Martin Crook has completed an epic traverse line on the steep mini crag at the far left side of Carreg Hylldrem. These Foolish Clings 7A+ (F7c) was first done left-to-right but this last week Martin returned and completed a reverse version at a similar standard.
The line features two distinct crux sections (one close to the left hand end and the other at the far right) which warrant 7A and 6C+ in isolation. Linking these together is a huge amount of steep, pumpy climbing, tamed only slightly by a few resting positions. On the first ascent Martin managed to get a quite eccentric, but very useful, ‘sitting position’ on the ramp section after the first crux, allowing a critical degree of recovery before setting off again to face the ‘mega pump’.
The crag was first dabbled with by Pat Littlejohn many years ago; more recently Martin, with the help of John Redhead, George Smith, Noel Craine, Tony Loxton, Gav Foster and Si Panton, has significantly extended the range of stand up problems, sitting starts and link ups. The right hand buttress in particular has some very fine 6C – 7A sitter lines on lovely sloper-infested rock. One of these lines provides the final crux section on the traverse, but it is worth visiting just to do them on their own.
To reach the crag walk back along the road from the normal parking spot close to the river bridge. At the bend in the road take note of the point where a low wall stops – cross the road and walk up a vague path to reach the obvious steep, long wall.
The crag is affected by seepage, so is best visited in a dry period. Nonetheless, even when sections of it are appear wet it can still be climbed as most of the crucial holds stay dry.