Development of the Clogwyn y Bustach boulders in Nant Gwynant has continued over the summer months. The latest batch of problems has doubled the size of the 6s and 7s circuit and reinforces the importance of this area.
First up there is the ‘Nam block 50m diagonally up into the wooded boulder field from the low stile entrance (as used on the normal Fagin approach). On the main face there is a superb 5C/6A traverse sweeping up the obvious left to right line before topping out in a juggy scoop. A couple of good up lines are possible through the ‘Nam Traverse at around 6A from a sds.
On the same block Martin Crook climbed the steep right aręte; Superglue Now is a very fingery 6C+ which goes from a sds. A couple of metres to the right on the steep face Andy Godber climbed a 6Aish line snatching up from a sds to a good pocket before climbing leftwards to top out. Just right again Ray Wood climbed the hardest line on the block. Hearts and Minds 7A
starts sitting at the scoop with the 'pebble-dash' hold. A big move up and right gains an obvious crimpy pinch in the middle of the wall and is followed by a reach through to a good edge (left hand). Finish by slapping right for a sloper and then making an easier throw back left for the apex to a straight-forward top-out.
“It’s a cool cellar board style of problem with great moves, and is only spoilt by needing four or five days of continuous dry weather for it to be climbable because the wall seeps. Fortunately, the wet streaks that are normally present don't particularly affect the problem and any dampness on the holds can be sorted with a brush.”
Said Ray after the ascent.
The next block of interest is reached by walking up and right for about 50m. A conspicuous high face will soon be seen about 15m left of the fence line marking the edge of the wooded area.
The main attraction here is Big Red Riding Hood 5C/6A!, the stunning central line climbed first by Andy Godber. This is a proper highball challenge with a psychological crux going for the (thankfully) juggy top. The left aręte of the wall is Tone’s Arete, a surprisingly tough 6A with a highball finish climbed by Tony Loxton. Also of note is Martin’s Song of Myshelf 6A+, a left to right traverse crossing the front face and finishing up the obvious 5Aish line at the right side of the face.
Walking leftwards from here to a point close to the top right side of the huge boulder stuck in the hillside (the biggest boulder in Wales perhaps?) will take you to the much smaller adjacent Hand Roof. The left aręte of the roof was climbed by John Redhead - Gooswing 6B starts sitting on the left and makes a few snatchy moves up right before continue on bigger holds to the top. O Law, I Law 7A is the central roof sds line finishing up Gooswing – this was quickly despatched by Andy Godber with a crimpy pull to a slopey beak followed by a powerful lurch round to jugs. The right hand sds line on the roof fell to Martin; Pump Action Egyptian 6C is a steep and sustained problem.
The Bullitzer Prize area can be reached by crossing the stile at the top of the wood boundary fence and heading across past another fence line (stile a bit lower down the hill) and up diagonally to reach a steep crimpy wall on the left 50m before a prominent boulder on the small col (which has a couple of problems). There are three main up lines here (and one rh variation) in the 5C to 6B range with optional sitting starts to boost the grades a notch. These are all good and quite highball, but the surprising star is The Bullitzer Prize 6C right-to-left traverse, climbed by Martin. This can be done from the far right or (arguably better) from a sds at the bottom of the right hand up line.
And finally it is worth mentioning a previously developed wall 25m left of the Fagin block. In 2011 Alex Mason and friends climbed a number of excellent up lines here, including Bill Psyches 6C the obvious central sds line finishing up left at the top. This year Martin Crook, Si Panton and Gav Foster added a few more good quality variations including Martin’s Crimp Snob 6C, a fine left to right traverse into the crux of Bill Psyches and Bill’s Pocket 6C+ from Si, which climbs out of the Bill Psyches sds into Pick Pocket (the adjacent 6B).
And lastly some repeat news: Eliot Stephens made an impressive flashed ascent of Danny Cattell's recently added 7C+ using a different method. The key hold on Danny's original method has broken.