Pembroke Climbing

The Top Routes in Pembroke?!

Sea Cliff Climbing at Mother Carey's Kitchen 

It’s a funny old thing choosing a “favourite route”. There are so many crags, with different character and situations. Nowadays I spend most of my time climbing by the sea in Pembrokeshire and have had time to think about what makes a route above and beyond the rest of the great climbs here. The other day I had a morning’s climbing that made my mind up. 

Mother Carey’s Kitchen is in my opinion THE best crag in Pembrokeshire. It hosts a wealth of quality routes on perfect rock through a good range of grades. The setting is exquisite and there’s almost always routes to get on even if there’s a big sea booming away at it’s base. 

A few days ago I met up with Louis (a Pembroke local) at the MCK car park for 9am - I had to be back home just after lunch. It was mid November and even though the forecast suggested it would be a max of 8 degrees, the sun was out with little wind. I suggested starting on Brazen Buttress - a classic Pat Littlejohn E2 5b that I’ve climbed many times and one of my all time favourites. The climbing is sustained but with no definite crux’s. The climbing flows beautifully, with moves that role into one another and more opportunities for protection than you could ask for. The only problem I had was that I’d started the climb with my fleece on and soon started to over heat! 

It was a different story when Louis said he wanted to climb Deep Space - another Littlejohn route given the same grade as Brazen Buttress. In contrast this route takes the outer edge of a huge dark cleft, in the shadows and cold. As Louis arrived under the roof I called up to him to make a belay as it was mid tide and the sea was coming in at a speedy rate. The rock was just about dry but cold and lay backing on jams soon chilled the hands to a point of numbness. Arriving at the hanging belay the world below you drops away in a fashion that only climbers can enjoy. Above the way is blocked by an imposing roof but thankfully the holds are as good as you could ask for. A couple of wild pulls and you’re deposited on the upper wall and straight forward climbing on wonderfully sculpted stone to a point where you’re able to bridge across the cleft in dramatic positions to the top.

If you haven’t already, go and do these routes. Of course, when you have there’s all of the other blinders to do at MCK as well!  Enjoy… 

Pembroke Sea Cliff Climbing

A Day's Guided Sea Cliff Climbing  

Today was spent in the company of Steve, a climber of 30yrs and one that is keen on mileage and adventure - we soon were getting along like a house on fire. The weather was a bit rainy and wet to start, so with wild seas below we pick our way from Stennis Arete into Maelstrom Chimney and back into the upper section on Stennins Arete in four pitches. Soon the sun came out and the rest of the day was spent climbing Hercules, Manzoku and the poorly named Nightmare in two pitches. Thanks for the laughs Steve! 

More New Routes, Guiding, Filming Work and a Rescue Weekend

Pembroke to The Peak District

September has been a bonkers month with loads of interesting work and play on the Pembroke sea cliffs and a filming project further a field in The Peak. Thanks to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of getting out with… Just about catching up with the adventures now! 

Smashing it in at Range East (and beyond)...

With the Army laying down their guns and bombs for the summer holidays and the climbing bird restrictions having been lifted, it's been great to get back to the old stomping ground of Range East. This is the most extensive and adventurous climbing area in Pembrokeshire with tons of great routes on first class sea washed limestone. The working adventures have been coming in thick and fast, with lots of private guiding, family groups as well as a two day self rescue skills course.  Thanks to everyone in the last couple of weeks I've had the pleasure of sharing a rope with...