UKC

Angus Kille repeats Crac Yr Maestri E9 7a

© Ray Wood

Angus Kille has repeated James McHaffie's Crac Yr Meistri (Master's Crack) E9 7a at Nant Peris Quarry in the Llanberis Pass. The line was described by James as being like a more difficult version of Comes the Dervish (E3 5c) and "a North Wales version" of The Walk of Life (E9 6c) E9 6c.

Angus Kille on an earlier attempt at Crac Yr Meistri.  © Ray Wood
Angus Kille on an earlier attempt at Crac Yr Meistri.
© Ray Wood

The route features a bouldery start with "mostly safe" climbing on a slab, with some harder vertical sections higher up and three pegs of questionable quality in addition to decent gear, but with intensely fingery moves and a "brilliant and interesting" top sequence on easier ground.

Having struggled to find the time to climb due to work and having COVID, Angus relished the little time he had to try the line. He told UKC:

"This project felt like a real treat. I often only had two or three hours to get away and play on this on a fixed line, squeezing a finger exerciser while sitting at the traffic lights around Llanberis to save time on the warm up."

Last Monday, Angus attempted to go for the lead with James Williams during a break in the weather, but rain arrived early and thwarted his attempt. He explained:

"I made it most of the way through the route, but the crucial cam in the top sequence got stuck and all I could do was hang there desperately trying to wiggle it in. Of course, I eventually fell and ripped the thing out, but it was great fun being on lead."

Angus returned later in the week with Dan McManus and made a smooth - "if not slightly shaky" - ascent. He told UKC:

"I find that when it's sketchier or poorer conditions I do a better job of getting my head in gear, whereas when it's clear skies and I've taken falls on it already, I'm almost a bit complacent. I don't think anyone else noticed my slightly imprecise footwork, but it was a good reminder that I should take a second before leaving the ground, even if I'm getting midged."

James's proposed grade of E9 7a - and around 8b - seemed about right to Angus, although he also acknowledged that slabs are really hard to grade and is unsure as to his current level of form. Despite the decent gear, the soft slate also makes it tricky to trust placements. He said:

"I think the overall difficulty and traddy feel earn it the E9, but it doesn't feel like the psychological undertaking you get with others. The reliance on pegs at the start are all that really detract from the route, although it's probably 3 stars anyway."

North Wales mountain guide Tim Neill had tipped James off to the project around two years ago, but it wasn't until June this year that he managed to piece it together on lead. James told UKC following his first ascent:

"[It has] a hard start, a hard finish and the middle is E6. I think it will get a bit of attention as hard trad slabs go, it's one of the best in the UK, up there with the Dyer's Lookout routes."

Angus praised James' discovery:

"The route is a quality line and a great addition to the area. Good effort Caff for the FA and Calum for cleaning it up a few years back. I wish I'd been first to it as I really love the route."

Angus adds his ascent of Crac Yr Meistri to a growing list of hard trad lines, including Indian Face E9 6c, Mission Impossible E9 7a and The Walk of Life E9 6c. 


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Angus Kille
North Wales

I found climbing when I was fourteen and instantly became a climber. I grew up in Shropshire, England and learnt to climb on the soft sandstone of Nesscliffe. From the beginning, I knew that being on a rock face was how I...

Angus's Athlete Page 19 posts 2 videos



14 Aug, 2022

Hey Nat.

At the end of the introductory paragraph, why is E9 6c repeated?

Angus Kille has repeated James McHaffie's Crac Yr Meistri (Master's Crack) E9 7a at Nant Peris Quarry in the Llanberis Pass. The line was described by James as being like a more difficult version of Comes the Dervish (E3 5c) and "a North Wales version" of The Walk of Life (E9 6c) E9 6c.

Sav

15 Aug, 2022

Because E9 6C is out there on the streets every night.

https://youtu.be/urX7x68jCh8

15 Aug, 2022

How have I never seen that before, that is brilliant!

15 Aug, 2022

Agreed, such intensity from the legends! The modern remix by Chris Doyle is great, too:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJhibrjekoQ

15 Aug, 2022

I'll watch this film tonight.

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