Sunday, 8 May 2011

North Wales Crack Climbing

There is something uniquely satisfying about pure crack climbing... a combination of brutality combined with technicality and that need to just keep on questing! I got into crack climbing in Indian Creek Utah... where like most Brits we took a bit of a spanking. Here in the UK we don't have that many pure crack climbs - especially ones which go on for 40 meters with no deviation in the width of the crack or face holds to rest on! I remember the first crack I got on was graded the equivalent of HVS and by 8 meters I had placed nearly all the cams I had and was pumped out of my mind. I managed to finish it after a couple of rests though! Jon, an 8b sport climbe,r managed to get defeated by a VS crack called chocolate corner so I didn't feel too bad!

Climbing Scarface 5.11 Indian Creek
These past few weeks I've climbed a couple of good crack numbers in Snowdonia that are definitely worth seeking out. On Friday I headed into the quarries with Greg with the intention of taking on The Dinorwig Unconquerables. We climbed a few routes on the Skyline Buttress of Australia before slogging up to the top of The Lost World. A short abseil in takes you to the bottom of The Unconquerables - a 26 metre splitter crack. Its graded E3 which I think is a little generous if you know how to Jam and you have 5 size 2 friends!
I really enjoyed climbing it and as I started to get a little tired a few helpful foot holds appeared! Well worth its 3 stars.

Approaching the roof of The Dinorwig Unconquerables
So if you are inspired here is a little crack tick list to get stuck into:

Cobweb Crack VS - Dinas Cromlech. A few different jamming skills required here
Herfords Crack HVS - Clogwyn y Tarw. Beautiful hand jamming crack... if only it was 50 meters long!
The Grond E1 - Dinas Cromlech (more like E2!). Awesome and steep corner crack - thin hands to start
Ferdinand E2 - Clogwyn y Wenallt. Ring Locks and thin hands to better hand jams and a couple of face holds
The Dinorwg Unconquerables E3 - Lost World, Dinorwig Slate. Soft for the grade as long as you have enough cams! Awesome line.
Fear of Infection E4 - Llanberis Pass. An infamous man eating offwidth. I've not done this one yet....

Herfords Crack - awesome hand jamming!

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