On Saturday Pete Robins visited the Braichmelyn woods in Bethesda and despite the showery rain managed to climb the brilliant interlocking groove line left of Consolation Prize. Mars One rates 7B+ and features a wild cross-through to connect the lower and upper grooves. This move has the potential to cause an unpredictable ‘helicopter’ dismount so make sure you are well spotted.
In the film shown below Pete does the cross-through in a well-controlled manner but he wisely refused to do it without a spot just in case things turned awry (thus the crap camera angle with the spotter blocking out most of the action – the camera was balanced on a tree branch on top of a folded beer towel to stop it slipping off!).
Approach: From the Super Boulder walk round to the right and follow a vague path on the far side of a broken drystone wall heading up right. At a junction with another low drystone wall continue up through the woods bearing slightly leftwards. After 30m you should reach the edge of an open amphitheatre on the left. On the far side of the amphitheatre you will see two attractive walls; these are home to an excellent 6A (on the right) and a very fine 6C+ (Braich Dancing) and 6C (Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf) on the left.
Contouring 50m round to the right from the edge of the amphitheatre will get you to the Braichmelyn Block – this has a collection of good problems, mostly in the grade 5 - 6 range.
Ignoring the obvious attraction of these problems, head upwards until above the top right corner of the amphitheatre then trend up rightwards and round into a small upper valley. On the left flank of this lost valley you should spot an attractive leaning wall.
NB. With regard to Consolation Prize, Calum Muskett’s 7B - this starts well but is spoilt by the eliminate nature of its upper section. The large holds up on the right are out of bounds, but it feels very contrived not using them. Shame, as the initial sequence is excellent.
Mars One 7B+ from Simon Panton on Vimeo.