Nightmare Inauguration: New Anglesey E8 by James McHaffie

© Nick Brown

As reported on DMM's Facebook page, James McHaffie has begun a new year of first ascents with an E8 6b on Anglesey at Porth Dafarch, which he has named Nightmare Inauguration. The steep line offers ten metres of horizontal heel hooking with plenty of exposure.

The seed was sown as James recalled a vague memory from wandering around the area last year, when he spotted a steep zawn with a ramp cutting through it. He told UKC:

'There was only one E5 of George Smith's called Brewing and Nothingness which was on the far left of the face. A five minute walk from the car yesterday and we found it straight away. When you look at it from the side rather than underneath it looked stunning, you realise how steep it is and it looks quite improbable.'

James carried out an epic abseil/back aid across the line to clean it and check the gear, which he claimed was 'almost as exciting as leading it.' He told UKC:

'After a brew I jugged back up and stripped all the gear and after a breather gave it a lead. You need to carry quite a heavy rack but you will have placed all the heavy stuff once you reach one-third of the way along 'the ramp'. The first ten metres is pretty easy leading to steep moves to gain a kneebar at the base of 'the ramp'. You can place an assortment of cams here, mainly small, then you grab the lip of the ramp and thrutch along it. A third of the way along you can place some good cams strenuously, which should be extended quite far so the ropes don't run over the fin and from then on it gets more committing as most of the gear beyond is pretty small, fiddly and not really too great. The finish is brilliant as you get a good wire, guppies and a still sustained finish on solid rock to a huge finishing jug right on the top of the crag.'

Summing up the climb, James told us:

'For those who have done the heel hook traverse on the back of the Cromlech Boulders, it's like doing that but three times longer. It goes well with the four new Gogarth steep ones we put up last year, offering quite different climbing to them but just as steep.'

James' choice of a politics-themed route name 'Nightmare Inauguration' is in-keeping with his Gogarth E7 first ascent in July last year, Divided Britain (UKC News Report). He has provided the following route description:

Nightmare Inauguration: E8 6b, 22 metres.

The ramp through the overhanging face gives an incredible heel hook trip with an adventurous feel. 

Start 3 metres right of Brewing & Nothingness.

Climb easily but carefully up a corner and break up right onto a ledge above (gear on left). Steeper moves lead to a knee bar on the base of 'the ramp', place as much gear as you can then tussle right for a few metres before placing key cams above (sizes 2s, 2.5 and 3) being careful to extend them past the edge of the ramp. Grab the lip of the ramp and follow it in a wild position to eventually arrive at good guppies, a good wire and a still interesting finish leading to a huge finishing jug.

James McHaffie is sponsored by: Boreal, DMM, Rab, Sterling Rope and is a BMC Ambassador.

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23 Jan, 2017
Nice one but what's a guppy, other than a tropical fish?
23 Jan, 2017
23 Jan, 2017
I thought a guppy was when you gripped a hold with your inner palm like this: . Is what I'm doing in this picture still a guppy? (fingers are just resting).
23 Jan, 2017
A guppy is when you wrap your hand around a piece of rock whilst in a gaston position, but rather than gastoning an edge you would be guppying a larger feature. If that makes any sense!? I.e if you climbed an arete straight on you'd turn each hand so your fingers faced inwards with elbows facing out and you'd grip the arete in a guppy. In fact if you look at the picture of will hunt on the front page montage picture for the unknown stones article will is guppying with his right hand!!
23 Jan, 2017
The key is to contract as little as possible, but it depends on the hold you're using of course. I suppose you are guppying in that photo, although it looks like it'd be better to just open hand it as a sloper? It's most useful on spikey holds or ones with some sort of curved lip on them. You can try to get as much of your palm involved as you can, but sometimes your fingers will have to engage a bit, I think!
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