First Ascents

Mama Mia, Here We Go Again...

New 8 Pitch Traverse in South Pembroke 

I'd had my eye on a line deep within Range East for a while. Panza Walls lies equal distance between the St. Govan's and Stack Rocks car parks and you're unlikely to see another climber at the crag. It's a large cliff but not plastered with stared existing routes, although the rock is good and there seemed scope for further exploration. There was one line in particular that I wanted to check out: A full traverse of the face above the mid hight overhangs, weaving it's way around buttresses and ribs, west to east.

I did the first two pitches with Tom Rogers (after first climbing a couple of established routes first) and after a late start we were forced upwards and the top, a long way away from the end of the route. With Tom returning to Bristol, I needed someone else to finish the job - who better to ask than Pembroke new routing machine Paul Donnithorne. Of course he was keen.

We swung leads for eight pitches to bring a quality new E1 adventure, through exciting situations into existence, named Mama Mia. If you're up for an adventure away from the crowds, go and check it out... 



More Exploration in North Pembrokeshire

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of hooking back up with Gav' and be taken to a small new crag that he'd discovered and had been playing about on recently. It's at the entrance to Solva Harbour, on the opposite side of the Harbour Wall Crag and on beautiful igneous rock. Gav' kicked off with soloing a short HVS that takes the right side of the wall. After watching Gav' I thought I'd better follow suit - good little number. Gav' then soloed the E3 arete on the left side, again on wonderful rock but a hideous landing if it all went wrong... He named this route Men of Harlech - after the song sang by the soldiers to the zulus in the film Zulu. I was glad that he soloed it with a rope on (so I could top rope it in safety). After that Gavin turned his attention to the central line of the crag that  went with a feisty move and christened Sing Damn You, and going at E2 5c. This crag is small and not likely to be destined for greatness, but it holds a lot of the factors that I love about climbing. Gavin discovered this crag after a working day through a thirst for exploration and by him self. He saw potential for climbs without the need for a guide book. He then put to bed the routes that he could solo with out use of mats. Nice one Gav'.