Pat Littlejohn: New route on Lleyn Peninsula

Pat Littlejohn has climbed a new route at Cilan Head on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales which he has named Darklands - a 132m E4/XS with four pitches at 5c, 4a, 5a, and 5a. 

Pat commented: "I couldn’t manage the direct version which I really wanted to do - it was damp when I tried it but I didn’t feel fit enough anyway - but the line we did was mega and must be the biggest route put up at Cilan for a while with 132m of climbing." He named the route after Wales' first horror film, Darklands. 

Cilan Head topo  © Pat Littlejohn
Cilan Head topo
© Pat Littlejohn

Pat first attempted the route two years ago with Steve Monks, reaching halfway up the first pitch but retreating after pulling some rock off onto himself. Returning with Tim Jepson to abseil in and try the direct line, the pair failed on this but climbed the top pitches of Darklands and completed the route in full on Monday 6th October.

Pat trying Darklands on a previous attempt two years ago  © Pat Littlejohn
Pat trying Darklands on a previous attempt two years ago
© Pat Littlejohn

The Lleyn Peninsula is renowned for its routes graded at XS, some of which, according to Pat, "rank with the more committing excursions on British sea cliffs."

Read more about climbing XS routes at Cilan Head in this UKC Article written by Pat himself.


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27 Oct, 2014
Brilliant. Amazing that Pat is still getting out and climbing first ascents of hard adventurous routes - hero! Dunc
27 Oct, 2014
Anyone have an idea how the routes in this area (E4/XS for example) compare with say Red Wall E4's in terms of overall experience?
30 Oct, 2014
Hi, having done quite a few routes in both areas, I would say that the ones in the Cilan area are about twice as loose and twice as hard! ;-) Vulture vs Pagan - I rest my case! CHeers, Jack
31 Oct, 2014
Thanks Jack. Conor
31 Oct, 2014
Looks surprisingly rocklike, really, in that picture, doesn't it? jcm