James McHaffie repeats The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn
James McHaffie has made the first repeat of The Big Bang 9a at Lower Pen Trwyn, first climbed in 1996 by Neil Carson.
DMM climbing reports that James McHaffie has carried out the long-awaited first repeat of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn in North Wales. Established in 1996 by one of Britain's least-known strong sport climbers - Neil Carson - the route was graded 9a and as such was the first sport climb in Britain to break into this level of difficulty.
The Big Bang takes a line close to Ben Moon's 1984 masterpiece Statement of Youth and Jerry Moffatt's 1990's Liquid Ambar and its 8c climbing which lead to the razor sharp crux lay dormant as the tides came and went and the years passed.
McHaffie is best known in the UK for his hard trad ascents but after repeating nearby Infanticide 8c last year he decided to focus on the biggest prize of all, coming up trumps last weekend. His ascent is great news for the British sport climbing scene which has been driven and dominated for the last decade by Steve McClure and may now - after Adam Ondra's astounding recent visit - see some rekindled activity at the top end.
James McHaffie working The Big Bang
Lower Pen Trwyn
One of the finest sport climbing areas in North Wales, this crag on the Great Orme circa 30 minutes from Llanberis hosts circa 60 routes up to 9a. The main brunt of climbing was developed during the mid '80s and includes a string of three star classics such as Statement of Youth 8a (Ben Moon, 1984), I've been a bad, bad boy 7c+ (Mark Pretty, 1988), Over the Moon 8a (Andy Pollitt, 1988), Liquid Ambar 8c (Jerry Moffatt, 1990), Melancholie 8b (Adam Wainwright, 1992) and The Big Bang (Neil Carson, 1996). Lower Pen Trwyn is affected by the tide and as such can only be climbed on for about 6 hours around low tide. Check the tide timetable prior to your trip and beware of the starts which often feel extremely greasy.