Climbing Past the Glorious 1st

Simon Lake makes traverses out towards the first of the unique Chimneys of Mousetrap
Simon Lake makes traverses out towards the first of the unique Chimneys of Mousetrap

Well, I got an early call yesterday to go climbing, the plan was to go visit a obscure part of main cliff. However both simon and I were goosed from a weekend at work. I had run down the Idwal Slabs descent and my quads were on fire, so put my foot down, and asked what the date was, and as it was the 2nd of August, it seemed appropriate to head to the roadside attraction of Mousetrap Zawn.

Simon hadn’t climbed mousetrap, so I let him climb the first and second pitches which are by far the best climbing. I forgot just how good the route is, with large holds everywhere, steep but never desperate on soft and sandy rock. The position is unique, and so popular that the route had seen an ascent on the Sunday, by two locals.

I lead the top pitch which is a bit more goey, in that the holds as big but not positive, and the gear and rock rather more suspect. It is still good, meaning the route has 3 great E2 pitches, making it the classic that it is. With the ab rope already in place we, or I choose to try the E1 on the extreme left hand side of Right Hand Red Walls.

Unfortunately we didn’t have the guide, and we started from the wrong place, no sooner had I started a nasty traverse in I touched a large flake and it disappeared into the zawn below. It was a really dust fest, and I eventually managed to get to the route, which when I returned home I found to be recommend as a good introduction to ‘this style of climbing’. Personally it was neither a good introduction, nor E1. I felt in warrented E2 for the section I climbed from about 30ft up to the final feint groove crack. The crack was good, but the feeling at the top was more one of relief of survival than triumph.

Quite a normal feeling for esoteric Red Walls routes. Anyway the cliffs are open, and all you need is a good bit of weather, which gogarth gets more than the constant drizzle that the mountains are getting at the moment. I really want to climb RH Red Wall again now. A good reason to get the 100m abseil rope out, and have some roadside adventures.

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