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Lower Cairn Boulder


Upper Cairn Boulder

Since the Mountain Crags volume was published there has been a flurry of activity in the Nant Ddu and Cwmffynnon area.

Firstly Mark Dicken returned to the Quack Crack boulder (see page 443 in NWB 3.1) to finish off some old projects. Love Battery sds gave a feisty little 7A, while Ballís Groove (6C+) starts at the left arete, right hand undercut and whacks in a kneebar.

Upstairs in the boulders close to The Cairn a few new lines and variations have been added. 50m below The Cairn is an obvious small, steep roofed corner with a mini-prow forming the left side of the corner.

1a. 6C+ Mini-prow climbed from a hard sds without using the big foot shelf. Pull on with the most positive clamp holds you can find and squeeze that core hard to get your heels into clamp mode then a hard slap to the lip, match and scuttle up the left arete. [Owen Hayward, originally done by the Mark Dicken at 6A+ using the big foot shelf]

1b. 7A As above but follow the zigzag lip all the way right to rock out on the right hand face. [Owen Hayward]

2. 7A The roofed corner from specified start holds: small, positive dink (left), palm press on right arete (right), no foot shelf. Paste your left foot on a smear above the lip and make a hard left hand bump to a good part of the upper lip. Hold the swing and top out. Hard sit start will be possible. [Owen Hayward, originally done by Mark Dicken squatting on the big foot shelf start]

Just above The Cairn is a nice, reasonably high buttress.

3. 6B Sit start holding incut quartz holds. Up past edges and pockets to the positive lip. Traverse left to avoid loose blocks above and top out using the big, solid blocks on the left. A bit sharp.

4. 7A High prow climbed front-on from a sit start (no sneaking round to the right). Pull on low, rounded arete (left), shelf (right) and snatch up to a high positive right hand edge, get a heel on the shelf and make a long move to good holds in the high break. Up past two big pockets to a slightly gripping but ok mantel finish. [Jamie Jenkins]

Lastly, Mark completed his old project The Shard (Project 8 on page 442 in NWB 3.1), having mashed his ankle up falling off it in the autumn of 2020. After trying the finishing moves on a rope he went for it and this time maintained contact. Itís about 6C up to the ledge and the bold finish is 6C+/7A.

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