This post may be a little more boring than usual, no colorful images due to being unable to take a camera down to the be ledge due to the rough seas! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the post anyway…
As you’ve guessed, I got out to Gogarth to do Lighthouse Arete today, a lovely VS 4c. I met up with Ann at around 10:30am and headed over to South Stack. The weather had finally broken, the dark skies and cloud soon changed to blue skies and sunshine, the blustery winds remained, however. We arrived at South Stack and decided to rack up, sort the ropes and have a cup of tea at the cafe before heading for the route. The winds were still high and it was still chilly despite the sunshine, so we drank quickly and sorted the kit we’d require on the route before leavening the rest in the car and walking the short distance to the top of the route and the abseil station.
We promptly set up the abseil using the insitu pegs backed up with good wires, another two climbs joined us at the top and were planning to climb for longer than us, so we headed down on their abseil rope. Ann went first, abbing a full 60m pitch and expertly finding the large belay ledge; I followed and soon we were flaking the ropes out on the large ledge, ready for Ann to lead the first 4a pitch. Ann lead away, I was secretly hoping she would lead the pitch quickly as the waves were crashing over the ledge,wetting me each time! Ann climbed well and soon she was setting up an anchor on the top of the first pitch, she announced that she was safe and I quickly followed her along the leftwards rising traverse to meet her at the belay ledge. A really lovely pitch!
I decided that I’d lead the second and third pitches in one go, we sorted the gear and the ropes and soon I was on my way. Climbing easily up the blocky arete that made up the bulk of the second pitch- 4b. After this, I arrived at the base of a large hanging crack/corner, pulling through the overhang into this crack was the crux. I placed a good wire beneath the overhang and pulled through into the crack more easily than expected, I thought this move was only 4b. I promptly climbed the blocky corner crack to a large belay ledge, where I set up an anchor and let Ann know that I was safe. I told her she was free to climb and she began, making short work of the easier second pitch before reaching the crux on what should have been pitch 3. She climbed it in fine style and agreed that 4b was a fair assessment.
We sorted out the gear and re-flaked the ropes, ready for Ann to lead the easier final pitch. The last pitch was a little more broken and less pleasant than the climbing that proceeded it; Ann lead it easily and set up an anchor at the top. Soon I was following her and joining her at the top ledge. We sorted all the kit, derigged the abseil rope and packed away the stuff before heading to the cafe.
We ate some lunch whilst we packed away our kit, ropes and clothes and put them back in the car. The plan was to head over to Rhoscolyn to do another route, however after abbing in we realized that the weather was coming in, so we soloed a diff arete to escape and headed for the pub.
A really pleasant day! Thanks Ann.