Face Mecca E9 6c for James McHaffie

© Nick Brown

James McHaffie has continued his summer trad siege by making the 3rd ascent of Nick Dixon's Face Mecca (E9 6c) E9 6c at  Clogwyn Du'r Arddu (Cloggy) in a day and finally ticking off all the E9s in North Wales - adding a few of his own along the way. First climbed in 1989, Johnny Dawes made the second ascent in 1995.

James McHaffie  © Nick Brown
James McHaffie
© Nick Brown

The route leaves the first stance on Great Wall and moves out right and up onto the face of the East Buttress via sustained, technical moves.

James told UKC:

"I went up to Cloggy on Sunday and did Great Wall then spent a couple of hours on my ab rope working out the moves and where it goes and cleaning some of the smears. We were packed up ready to go as it was quite midgey and warm but a light breeze arrived about 17.00 along with friends Pete Hurley and Rob Clifton so thought I'd give it a go.

"The moves out right onto the face felt harder to link together than I expected. After about fifteen metres you get a flake with a rurp and peg in it but you can't get a very good rest there, I got stood on a crimp two metres above and spent ten minutes getting prepared for the final few moves."

Looking down the blank line of Face Mecca E9
© James McHaffie

James described the line as technically a lot harder than Indian Face E9 6c, but safer, adding:

"It's a fantastic bit of climbing, very Nick Dixon, I used about five thumb spraggs on it and it has quite knacky manoeuvres. Glad I never tried to onsight it as I wouldn't have got very far and the finish would be gnarly if you didn't know it as the peg and rurp would rip in a fall which would give a very big fall."

Summing up the climb, he commented:

"I was happy to do it in a day. Pete Hurley had brought up a spare beer as well."

James is sponsored by: DMM, BorealRabSterling Rope and is a BMC Ambassador.

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13 Jun, 2016
"and finally ticking off all the E9s in North Wales" Wow! Good effort! Anyone know how many there are?
13 Jun, 2016
Very impressive indeed. Obviously at least one person knows how many E9s there are in N.Wales :-)
13 Jun, 2016
There are 8/9 E9s in north Wales from what I counted (depends on weather trauma is E9 or 8)!!!!
13 Jun, 2016
Let's have a guess!Chicama (E9 6c) (is this more like E8 now the gear has been replaced? I don't know?)Indian Face (E9 6c) (Gulp!)Face Mecca (E9 6c) (Also gulp!) Dark Religion (James' FA) (Probably E10) House of Talons (James' FA) (Looks terrifying!)Rare Lichen (E9 6c) (Often thought to be the easiest E9 in Wales, just for info)Gribin Wall Climb (E9 6c) (Left Hand version of Rare Lichen, and a bit harder)Mission Impossible (E9 7a) (Hard but safe, and really good) And also:Trauma (E8 7a) (Got downgraded to E8 by Pete Robins, but hasn't everything!) Spinal Crack (Got downgraded to E8 by Pete Robins, but hasn't everything!) Nightstalker (Was thought to be E9 but downed to E8 after a repeat by Oli G and Benno) Any others? I can't think of any off the top of my head. I guess the big question is - when will we see an E10 in N Wales? Well done James on yet another impressive ascent. When are you going to hang up the boots?! Jack
13 Jun, 2016
All the E9s in N. Wales is very impreesive indeed. Can anyone tell me what a thumb spragg is though and also what's a knacky move? Cheers.
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