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Photos: Big G





On the outskirts of Nant Peris Big G sniffs out some startlingly good looking rock – is there a catch? Is this a trick, a double bluff perhaps? Hmmm…

Dear NWB readers, I give you:

The Lost Crystalline Spires of Cwm Padrig.

Yes - and two of them!
Really; to have lost one spire is unfortunate, but two!

As we strike north from the main road at Gwastadnant and follow the public footpath between standing armies of slate fence for a hard-won evening’s bouldering, the weight of the world may be on our shoulders; - Work, the weather, mortgages, bills, family stuff.

Beyond the last habitation lambs play in the fields which broaden out, as our worries do;
- War, famine, death

Up the little wooden steps through the gorse-tunnel now; spiky but it smells of coconut. The ground steepens, among the narrowing cascades with their own tree-lined micro-climates. Ring ouzels flutter moth-like among the fresh-cracked ash leaves. The folds of foreground narrow our perspective;
- The point of life, of carrying this bollocks mat, of looking for far-flung boulders, brush-loss, chalk depletion.

Over the metal bridge now and up a few hundred foot more, till things are just starting to ease off, in every way. Cross the stream and some good rock comes into view (gr 628 580)
The good stuff. The stuff that makes a joke of all the other stuff.
There’s a broad and rather high overhanging pillar of dinosaur-backed conglomerate for the brave, and around to the right; a perfect clean aręte of heaven-crust with a picnic landing among micro-flowers and the bright green grass of May.
I mean-like-wow!

- Now....er....what were we on about?

Love, Big G

Further reading:

No longer the preserve of the Wright Brothers or Icarus; we can all enjoy the threat of a dodgy landing these days through the pursuit of the high ball - (a weird name for a problem that goes on a bit.)
Along with the obvious consequences of a mess-up from the higher reaches come the subtleties of a panicky success, indeed eye-witnesses will be far more damning of this than anything serious. So try not to yelp, or worse still; call for help near the top.
A nice variation was overheard during a soloing effort somewhere by Stevie Haston, who was heard repeating under his breath the rather odd mantra - “I’m on a rope”.
Any call will result in merciless reaction either on the way home or in the pub.
(The real cost of calls may vary depending on your network of friends.)

Relevant links: