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Owen Hayward on The Great Beast 7B/+ Photos: Si Panton


Jon Ratcliffe on Hellís Devil 7A+


Pete Robins on Speak of the Devil 8A


Jon Ratcliffe on The Underworld 6B+

Over the winter months Owen Hayward found and developed a fantastic new boulder at the far end of the Porth Nefoedd beach (i.e. on the opposite side of the Trwyn Talfarach headland to Porth Ysgo). The Hellís Mouth block (GR 233 269) is a bit like a Caseg Boulder by the sea Ė yeah, that good! It really is an excellent addition to this superb bouldering area.

Owen climbed a series of excellent problems, culminating in his best effort; The Great Beast 7B/+. He then called in a few mates to have a look. Pete Robins made a beeline for the hard project on the front face and managed to nail it on his second day of attempts. Speak of the Devil 8A is a flawless stand up problem that would not look out of place in Fontainebleau (Bas Cuvier, specifically). Pete reckoned a very tall climber might be able to out lank the tenuous crux, but that it would still be at least 7C. (See below for a film of the first ascent.)

Si Panton also got involved extending a couple of Owenís links along the immaculate slopey ramp at the left side of the front face.

Far Nefoedd is non-tidal in all but the biggest tides / surf. Problems are described from the easiest/lowest arete reached on the approach working right (anti-clockwise) round the block.

1. Damnation 5C * The easiest and shortest arete from a sit start. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

1a. Damnation Mouth 7A * Damnation sit start into Sympathy for the Mouth. [Si Panton 1.14]

2. Sympathy for the Devil 6B * Sit start under middle of the white lichen covered slopey ledge just right of Damnation and bellyflop onto it. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

2a. Sympathy for the Mouth 7A * A great left to right link from this start into a finish up Hellís Mouth via the obvious slopey ramp. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

3. Hellís Mouth 7A ** The steeper right arÍte of the wall facing the approach climbed on its left side from a sit start. Pull on with positive small edge for left and diagonal edge on arÍte at same height for right. Powerful moves latch the slopey ledge and a tenuous finish above. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

3a. Hellís Devil 7A+ ** An excellent right to left link from this start along the slopey ledge to finish up Sympathy for the Devil. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

3b. Hellís Damnation 7A+ ** Extend Hellís Devil to join and finish up Damnation. [Si Panton 1.14]

4. The Great Beast 7B/+ ** Climb the seaward face just right of the Hellís Mouth arÍte from a standing start at an obvious good left hand sidepull. A tenuous sequence to gain and pass the high fingery gaston leads to good holds and an easy top out. [Owen Hayward 22.12.13]

5. Project Over the overlap and up the centre of the blank slab to the right of The Great Beast to latch the high slopey ledge

6. Speak of the Devil 8A *** The brilliant undercut rounded prow to the right has poor feet and small sidepulls to gain slopers and a rounded topout. [Pete Robins 11.12.13]

7. The Underworld 6B+ *** Climb the steep left side of the right arÍte of the seaward face with a hard move to gain the hanging crack - excellent! [Owen Hayward 12.13]

8. Beelzebub 6C+ * The right side of the Underworld arÍte from a bunched sit/crouch start (depending on height of landing) with specified holds: arete (left), lower lip of slab or poor holds just above (right) and left foot pasted at the bottom of the arete. 6A+ from a stand. [Owen Hayward 9.2.13]

9. Mr Crowley 5A * Centre of the nice slab - shame about the landing. [Owen Hayward 12.13]

10. Number of the Beast 7A+ ** Right side of the back arÍte from specified starting holds: right hand low crimp, left hand slim pinch/layback on arete (starting with right on the higher good diagonal edge is a great 6C+). [Owen Hayward 22.12.13]

11. Project 8A+? The smooth undercut wall climbed from a sit start on crimps in the middle of the wall. A big move up left snags the good diagonal edge on Number of the Beast and a finish past the crimp on the wall above.

11a. Project 8B+? Super-powerful eliminate climbing straight up the middle of the smooth wall past the high crimp without using the good diagonal edge on Number of the Beast.

12. Sinner 6B * Short rounded arÍte starting with obvious undercut/sidepull on hollow broken flake round to left of arÍte. Use this and the diagonal hold in the groove up and right to pull on with difficulty and slap up left to a slopey mantle top out. [Owen Hayward 12.13] The obvious sds will be a lot harder - 8A?

Approach: the best way to reach Far Nefoedd is perhaps via Clwt y Fiaren: head down towards the sea on the grassiest route you can find to avoid the worst of the brambles. At the bottom of the slope join a better path and turn right then drop down to a scooped out lower area which has a small pool in it. Turn left just after the pool to drop down the final grassy slope towards the sea but cut back left following sheep tracks along the lip (care!) until you can scramble more easily down the final steep slope to the shore. Far Nefoedd lies 100m to the left and Area 2 starts 200m to the right.

If you would rather come in from the Porth Nefoedd side then park sensibly on the grassy triangle by the minor road junction at GR 224 274 and walk down the left hand lane (the right hand lane leads down to the Trwyn Talfarach parking spot) until it turns into a grassy track. A bit further on cross the stone stile on the left next to a gate and follow the footpath towards Graig Fawr but, after 50m, cut off straight down towards the sea. Head down the grassiest route you can find, avoiding gorse on the right and left until a stone wall comes back into view below you and an obvious pointy boulder appears over on the left (this is the Fox block which has a few good problems on it Ė including The Den 7A/+, a neat lip traverse climbed by Owen Hayward).

From the Fox block aim diagonally down left (looking out to sea) towards an indentation in the coastline. Sheep tracks allow you to avoid brambles/gorse. Move out to the headland just left of the indentation where the large area 1 boulders come into view below. Dropping down directly to them is not recommended (very steep and slippy grass) so carefully follow sheep tracks diagonally across to the next headland where careful scrambling brings you out at Area 2. Area 1 lies 100m to the right and Far Nefoedd is 300m left.

Speak of the Devil 8A from Simon Panton on Vimeo.

Relevant links:
      Clwt y Fiaren news item links
      Porth Nefoedd news item links
      More Nefoedd news items