Guidebook research work has lead to the accidental first ascent of a superb new roof problem in the Llanberis Pass.
A few weeks back Si Panton was checking problems on The Pieshop boulder on the Wavelength hillside:
“I did the V4s on the right side of the main roof, all of which were my problems from back in 1997 and two of which were really undergraded. I had never done Sam Cattell’s 7B+, Pie Eyed, which comes out of the roof to the left and wasn’t really sure of the line. I had a quick play and surprised myself by doing all the moves finishing into Chip Chop Slapper. I then had a go at linking it together and made it right through, only to slip off with my left hand on the lip.”
“I had to leave then so didn’t try it again, but I did rave about the quality to Jack Rattenbury and a few weeks later went back up with him and Keith Scarlett. After sussing out the tricky sequence Jack managed to top the problem out. Keith also managed it and I got to the top again only to suffer a bad power fade and let go. We then spent the rest of the session trying the left hand line, which we thought would be a first ascent. Jack got very close but in the end was too tired.”
“Speaking to Sam Cattell the next day I discovered that he knew nothing of the right hand line, and had actually climbed the left hand line. He did it from a move further back and (despite what it says in the NWB guide) did not use the foot plinth underneath for his feet either. So it turned out that Jack had unwittingly done a first ascent when he did the right hand line.”
"I was slightly gutted when I realised - I would certainly have had another go on that first session if I'd known a FA was at stake!"
The right hand line has been named Beef Growler (in honour of an amazing pie sold in the farm shop at the back of the Tebay service station on the M6) and rates a solid 7B. Start with feet on the slopey plinth/block underneath, with hands grappling the slopey rail feature. Climb out past a small slopey edge (left hand) into the wild finish of Chip Shop Slapper.
The original version of Pie Eyed is probably worth 7C/+ as the first move is very hard and may only suit shorter climbers. The shorter version (Plinth Eyed) - starting with your left hand in the finger slot, right on the right hand ramp and feet on the plinth - is easier, say, 7B, but arguably a better more balanced problem. Either way, power outwards to match the juggy nose just below the lip. Pull up and then leftwards around the lip on a series of pockets, an edge and a rounded diagonal before making a final slap for the top and mantelling over leftwards.
Last night Dave Evans added a good right hand finish to Beef Growler; Beef Pasty 7B+ climbs most of Beef Growler but then hand traverses the break rightwards to top out via the right hand version of The Pieman, i.e using The Nasty Pasty crimp with your right hand (instead of left). It would be possible to extend the traverse a touch further into The Nasty Pasty - this would be harder but perhaps not as natural.