Adrian Berry has recently succeeded in crowd-funding the money needed to equip a number of mid to low grade sport routes on the Gower. During this period, Ben West gave the area it's first 8c; Helvitia at Shipwreck Cove.
The idea to crowd-fund the equipping of a number of accessibly-graded sport routes came one evening whilst walking back from the newly-discovered Shipwreck Cove, a venue that local Simon Rawlinson had discovered and begun bolting. A number of difficult lines from high 7s to high 8s had been bolted and were slowly but surely being climbed by Simon, Adrian and Rob Lamey.
Simon thought that there were plenty of lower grade routes to be put up but didn't have the money to buy all the required bolts and glue. Adrian told Simon he could find £1000 to bolt thirty routes at 7a and below, and after a cursory post on the South Wales New Routes Facebook page, Adrian set up a bank account, Paypal account and webpage and sent a news report in to UKClimbing.com. Hoping to raise £1000 within 12 months, the group were surprised to reach their target in just six days by encouraging larger donations, selling off the chance to name a route for a donation larger than £30. Overall, £2382 was raised and spent on glue, drill-bits and bolts.
Now the challenge was to put the bolts to good use, with Shipwreck Cove unsuitable for the grades Simon and Adrian were looking for, Adrian went for a walk along the beach. On this walk, he discovered a wall that was unclimbed and yet perfect for the low to mid grade routes they wanted to bolt. Soon enough the difficult work was done and it was time for the official opening of the 45 routes from 4 to 7a.
The official opening was held at Shipwreck Cove with a BBQ and party sponsored by The Climbing Academy Bristol wth Ben West hoping to make the first ascent of his 8c project on the night also. Unfortunately, Ben didn't quite manage it that night, succeeding a couple of weeks later to give South Wales its' hardest route to date; Helvitia. Ben commented on the UKC Logbook database:
"So happy to get this done. A monumental step in my climbing career. I enjoyed every step of the process. Big thanks to Simon for bolting the line and for letting me climb it."
A full listing of equippers and donors can be found on Adrian's website; PositiveClimbing.com