Rhoscolyn, Day Two.

Day two climbing with Ann! We decided that we’d take a trip to one of my favorite little crags, Rhoscolyn. Being the host, I was keen to show Ann around some of the nicest lower grade routes the crag has to offer, principally: Symphony Crack, probably the best Diff in the world and Truant, a nice VS 4c!

We arrived at Rhoscolyn at around 9:15am and took a leisurely stroll across the headland; It was obvious that Ann was keen to do Symphony Crack, it had been on her wishlist for some time. We made swift progress and soon we were racking up and scrambling down to the first belay. I set up an anchor and waited for Ann to join me, she readied herself and began leading the first pitch; I decided I’d follow her in my approach shoes, she’d get a much better experience by leading the route!

Photo 1.1 – Ann, about to step on the slab on Symphony Crack. 

ImageShe made quick progress up the route, announcing that she was safe and that I could start climbing. I stepped across the lovely delicate traverse and romped up the remaining immaculate slab and crack above. Ann was delighted at the route and agreed that the only disappointing thing about the route is that it isn’t longer! Beautiful climbing in a wonderful setting; who said Diffs aren’t worthwhile?!

We coiled the ropes and put our kit away and headed the short distance down the cliff, to the top of a route I’d lead a few days previously called Truant-VS 4c. We set up the abseil rope, racked our harnesses and headed down into the zawn. Ann said she’d rather I lead both pitches, which was absolutely fine. I set off on the rightwards traverse, deciding I’d take Ann up the slab and belay below the crux, again, to avoid the wet crack-line below. Soon I was belaying Ann up to me, she made short work of the easier slab and soon she was passing over the gear ready for me to lead again on the second pitch. I started leading and noticed a sling and grab hanging from a thread on the wall to the right, I retrieved it, always enjoying finding crag-swag!! I continued and placed gear ready to pull through the crux, which I did easily due to prior knowledge, I then romped on larger holds to the top!

Photo 1.2- Looking down the route, ready to bring Ann up!

ImageAnn required quite a tight rope on the crux, saying: “That was a hard move”, she seemed to enjoy it though and she climbed the easier section above in fine style before topping out with me. We sorted the ropes and kit and went back to the bags for a spot of lunch and some guidebook scouting!

After having a bite to eat, we saw this lovely arete just to the left of Truant, we decided it must have been S Hawk ally, Diff. It obviously didn’t get climbed much so I set off not expecting much; however, the climbing was lovely. First off was a leftwards trending crack on jugs, followed by a long blocky arete set in a fantastic position- another easy route, but absolutely stunning, such a hidden gem.

We sorted gear, ropes and packed away all the kit, commenting on a very good couple of days! With big smiles on our faces, we headed down for a pint at the White Eagle. What a great two days…THANKS ANN.

Rhoscolyn- a quick hit.

Tonight Dad and I found ourselves with a few hours spare before the weekend began. We decided we’d go to Rhoscolyn- a local sea cliff-to do a route we’d been meaning to do for a while, called Truant (VS 4c). The route was a short two pitches so seemed perfect for a quick hit.

We arrived at the parking area at around 8pm before making the short walk to the crag, the walk is across headlands on flat grassy paths and tracks enabling us to soon be at the top of the crag.

Photo 1.1 – Me heading for the cliffs!

ImageWe found the top of our route and proceeded to set up the abseil station next to it; once we’d racked our harness, put on our shoes and kitted up we descended into the Zawn below, eager to see the route ahead! We landed on a large ledge just above the high tide mark and began flaking the ropes out ready for me to lead away; strictly, the first pitch of the route should have followed the corner but it was wet and seeping badly. Hence, I decided to climb the slab variant to the first belay. According to the guidebook, the first pitch was much easier than the crux and that’s what it proved to be, quite an easy lead to the first belay.

Photo 1.2 – Me leading the easy lower section. 

ImageI set up a belay at the halfway ledge and shouted to Dad that I was safe, soon he began following me up the easier lower slab to reach me at the belay. We commented that the climbing was nice and that the crux was the bulge above the belay. We sorted kit out and soon I was ready to lead away again! I made short moves to gain a small ledge below the crux, the crux seemed to be two big pulls over a bulge in the slab. The gear around the crux wasn’t fantastic, one number 1 wire placement, not a fantastic one either. I climbed through the crux easily, it didn’t feel 4c to me, hard 4b would be my estimate.

Photo 1.3 – Me having just lead the crux. 

ImageAfter the crux, the climbing was easier. A slabby wall following the corner before stepping left slightly and climbing direct to the top. The climbing here, again, felt around 4a! The climbing was nice, though- interesting moves and a nice setting!

Photo 1.4 – Leading the head wall to the top! (sorry about the flash!)

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Soon I found myself at the top, a little disappointed that the route had been considerably easier than I thought it would be- HS 4b in my opinion. I set up a belay and shouted down to Dad that he could begin climbing; he took some time on the crux, finding the strenuous moves awkward. He climbed through in fine style however and made short work of the head wall above. We topped out a little before 9.45pm, swiftly sorted out the ropes and kit, eager to get home for a brew and a slab of cake! We romped the short few miles back to the car, the sun was setting over the fields and we felt in good spirits having made use of the evening. Rhoscolyn really is a lovely setting, I imagine we’ll be back soon to sample some of the other routes at the crag!

Photo 1.5 – Back at the car, ready for tea and cake!

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