Friday, 18 July 2014

Open Project of the Month - July

This Month we visit a project that has been very close to my heart; it was the very first Giveaway of the Month back in 2009, and a project I raved about back then. This was a period of time where I was relatively time rich (in between Logan and the Twins) but finger pulley injuries had set me on the path to crack addiction. It was whilst I was sampling the Big G's fine Running Jam that I glanced over and espied this massive roof, and what appeared to be a crackline through it. This turned out to be a ramp forming the Arête Superior of the SuperProw of Cwmffynnon:
This was obviously not a crack, or within my realm of optimism at that time. So I tried to sell it to all the great and good, but still the Super prow abides...
Fast forward 5 years, and I'm getting more and more blessed allocations of adventure time, and the whole year of open projects came about. This was always at the top of the list, I'm getting a bit less bold, but what a location for a bit of extreme top-roping!
The Mighty Cwmffynnon, a pleasant if out of the way site of adventure bouldering and extreme top-roping. Super Prow is in the middle of the rocky bit, amongst the heather band.
The approach from Pen y Pass took about an hour, although some of this was due to curiosity and incompetence. The final 100m or so are a bit tricky route-finding wise so this piccy might help:

Over the twin streams, up to the second boulder of Giveaway April 2012, then up again over a craglet, to drop down the far side of the prow.

Setting up the Top rope

Testing the Swing

A quick play on the Arête Superior, showed it was a little out of our league (I could pull on the massive starting hold, but movement was improbable. We then moved onto the Arete Inferior; a sort of direct bypassing all the uber-territory and launching into the realms of possibility. This also starts off a clearly defined hold. This is my first attempt:

Many, many attempts later, I got a working sequence, but I was too boxed to link it to the top of the prow. I pulled up the rope to play on the finish:

Here you can see the Arête Superior in all its glory; the starting hold is just right of the slanting hairline fault on the left. Between this and the junction with A. Inferior, there are 2 incut holds and a whole bunch of slopers. A. Superior seems in the upper 7's into 8's range and A. Inferior is somewhere in the low 7's. I'm really keen to return, but I think some mileage is required first.

Could they be Highballed? sort of... The ground slopes away alarmingly, It would be best to be roped and "guided" onto a raft of mats. I'd be more inclined to think in terms of an E grade, despite its diminutive size. You could pre place some RPs that might hold...

Top Rope Bouldering; Could it catch on? Unlikely, too much testosterone in the world. I, for one, will be back with my rig (25m static, 4 screwgates, 2 large nuts, plus the TR) and looking forward to the king swing!


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