Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Open Project of the Month - September

This month, following a tip off from a certain stout naped gentleman, I took my first of hopefully many visits to Nant Gwrtheyrn. This former quarrying village was subsequently abandoned and recently restored to form a unique heritage center and school for those Dysgu Cymraeg. The valley it which it resides is very steep and secluded and reminded me more of the French Alps than Wales.

Looking down from the car park to the cafe, and Fantan B beyond. Being a popular stop for walkers and the retired, I got some funny looks stomping through with two pads.... There is a winding path beyond, that gains the beach 50 meters below (that's elevation folks not distance, long winding path...) 
Upon arrival this is the view to the left; Craig y Llam and Fantan B, this might make an alternative approach, and I'm keen to explore Penrhyn Glas quarry next time.

To the right Avernus, and our goal; a little cluster of boulders at the beaches end. 
Yes its a walk (I'll only take one decent pad next time, rather than a stack) but the beach is serene and Groovy (certainly on this sunny day) and I shared its entire length with about 5 people. Although there is many sizable blocks here only one gave worthwhile value: 
Other blocks were okay to warm up on, but were either too easy or a bit loose. This puppy, however was worth the 2 hour wait for the tide to recede (I had a good book)
First I tackled the nose, which took a while as the Grandolorite offers good holds at awkward angles, and perfectly positioned poor ones. The result was Moli Mawr, SDS off a side pull and a nubbin (a&b), maybe F6B. the undercut prow meant that heel hook maneuvers were the order of the day, I explored the slab on the right with a couple of standing variations before setting down to try the sitters.

The obvious slanting crimps c&d required a heel rockover outside my current flexibility and are the open project for this month, as its the line of the bloc.

I did make it up Two Bites of Cherry off of d & e (a flatty hidden under neath) at about F6C

 The Cellar bloc might be of interest to some as it give steep 2-3 move eliminates with lots of poor and hard to grasp holds to choose from. (I failed to top on any of them)
Also of significant interest is the peninsular jutting out into the sea, I explored it at high tide, but the initial section would give some boulder potential, and the remained would provide some  fine sea level japes ( I was not prepared with cozzie)..

All in all, this is a really tidy spot, good for families that don't mind the odd slog, and Dads who don't want to just sit around, swimming looks good too.

I stopped to photograph this cliff on the steep hair pinned drive out, after my shenanigans in Twll Mawr last week they look really appealing (and Big), incidentally Calum returned yesterday and straightened the Antiquarian with a direct! Bon Effort, and makes me keen forth crack system to the right.

Oh and if you visit in the next few days, I left my sunnies on a boulder above the high tide mark


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