The Holy Grail - New 8c at Llanddulas Cave by Chris Doyle

© Michael Doyle

Just a few weeks after adding Final Cut 8c to Parisella's Cave (UKC News Report), 'cave-dweller' Chris Doyle has ticked-off his long-term project at Llanddulas Cave, Conwy, North Wales - creating The Holy Grail (8c) 8c.

Chris Doyle on the first ascent of Holy Grail 8c  © Michael Doyle
Chris Doyle on the first ascent of Holy Grail 8c
© Michael Doyle

The route starts up Last Crusade 8a+ for 13 moves and then breaks left along a horizontal groove to an obvious kneebar. Chris told UKC:

'It's like doing a long, hard Font 8A to there and has a nightmare of a move which I fell off over a hundred times. You get a core intensive rest in the kneebar then you do the redpoint crux section of Temple of Gloom 8b. After reaching the ledge it's f6c to top out the cave.'

Chris bolted the line in 2011 and has since dedicated a significant amount of time to attempting the route, claiming it to be his most rewarding achievement to date:

'It's definitely the most satisfied I've been after climbing something. It was a desperate thing to link physically but mentally it was horrendous due to the stopper move in the middle. I'd get there feeling really good have a split second to execute the move and if I did it wrong I was off.'

As for other potential routes in the cave, Chris has his eye on a few objectives. He added:

'There's actually a harder finish to do. You could finish up Raiders of the Dark Ark (8b+) which is another hard boulder problem. Maybe one for a few years' time after going to some other crags. There's also the main aid line going out of the front of the cave but I'm not sure if it's possible (maybe 9a+ or harder and fully bolted).'

Chris would like to thank Norm Clacher, as he 'would have struggled to get it done' without Norm coming up to belay. 

Watch Chris' ascent below:


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13 Sep, 2016
13 Sep, 2016
Flippin' great effort there Chris. Sensational that, well done. For the camera person: Would've liked to have seen my dear old mate 'Necky' Norman Clacher though TBH. Norm used to call out encouragement like that when we new-routed together on - crikey, E1s ! Please pass on my best and a ton of love, ta. (And I remind you of a PM I sent you yonks ago that that cave was where I had my first ever knee trembler. True!) That cave holds many, well One, Very Happy memory, everyone else can ignore the last sentance. Ha!
13 Sep, 2016
This is brilliant news, so psyched for Chris, an inspiration to all us long term siegers
14 Sep, 2016
This and the story about Mark Katz on that 'ard thing in the Cave are really inspiring. Impressive to see the level of commitment needed to truly delve to the depths of ones potential.
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