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James McHaffie makes the second ascent, and first on-sight of Unrideable Donkey, E7 6c, Wen Zawn, Gogarth. The route was first climbed by Paul Pritchard and Nick Dixon in 1987.
Photo by Alastair Lee, Posing Productions
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Gogarth, rock climbing in Wales

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Rock climbing on Gogarth in Wales, one of the best sea cliffs in Britain.

On the west coast of Anglesey lies the tiny Holy Island, home to the imposing and atmospheric sea cliff Gogarth. Even though the development of this cliff started only in the 1960's, its role as a bastion of British trad climbing is undeniable. Bolts are not tolerated and the hundreds of routes, many affected by the tide, should not be underestimated. Good ropework and route-finding ability are essential, for epics are best avoided here!

Thankfully the majority of the routes are in the mid-grades and the rock quality is very good indeed, making these outings highly rewarding. An ascent of Ed Drummond's timeless classics A Dream of White Horses HVS 5a and The Strand E2 5c will be remembered for many years to come, as will Pat Littlejohn's beautiful Hunger E5 6a, to name just one of the many magnificent hard routes on the daunting Main Cliff.

The controversial but undeniably brilliant John Redhead left his mark on the infamous North Stack Wall during the 1980's, creating a series of life threatening routes; his worrying The Bells The Bells E7 6b was Britain's first E7 and it waited a staggering 6 years for its first repeat at the hands of Andy Pollitt! Fawcett's The Cad E6 6a, described as one of the best pitches in Wales, receives more ascents thanks to the psychological assistance of the controversial rusty old bolt. This is still no easy outing, for the bolt has been replaced only once since it was placed in 1978! The faint-hearted should best stay well away from this wall.

CLIMBING ON GOGARTH, ANGELSEY, WALES

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