Owen Hayward and Andy Godber have developed a stunning new boulder and walls at the edge of Parc Dudley on the outskirts of Waunfawr. The area has been nicknamed Fontainefawr as a nod to its quality and importance.
Andy first found the main boulder a few years ago and last year picked off a couple of excellent lines on the adjacent lower wall with Henry Griffith. Andy showed it to a few close friends, but it was Owen who took up the cause of developing the main boulder with gusto. This spring he picked off a fine collection of problems, including Royaume de Mousse Droit 7A, Bryophytic Burler 7A+/B, Moss Side Burler 7A+, Le Pays Noir stand up 7A+ and the impressive La Grande Bleau 7A!
Andy had always had his eye on the big crack line on the steepest face but he nabbed the first ascent of Maine Road 7B and the sds to Le Pays Noir 7B first. Then, while Andy tussled with the crack, Owen bounced back with his best effort, the full sds version of Fontainefawr 7B+, the dramatic left exit from Le Pays Noir.
Andy managed to unlock a powerful undercutting sequence on the crack line but the final redpoint proved elusive. With stress levels building he focussed in, becoming ever more obsessed with this stellar line. After several frustrating sessions all the effort came to a perfect end point; last Thursday night he finally managed to snag the good hold over the lip. There was still drama though as some of the key holds on the upper slab were wet. A nervous struggle ensued before he could claw over to a position of balance. La Grande Fissure 7C was now in the bag, and Andy’s grin beamed down from the top of the boulder.
Owen has produced a topo guide with approach details. Please remember that Parc Dudley is a Nature Reserve and that sound does travel in this part of the valley. So keep a low profile and leave no trace of your visit. The boulder normally needs a few days to dry out properly after heavy rain. At this time of the year midge repellant is essential too.
Si Panton managed to shoot some footage of the first ascent of La Grande Fissure and Jack Rattenbury making his comeback on the superb Royaume de Mousse Droit. He also filmed Pete Robins repeating Main Road and doing Fontainefawr without the footblock on the start:
Royaume de Mousse Droit 7A from Simon Panton on Vimeo.
La Grande Fissure 7C FA from Simon Panton on Vimeo.
Maine Road 7B from Simon Panton on Vimeo.
Fontainefawr sans footblock 7B? FA from Simon Panton on Vimeo.