Monday, 22 June 2009

Anglesey (Again!)

Sea Cliffs (and kayaking?) 20th and 21st June 2009.

Despite many previous visits, it seems that some of our members still have an unnatural enthusiasm for the sea side climbing experience. Indeed, it seems that some are already practising to immerse themselves more fully in the marine environment. Here is Graham's latest report:

Been to gogarth on the weekend - here is a little summary...

The Main Cliff at Gogarth is one hell-of-a place. From a distance it looks green and horrible. The scramble down looks intimidating. And the sea level traverse is - well, an unknown quantity. The icing on the cake - in typical Gogarth style - is that the easiest routes are probably still too hard for us.

In reality... The scramble down to sea level turns out not to be too bad, although it is very exposed and there's a little too much steep grass for comfort. The sea level traverse is plain good fun, partly because we got very wet when a couple of big sets came in and submerged our feet and ankles. Our legs were also very damp from spray.

The route, Scavenger (HVS 5a, 88m, 3*), is just fantastic. It was really hard work, though - certainly no DOWH (how they can be neighbours in the graded list is a bit of a mystery). Pitch one is a pleasant wall climb on jugs and satisfying feeling pinches, and leads to a suitably large ledge. The second pitch is a full on 45m, tackling two corners either side of a short traverse. The first corner has some very hard bridging moves.

I was leading, and found it sufficiently difficult and strenuous enough to fall off couple of times. This was particularly frightening considering the limited gear and it's apparently poor quality. What I thought was a very dubious wire wedged itself in(and is in fact still there), which I was grateful for because if it hadn't the sound of pain would have been ringing around Gogarth Bay. I did eventually manage to overcome this section with more tentative moves even further above the still iffy looking wire using some unnervingly wobbly holds.

The second corner is technically a fraction easier, but it is very sustained and fantastically exposed - it's a 30m vertical drop down to the sea from the bottom of it. Ste led this in typical determined fashion after I took an impromptu belay due to my fragile mental and physical state.

When I arrived at the belay there was an overpowering stench of rotten fish - which Ste claimed wasn't him but a nearby razorbill nest. Above this a 50m pitch - the first quarter of which was rock covered in weird green furry things, the rest steep, crumbly grass - led with much relief to the top.

All in all, we got a full value Gogarth experience - we wouldn't have it any other way. Quality.

We also went kayaking there (Between South Stack and Treaddur Bay - pen-something-something point?) with Jeff and the Wigan Canoe Group on Sunday - good fun and even more hard work!

[Editor's note: If your legs ache after canoing, then your probably doing it wrong! Did you get in a pedalo by mistake? Also, have a look at the name on Jeff's canoe, strangely appropriate.]