An Xmas Gift

It’s a satisfying feeling in any sphere of life to follow an idea through from conception to completion. The initial bubbling up into consciousness, via research – sometimes just finding out what to research, to carrying it out in action. Climbing’s no different.

I discovered the perfect dry-tooling crag on xmas day whilst out for a nosey based on hunches and a bit of research. As far as dry-tooling crags go this one’s the best I’ve seen in this country. It ticks all the right boxes:

High (30m+ in places), a variety of angles from vertical walls to horizontal roofs, with a predominance of slightly overhanging 30m pump-fests. Natural holds with interesting features, torquing cracks from baggy to thin, lovely sweeping visual lines crossing exposed walls. Quarried. Beautiful location with gorgeous views. Short walk-in. Close to home. Unsuitable for rock-climbing? – that’s debatable but it’s dark, damp and dirty. However, akin to Devil’s Gorge it could clean up to provide impressive long sport routes given a dry spell and a thorough scrubbing – it’s the sort of place someone like me would be all over cleaning and bolting as a sport crag except for a: it’s December and, b: I’m as keen about mixed climbing as I am about every other discipline. They could be dry-tooled every day of the year no matter the weather (it’s sheltered enough) and there are already enough sport routes in the region, but not enough amazing dry-tooling routes, so this is going to provide the most fun dry-tooling ever whilst I’m also hopeful the routes might make decent sport-routes in summer to give a truly unique venue!

Together with the climbing in the mines lower down the valley, this is going to turn Crafnant into a dry-tooling nirvana. How bizarre is that. That it’s going to come about in one of the quietest, most secluded and beautiful, and strongly traditional, of North Wales’s climbing venues makes it all the more special.

A gift that will keep on giving for years. Woot woot. All down to following through on an idea. 🙂

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