© Maddie Cope
UKC Chief Editor Jack Geldard has added a new route to Craig Dorys on the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales.

The route, named The Bigger Bang, takes an aesthetic groove line up the wall right of the Steve Mayer's E4 Bath Time in the Jacuzzi Zawn.

"I would say it's certainly one of the hardest routes I have done on the Lleyn," reflected Jack. "However I didn't do it in the onsight style, so I'm not sure of the E grade. It's UK tech 6c ish, got okay rock, but with the odd suspect crimp and fairly pants gear until about 12m where you get a good wallnut 1. The top bit is like a nice E6, with spaced but okay gear and awesome climbing. I'll go with HXS 6c."

When pushed for an overall sport grade, Jack guessed around F7c.

Craig Dorys is an adventurous sea cliff with many serious and rarely repeated routes. It has come of age in the last decade with a series of hard test-pieces from Stevie Haston.

Jack, who spotted his new line some years ago, initially attempted the route onsight, but didn't get too far due to a complete lack of protection and friable rock plus very technical climbing.

After a quick abseil inspection he realised it was a more difficult and serious affair than first thought and had a go on top rope with his climbing partner Neil Dickson. Neither of them flashed the line on top rope, and were pleased to not have really 'gone for it' on the onsight.

"It was much snappier at first. It cleaned up quite well in the end." Jack said.

Geldard left the line unclimbed due to being out of the country, but returned this week for a flying visit and led the line, partnered by Bristol based climber Maddie Cope.

The twin pecker hooks that are the first gear on the route.  © Jack Geldard
The twin pecker hooks that are the first gear on the route.
© Jack Geldard
The line of The Bigger Bang. A ramp feature up the gently overhanging black wall.  © Jack Geldard
The line of The Bigger Bang. A ramp feature up the gently overhanging black wall.
© Jack Geldard
"I opted to pre-place some gear on the lower section of route," said Jack, "You could hammer a peg or two in to that bit, but I have never placed a peg on a sea cliff as I think they rot too quickly and leave an unknown for future climbers, so personally for me some pre-placed removable gear was preferable. Neither option would be the best of course."

"Hopefully now a lot of the crumbly crimps have gone, it is a possible onsight target for someone." he said. "Someone like James McHaffie would waltz up it for a warm up."

The rock is remarkably good for Craig Dorys standards, but due to the thin and technical climbing, lots of very small holds are used and some of these crumbled during initial attempts.

"A crucial hold snapped on Maddie as she was top roping it just before I led it," said Jack, "luckily it left a slightly lower, but better hold!"

He added: "All this talk of snappy rock gives the wrong impression of the route though. It's pretty solid, with exquisite technical climbing on crimps and slopers, totally different to most of Craig Dorys. It really is an awesome route. 3 stars."

"Maddie had a good go on the lead, and took a short fall on to some RPs - but she was super close, I thought she had it!" Jack said. "We had a right laugh trying it that day, what with the abseiling in off tent pegs, holds snapping, getting to use weird gear like peckers and Ian being so hung-over he couldn't climb. Plus the car broke down and we were stranded at the farm next to the crag. Luckily the farmer's brother came up with a new water-pump for my mum's car... classic. It's why I like North Wales so much!"

Geldard is no stranger to the sea cliffs of North Wales, having climbed extensively on the Lleyn Peninsula and on Gogarth on Anglesey. He has previously added his own routes of up to E7 on the Lleyn, and made the first onsight of the Stevie Haston choss-fest of Bam Bam on Craig Dorys two years ago (UKC News).

Jack is sponsored by Marmot, DMM, Evolv

This post has been read 7,598 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make UKClimbing the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKClimbing then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

19 Sep, 2011
Good Effort, I saw this line chalked up earlier in the year and wondered what it was. Looks awesome. Centurion05
19 Sep, 2011
Looks mega sage Jack. Good effort on getting this done, looks ace and scary as a pigeon with teeth. Minus points for being cool and giving it HXS though.
19 Sep, 2011
Nice line! Looks good, well done.
19 Sep, 2011
Maybe he should have given it HHXS (Headpointed HXS). Great effort Jack. Chris ;-)
19 Sep, 2011
Looks like a really nice line stirling effort Jack ;-)
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email