Saturday, 12 April 2014

Open Project of the Month - April

Passion versus Obsession. Two sides of the same hill, one side full of positivity, then go too far and you're over the brow and into the slough of despond. I seem to spend a lot of time teetering on the top of this hill, and it has happened again with the latest big discovery.

This is the chappy I discovered on my last (February) visit to Shale City. And very happy it made me too. Its solid and big (2m wide at the nose) and has lots on unhelpful slopey directional holds.

I returned with mats 2 months later during a neep tide and found this:
The pebble level had risen 1-2 feet, so the appealing huggable prow was off limits, and the arrival of spring had raised the algal growth. With a little trial and error I found that the rock cleaned up with some ragging ( a flannel, but next time a towel, more clean bits to use) followed by chalking and brushing off. With limited warm ups I found it slow to get going, but slowly pieced some links between holds and established some finishing points:

G was a highball finish and K was the lowball. I did a traverse from pockets C&D to K via F, and managed a lower start from B and D. I also went C&D up to G, E&H to F, J&I to K, and spent a while trying to link into this from the crack underneath (in Vid) via the cool pocket M.
This last project would be worthwhile regardless of pebble height, and if the pebble height lowers to previous levels then the A&B start can be used for the high traverse. The keel might be possible from the L hold by the strong, and with lower pebbles the talented may link the keel from A&B.

I've done enough obsession, but I'm passionate that someone should make something of this. I will still return at  some point, preferably the end of spring tide cycle to see if the pebbles levels lower, but I'll want a spotter and less creaky elbows.
Don't try to solo out the back as the last 2 feet is shale cities finest.

Now for the location; Park at Trefor Beach and walk past the pier to the headland. Scramble down to the remains of the old pier and its found in the second cove. Its accessible about 1.5 hours either side of low tide. Here's a Pic.



  1. Good to see this getting some action! Skinny Dog Owen ( did some exploring round here a couple of summers ago and mentioned potential but didn't get any climbing done, nor did he return! Love it round there and always looked up at those quarries wondering....

    Have you explored the quarries above Nefyn/Pistyll area? I went up many years ago as a keen newbie and did some bits and pieces but nothing significant... Nice rock when it's not chossy...

    1. Gwylwyr quarry? its on my list along with Carreg Lefain. basically anything with a 30-40min drive time from Llanberis fits in with my current allotted play time. Although I recently revisited Dinorwig quarry and toyed with an old project...

  2. My mum is originally from Clynnog so I know these bays very well. I've done some stand starts on that feature- it is impressive. I've also done a nice problem directly opposite up a steepish arete from sitter. Lovely place.

    1. Hi Dave, I know the arete, but the bottom was a bit buried/seaweedy this visit so was trying from the niche behind it up the crack then onto the arete. Nice stuff, but very pebble dependant. have you played on it in the warm? I've a crazy theory that it may be easier to stick... will return when I'm less creaky, have you tried coming out from underneath the front?