North Wales Lime - New Routes and Repeats up to 8c+

Neil Dyer has added a new 8c+ to Lower Pen Trwyn, the classic hard sport crag of North Wales. Megalopa takes a line up the white headwall above the existing route of The Walking Mussel (8b+) on the steep central section of the crag.

Both Neil Dyer and Pete Robins had been attempting the line at the same time, with Neil pipping Pete to the post for the first ascent.

Neil Dyer at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales, 128 kb
Neil Dyer at Lower Pen Trwyn, North Wales
Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor, Sep 2011
© Jack Geldard

Neil Dyer making the first ascent of Megalopa - 8c+ - LPT, 61 kb
Neil Dyer making the first ascent of Megalopa - 8c+ - LPT
© Chris Doyle (Still Shot from Video)
Robins kept the psyche going and scraped in for a repeat a couple of weeks after Neil's first ascent.

Chris Doyle was on hand to capture Neil's first ascent on video (the images here are stills from that video) and commented on his blog:

"Me, Neil and Pete went down there and after the recent shit conditions we were pleased to find it fresh and breezy. Pete had probably his best ever go but still failed to grab the hold. I was working the crack on Over The Moon and so clipped into a bolt to give the lads a redpoint.

Dyer set off and soon got to the familiar shakeout. It was the first time I had been filming on a rope on the route since June. He latched the hold then latched the next big pop out right. This was it, I was praying he wouldn't slip off the top out. He maintained composure and topped it out much to everyone's excitement. It really is a amazing route and is a great achievement for Neil to add one of his own thats so good after so long climbing in the area. Its also nice to finally see him do a hard route. He'd never climbed harder than 8b in Britain until this which was quite frankly under-achieving as he's such a monster!

As for the grade after the initial inspection everyone seemed to think it would weigh in at 8c. Months later and with Pete still not even getting through the first crux it seems more like 8c+ and indeed Pete said it's harder than Liquid Ambar and Sea of Tranquillity for him, it's certainly taking more effort."

Dyer, obviously on strong form, went on to take the reins from Chris Doyle to finish off the old and much-eyed project on the stunning Diamond called The Brute at a (top end...) 8b.

Neil Dyer making the first ascent of The Brute - 8b - The Diamond, 77 kb
Neil Dyer making the first ascent of The Brute - 8b - The Diamond
© Chris Doyle (Still Shot from Video)
Neil Dyer making the first ascent of The Brute - 8b - The Diamond, 74 kb
Neil Dyer making the first ascent of The Brute - 8b - The Diamond
© Chris Doyle (Still Shot from Video)

Dyer and Doyle rebolted this abandoned project a few years ago and Doyle had been trying it off and on since then. However he felt it was time to pass the baton to Neil, who made short work of the project.

The route, an aesthetic line of blankness up a perfect steep wall of limestone must now rank as one of the best 8bs in the UK.

Chris Doyle hasn't got through the summer empty handed though and added a significant new line to the area with an ascent of a very steep route in Llanddulas Cave. His new climb The Last Crusade (8a+) follows a a line right of Chris' previous new route The Temple of Gloom (8b) that he added to the cave last year.

Chris had to skip the last two bolts of the (already quite low to the ground) line, in order to get the tick:

"I have to skip the last two bolts as I can't clip them and there is a ledge that comes into the fall zone. I fell and swooped right down skimming my bouldering mat. It was quite exciting and I knew it would be bad news to fall from the next moves. Danger is not something that usually comes into sport climbing!"

Luckily Chris didn't deck out and got the route done.

  • You can keep up with all sorts of Ormes climbing on Chris' excellent blog.

Chris has been working on a new film of all the recent activity on North Wales Limestone. Watch this space.

Until that is released, enjoy the earlier video from Chris of James McHaffie repeating the Big Bang (9a) at LPT:

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