German choss-specialist Benno Wagner has just made the 3rd ascent of Ugly, an E8 6c/XXS (Extremely Extremely Severe) overhanging offwidth at Shale City on the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales.
As with ascents before his, Benno pre-inspected the line before his successful ascent. Benno spoke about how it felt when he topped out:
"Arriving at the top I screamed out my happiness to have won the battle. Only my T-Shirt and my back had to take a lot of stick."
Ugly was first climbed by North Wales local, George Smith and tackles an overhanging offwidth protected by large cams and a few remaining pegs. George graded the route E7, but had much newer pegs for his ascent, which have now corroded due to the stream of water that often runs down the route.
Pete Whittaker then made the 2nd ascent (UKC News Report) and felt the route to be closer to E8 or XXS due to the poor quality of the rock, added to the lack of peg protection and stream running down the route.
Benno commented on what it was like to climb Ugly:
"The first few metres were the hardest. Especially as it was quite slippery. I found myself slipping off and just hanging in a chicken wing. Paddling 'technically' with my feet brought me back into the game. A couple of crumbling holds later and I was situated under the final overhang. Meanwhile, my friend Sebastian enjoying a constant shower of little loose rocks.
At this point I wasn’t scared anymore of the poor protection, because here I could place at least a couple of things that should resist a fall. I was more afraid to fall out the route after struggling so much with the bottom part. So just squeezing into the final overhanging crack and scrabbling centimetre for centimetre higher."
You can find out more about the route on UKC Chief Editor Jack Geldard's BLOG
Benno seems to have a particular penchant for the Lleyn, as he has made other impressive repeats here such as the 3rd ascent of Night Stalker, E8, (UKC News Report) and the 3rd ascent of Melody, E8, (UKC News Report).
In addition to this he also took a very large fall from the end of the crux on Dave Pickford's Pembroke route The Brothers Karamazov, E8 6c, just before the weekend. It is only a matter of time before Benno climbs that as well, although due to the solid nature of the climbing it is debateable whether Benno will bother when there is much more choss to be climbed.
Benno Wagner is sponsored by: Five Ten