The annual Rucksack
Club trip to Gogarth.
down early Saturday morning and meeting at the cafe at South Stack
at around 10:30pm. Plans are finalised and we decide to drive over
to North Stack, rather than walking. I climb with Bill Bardsley
and Rick Gibbon climbs with Charlie Perrin. We are going to Wen
Zawn.The ab down is always slightly nervy, and even the approach
track can set nerves jangling even before the ab is reached.
Rick and Charlie
were going to do Concrete Chimney, and Bill and I were doing Wen.
Starting from ledges above the water, Bill led off up the Wen crack
and belayed where A Dream of White Horses crossed. He should have
gone further and this was to cause me a problem later. I led on
up the same line until I
came to a bulge
on the left. An awkward move onto this shield and I ran out of rope.
I had to make the best belay I could and bring Bill up.
came up and joined me, gear was swapped and he only had a couple
of moves to do and he was on the ledge which led off left to a belay
at the finish.
We walked down
onto the Promontary to have a break and watch the climbers in the
zawn. It's a great place to sit and watch in the sun.
But we wanted to carry on and do Britomartis, an superb route up
the front face of the cliff. Again we had to abseil in onto a square
ledge just above the sea level. We pulled the rope down....and there
was only one way to get out. There was another climber belayed on
the ledge already and we had to be careful to ensure our ropes didn't
I had to lower myself down the front of the rock. It's then you
see the sea just below you and the route rising above you and you
wonder what the heck you are doing there. But the holds are good
and the excitement is high. Gear goes in and you can relax. The
climbing must be thought about and the best line selected, A steep
line rising leftward leads to a small ledge. It was rather crowded
as three other climbers were already there and it was going to be
a squeeze to get me in as well. But squeeze in I did, tied myself
in and started to take in as Bill followed me up the wall. A couple
of the other climbers on the ledge had moved on to the second pitch
when Bill reached the ledge. He had plenty of room as he rearranged
the gear and looked to his right for the way off the cliff. It was
a traverse line, not difficult, but with little protection, up a
corner and he was there, back on the Promontary. I joined him to
revel in the pleasure of having done a superb climb in an amazing
We fed well with
an evening barbecue on the beach and started a competition of shot
putting rocks, whilst a brave one or two actually went for a short
swim in the freezing water. There was a karaoke set up in the bar
of the Valley of the Rocks camp site where we were camping which
proved to be to much of a temptation for some.
The next morning Rick and Charlie were off to the Gogarth main cliff
and I joined them for some pictures. It's a lovely area, but the
walk down to the sea level is very precarious, It's another walk
down which Bill is not too keen on, so we went off to Holyhead Mountain
to do King Bee Crack, perhaps the classic of the crag. Bill led
and, with a sore hip, did well to surmount the crux bulge. Actually,
on following, I thought the niche below the bulge slightly more
awkward. Another superb route.
From there we went
over to the Quartz Wall and the superb roof of Black and Tan. But
first to go for was Tension, climbing up to the roof, then moving
left into an amazing position and on superb holds up the final crack
to the top. Our last route then was Black and Tan moving up under
the big curving roof to an awkward move at its end to gain the final
block to the top. A fitting end to an excellent weekend.