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Steve Mcclure repeating The Quarryman E8, Dinorwig slate quarries, North Wales
Photo by Tim Glasby
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The Quarryman and Strawberries - important repeats in Wales

14.06.2011 by Planetmountain

Jorg Verhoeven has made the second on-sight of Strawberries E6 at Tremadog while Steve Mcclure has carried out the first one-day ascent of The Quarryman E8 in the Dinorwig slate quarries.

Despite prohibitive weather the climbers managed a series of important repeats, the most noteworthy of which were carried out on two of the most famous routes in North Wales: Strawberries and The Quarryman.

Strawberries is a classic E6/7 located at Tremadog and was established by Ron Fawcett in 1980 with a fierce crux and good gear which is hard to place on the lead resulting in a long final run-out. Jorg Verhoeven managed to on-sight the route this May and to comprehend the importance it is worth noting that this is only the second ever on-sight after Stefan Glowacz's flawless effort back in 1987.

The Quarryman is a very different kettle of fish and the four-pitch bolt route was masterminded by grit and slate master Johnny Dawes in 1989. It has quite rightly achieved legendary status, in part thanks to the Stone Monkey film published below, but above all due to its compelling and complex line which, over these last two decades, has seen only a handful of ascents.

Mcclure expained "The Quarryman is really all about the famous groove pitch. An incredible natural feature; huge in both stature and status. Intimidating as hell! Entering the groove is the easy bit, but requires faith in poor footholds and contortionist moves. Then it all starts, or ends! The holds certainly end. Slate is famously smooth but the side walls of this groove seem to have been buffed to a sheen. Upward progress is the same as on a diff chimney, but somewhat harder! It’s all pushing, all of it. Within seconds the whole body is sweating and breathing sounds like you’ve sprinted the 200m. Then some holds come, all kind of in the wrong place, and actually barely any really, but at least it’s a chance to pull!"

After a first day working the route with Neil Mawson, McClure managed what is believed to be the first one-day ascent, commenting afterwards: "The real challenge, which is still to be done, is to climb the whole thing in a SINGLE day" before concluding "I’ve climbed 8c in shorter time and with less effort!"


Marmot Rocks North Wales



Rock climbing in Wales - a choice selection
- Dinas Cromlech - some of the best extreme rock climbs in the entire UK.
- Cloggy - Clogwyn Du'r Arddu - the shrine of British rcok climbing.
- Vivian Quarry - the most popular slate crag in Wales
- Rainbow Slab - arguably the jewel in the crown of Llanberis slate.
- Gogarth - one of the best sea cliffs in Britain. Fullstop.
- Lower Pen Trwyn - simply the best sport crag in North Wales.
- Huntsman's Leap - one of the most popular sea cliffs in Pembroke, South Wales.

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