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Ferdia Earle on Elephant in the Cwm sds 7A photos and topo: Andy Moles


Öand Wildling 6C


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Andy Moles has developed an impressive block at the top of the Snowdon Lady Boulders on the outskirts of Llanberis. It can be found 100m uphill of the tall pillar described on page 111 of the NWB3.1 guide, above the wall that runs across the cwm. It is easily seen, directly in line with the road, when driving the straight section alongside Llyn Peris towards the Pass, before reaching the parking on the S bend.

The setting is stunning and the rock superb. The landing is generally okay although it does drop off a bit from its outer edge and a couple of the lines deserve a highball exclamation mark. Itís certainly worth taking plenty of pads and a spotter (who can help carry the pads up).

Conditions: the base of the crack seeps for a couple of days after rain, but most of the boulder dries fast. Gets plenty of afternoon sun (but not in winter, and not on the hard wall left of the crack).

Approach: as for the tall pillar, but keep a little further right, and climb through a collapsed section of the wall. About 20 mins steep walk up from the road.

1. Traditional Ballistics 6B *
From standing on the boulder on the ground, take the rounded boss with both hands and climb straight up.

2. Traditional Ballistics RH 6B+! **
From standing on the same boulder, stretch out right to a long flat edge in the middle of the steep face, then straight up. Exciting!

A sit start solution to this wall is a hard project, with a couple of possibilities. Itís possible to gain the flat edge in the middle of the face from the next problem, but this feels a little contrived to leave the crack.

3. Elephant in the Cwm 6A+ ***
The crack climbs beautifully on good locks and pinches. The sds is an equally brilliant, low in the grade 7A. Start from the obvious sloping shelf, with a crux pull to gain the flat niche of the stand.

4. Wildling 6C **
From a jug on the central hanging nose, make a long move to slopers and finish direct. The 6C+ sds is even better (***). Start down and slightly right, and power up on good edges into the stand.

5. Pyrrhic 6A+! *
The blocky arete, climbed initially on the left then on the right. Awkward landing. The sds is 6B+! and features steep moves on good holds to gain the stand.

6. Lichenspiracy 6B+
A slight line just right of the arete. From the chest-height jug, step on and catch a high edge on the face, then finish direct. Would be better from a sds or as a harder finish to the next problem, but is morpho.

7. My Love is a Bulldozer 7A **
Start sitting as for Elephant in the Cwm at the sloping shelf. Traverse rightwards, following the obvious low line of sloping flatties, to a jug on the arete. From here move diagonally right up the wall on good spaced edges. It is obviously also possible to finish up Wildling or Pyrrhic, at a similar grade.

8. Sideshow 6A *
Start matched on a flat edge and traverse the sidewall rightwards past a big sloper to the shelf, then top out. Can obviously be linked to the above problem as an extension, with no change in grade.

9. Statera Rerum 6B+ **
At the top right side of the boulder is a small overhang. From an obvious sit start on flat edges, use a big layaway to gain a positive crimp, then go up right via more good crimps to finish.

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