Home page Planetmountain.com

Hard trad repeats in Wales by James McHaffie, Angus Kille, Emma Twyford, Gérome Pouvreau, Florence Pinet


Good weather has resulted in a series of hard trad repeats in Wales by the likes of James McHaffie, Angus Kille, Emma Twyford, Gérome Pouvreau and Florence Pinet.

Summer is far from over but the spell of good weather has resulted in a number of notable repeats across Wales. First off the mark was James McHaffie on Master's Wall, the trad masterpiece put up by Jerry Moffatt high on Cloggy in North Wales. McHaffie'd success came about after his "truly life-changing” onsight attempt in 2000 that almost killed him: stranded at circa half-height, unable to go either up or down the 19-year-old untied, dropped his ropes and waited for half and hour while his partner ran to the top. McHaffie clung on, in the sun and with bleeding finger tips waiting for the ropes to be thrown down from above. Harrowing, on a route McHaffie now rates as one of the most serious leads he has ever done.

A few days later and just a few meters to the left, Angus Kille managed to pull off a rare ascent of The Indian Face E9 6c. The mere handful of repeats are testament to how dangerous and tricky the climbing is on this huge psychological slab testpiece established by Jonny Dawes in 1986. Kille practiced the route on his own on a fixed rope a few times before taking the sharp end and placing all the very poor gear on the lead.

Remaining in Wales, but travelling south to Pembroke, it’s worth noting that the historic (and also somewhat controversial) The Big Issue is quickly becoming one of the most popular E9’s in the entire UK. First ascended at Bosherston Head by John Dunne in 1996 after having removed the bolts placed originally by Pete Oxley in demonstration that the route could be climbed clean, it was first climbed with gear placed during the actual ascent by Japan’s Yuji Hirayama (after abseil inspection). In 2017 Ali Kennedy, Jacopo Larcher, Roland Hemetzberger and Barbara Zangerl, James McHaffie and Ryan Pasquill all followed suit, and now Emma Twyford has joined this list, becoming the first British woman to repeat this fearsome and steep line. In 2013 Twyford became the second woman to climb E9 after Hazel Findlay with her ascent of Rare Lichen at Ogwen Valley, while earlier this year she repeated the E9 Once Upon a Time in the South West at Dyer's Lookout.

Pembroke has also been the preferred destination for French couple Gérome Pouvreau and Florence Pinet who have made some remarkable repeats: both climbed The Big Issue, Chupacabra and Point Blank, placing gear on lead, while 2001 World Champion Pouvreau also made short work of Muy Caliente. They began their climbing holidays with a rare ascent of the emblematic The Quarryman in the Llanberis slate quarries, with both climbers leading all pitches. Not bad for a first trip to 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 rock 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.

It’s important to enjoy the climbs you choose to do whilst trying hard! I have my game face and my savour the moment and be happy face. Big issue (e9 6c) is one of the most aesthetic and iconic lines in Pembroke I have ever climbed. Having come close last year with the gear in I decided to try it this year placing the gear apart from having the peg tied off. The location is truly special and intimidating but more than anything I’ve really enjoyed the process of trying this route and the camaraderie with @madeleine_cope @simonrawlinson @rfrugtniet and @matt_helliker. It’s so fickle for conditions but it makes the challenge more entertaining! Thank you @matt_helliker for the patient belay and @j.bunney for the @patagonia_climb @patagonia @patagoniaeurope @dmm_wales @scarpa_uk @climbskinspain @frictionlabs

A post shared by Emma Twyford (@emmatwyford) on


NEWS / Related news:
Difficult Pembroke trad climbing by Zangerl, Larcher & Co
Difficult Pembroke trad climbing by Zangerl, Larcher & Co
Barbara Zangerl, Lara Neumeier, Roland Hemetzberger and Jacopo Larcher have repeated numerous difficult trad climbs during their climbing trip to Pembroke in Wales, including The Big Issue E9 6c and Muy Caliente E9/E10.
British trad: great Pembroke climbs by Caroline Ciavaldini, Yuji Hirayama and James Pearson
British trad: great Pembroke climbs by Caroline Ciavaldini, Yuji Hirayama and James Pearson
At Pembroke in Wales Caroline Ciavaldini has climbed Mercia Wall E8, Yuji Hirayama has climbed The Big Issue E9 while James Pearson has made a flash ascent of Something's Burning E9. Caroline Ciavaldini talks us through these three difficult trad climbs.
Rock climbing on Cloggy - Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Wales
Rock climbing on Cloggy - Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, Wales
Rock climbing on Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, or Cloggy, one of the best mountain crags in Britain.
Caroline Ciavaldini makes first female ascent of The Quarryman in Wales
Caroline Ciavaldini makes first female ascent of The Quarryman in Wales
France's Caroline Ciavaldini has made the long-awaited first female ascent of The Quarryman in the slate quarries above Llanberris in North Wales. First ascended by Johnny Dawes back in 1987, this climb is one of the most famous multi-pitch rock climbs in Great Britain.
Huntsman's Leap, rock climbing in Wales
Huntsman's Leap, rock climbing in Wales
With almost 60 routes on its East and West Walls, Huntsman's Leap is one of the most popular sea cliffs in Pembroke, Wales.
Jerry Moffatt interview
Jerry Moffatt interview
Interview with Jerry Moffatt, one of the most successful climbers in the world during the 1980's and 1990's, with important first ascents such as Stone Love 8b+ in Germany's Frankenjura and Liquid Ambar 8c+ at Lower Pen Trwyn, Wales and The Ace FB8B at Stanage, England.




Full text search


EXPO / Products
EXPO / Company News
Planetmountain.com logo
Planetmountain.com is updated daily: news, rock climbing, walks, trekking, alpinism, freeride skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboarding and ice climbing on the mountains worldwide. Furthermore, climbing techniques explained, gear & book reviews, expert advice, mountain photography, interviews and competition reports.

Subscriber to receive the weekly newsletter with all the latest news from planetmountain.com

Recent Comments Ice
  • Distensione
    Via sportiva molto bella, dalla linea logica, in ambiente su ...
    2017-09-14 / Michele Lucchini
  • L'uomo Volante
    Il 10 giugno 2017, insieme all'amico Michele, decidiamo di r ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • Gallo George
    Il 16 luglio 2016, invogliati dalla relazione, ci siamo avve ...
    2017-07-12 / Enrico Maioni
  • All-in
    Francesco Salvaterra e Filippo Mosca 27 gennaio 2017, probab ...
    2017-02-02 / Francesco Salvaterra
Via delle Rosine, prima discesa, #iorestoacasa
Federico Ravassard Outdoor Photography