Si Panton and friends have developed an excellent new dolerite boulder in the Ogwen Valley. The Lunar Block can be found approximately 100m down the hill and slightly to the left (if looking up) of the Seren boulder. It is best reached from the enclosed, rectangular car park to the right of the Milestone Buttress boulders.
Follow the steep path up from the right end of the car park and after 10 minutes or so of stomping break off left and head up through a collection of small boulders until the main block is seen. It faces north east towards Milestone Buttress, and as such is slightly hidden until your are right on top of it (this presumably being the main reason why it has not been found before).
Si stumbled across it last year while checking out some of the Milestone Buttress satellite problems. Progress was initially slow as Si had a torn bicep injury; on the first couple of visits he could only manage some of the more amenable stand up lines, but gradually as his injury repaired itself the tougher lines began to fall. A few friends got involved (Andy Godber, Henry Griffiths and latterly, Gav Foster) and finally last night all the main lines were completed.
This is a shady block so conditions are usually good, even when itís quite warm and sunny (Not that weíve seen much warmth of late, and not that Iím complaining about that because frankly these sort of temps are great for bouldering and climbing. The jet stream can stay stuck where it is as far as Iím concerned! Ė Editorís note). The shadiness does mean that it is a little slower to dry out than more sun-exposed faces. So donít expect good nick after heavy rain.
A minor issue is the landing, which can be a bit damp outside of a dry period. Itís best to place your pads face down and use additional spot pads as dry stepping stones to get back round once youíve completed a problem.
1. Space Travel 7A **
The right-to-left traverse of the block is a tricky puzzler with a brilliant crux section. Follow the shelf leftwards then make hard moves into and out of the shallow scoop. If you crack the magic sequence continue along the thin break, all the way to the Dancing Dog arÍte. [Si Panton 04.05.13]
2. The Dust 6B **
An excellent problem with several different solutions. In fact, see how many different ways you can climb it. The sidepull Ďfiní hold marks the start. [Si Panton 13.03.13]
2a. Gold Dust 6C **
Crouching start: left hand on good layaway and right on poor sloping guppy. [Si Panton 02.05.13]
2b. Gold Exit 6C *
From the Gold Dust start reverse the first section of Space Travel and rock out at the end. [Si Panton 02.05.13]
3. The Beam 6A **
Obvious line of weakness just right of centre. Bridge elegantly up the shallow scoop to gain better holds and head quickly for the top. [Si Panton 05.03.13]
4. The Shadow 6B+ **
Start just left of The Beam and using the good edge Ė gain a small left hand hold and make a thin slap to a decent hold on The Beam then exit up left or right. [Si Panton 02.05.13]
4a. Moon Shadow 7B **
A desperate, baffling line, which may require some improvisation! Start crouching, left hand on the obvious sidepull, right on the low large sidepull. Hard moves lead up right into The Shadow stand up. [Si Panton 30.05.13]
5. The Stomp 6C **
A fine but frustrating number. Climb straight up above the prominent sidepull to grasp the diagonal rail (much harder than it looks!). [Henry Griffiths 04.05.13]
5a. Moon Stomp 7A **
Blast off from the Moon Shadow crouching start. Burly stuff! [Henry Griffiths 23.05.13]
6. Moon Dog 7A+ **
The rising diagonal line is an exquisitely powerful affair. From the Moon Shadow crouching start follow the line of holds leftwards, somewhat anxiously, into Dancing Dog. [Si Panton 22.05.13]
7. Dancing Dog 4B *
The undercut arÍte is tricky to start but soon eases.
7a. Dancing Dog sds 7B *
Powerful, gut wrenching stuff. Pull on, matched on the obvious low hold, and slap upwards with gusto! [Gav Foster 30.05.13]
8. 4A *
Balance up rib on the far left to better holds. NiceÖ
The adjacent boulder has a few easier lines on the right and round on the left side:
9. Andyís Problem 6C *
Start sitting with a pair of sidepulls. Pull up and make a hard match on some edges then finish up the right arÍte. [Andy Godber 04.05.13]
To see a bigger version of the topo go to the topo download page.